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Lua vs Python: What are the differences?

Lua: Powerful, fast, lightweight, embeddable scripting language. Lua combines simple procedural syntax with powerful data description constructs based on associative arrays and extensible semantics. Lua is dynamically typed, runs by interpreting bytecode for a register-based virtual machine, and has automatic memory management with incremental garbage collection, making it ideal for configuration, scripting, and rapid prototyping; Python: A clear and powerful object-oriented programming language, comparable to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, or Java. Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.

Lua and Python can be primarily classified as "Languages" tools.

"Fast learning curve" is the top reason why over 19 developers like Lua, while over 1020 developers mention "Great libraries" as the leading cause for choosing Python.

Lua and Python are both open source tools. It seems that Python with 25K GitHub stars and 10.3K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Lua with 1.26K GitHub stars and 437 GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Python has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2789 company stacks & 3500 developers stacks; compared to Lua, which is listed in 55 company stacks and 22 developer stacks.

What is Lua?

Lua combines simple procedural syntax with powerful data description constructs based on associative arrays and extensible semantics. Lua is dynamically typed, runs by interpreting bytecode for a register-based virtual machine, and has automatic memory management with incremental garbage collection, making it ideal for configuration, scripting, and rapid prototyping.

What is Python?

Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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    What are some alternatives to Lua and Python?
    JavaScript
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
    Arduino
    Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software.
    PHP
    Fast, flexible and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world.
    Java
    Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!
    HTML5
    HTML5 is a core technology markup language of the Internet used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. As of October 2014 this is the final and complete fifth revision of the HTML standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The previous version, HTML 4, was standardised in 1997.
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    Decisions about Lua and Python
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    Reviews of Lua and Python
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    How developers use Lua and Python
    Avatar of Exchange rates API
    Exchange rates API uses PythonPython

    Beautiful is better than ugly.

    Explicit is better than implicit.

    Simple is better than complex.

    Complex is better than complicated.

    Flat is better than nested.

    Sparse is better than dense.

    Readability counts.

    Special cases aren't special enough to break the rules.

    Although practicality beats purity.

    Errors should never pass silently.

    Unless explicitly silenced.

    In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess.

    There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it.

    Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you're Dutch.

    Now is better than never.

    Although never is often better than right now.

    If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea.

    If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea.

    Namespaces are one honking great idea -- let's do more of those!

    Avatar of Web Dreams
    Web Dreams uses PythonPython

    To me, this is by far the best programming language. Why? Because it’s the only language that really got me going after trying to get into programming with Java for a while. Python is powerful, easy to learn, and gets you to unsderstand other languages more once you understand it. Did I state I love the python language? Well, I do..

    Avatar of ttandon
    ttandon uses PythonPython

    Backend server for analysis of image samples from iPhone microscope lens. Chose this because of familiarity. The number one thing that I've learned at hackathons is that work exclusively with what you're 100% comfortable with. I use Python extensively at my day job at Wit.ai, so it was the obvious choice for the bulk of my coding.

    Avatar of papaver
    papaver uses PythonPython

    been a pythoner for around 7 years, maybe longer. quite adept at it, and love using the higher constructs like decorators. was my goto scripting language until i fell in love with clojure. python's also the goto for most vfx studios and great for the machine learning. numpy and pyqt for the win.

    Avatar of papaver
    papaver uses LuaLua

    used lua as gameplay glue while at insomniac. one my favorite wins was integrating table support. it took walking the source code in a debugger to figure it out, still remember being at work at 3am when i got it working finally. (no google back then to make such things simple.)

    Avatar of Blood Bot
    Blood Bot uses PythonPython

    Large swaths of resources built for python to achieve natural language processing. (We are in the process of deprecating the services written in python and porting them over to Javascript and node)

    Avatar of Sine Wave Entertainment
    Sine Wave Entertainment uses LuaLua

    We use Lua as our primary scripting language for third party developers - it's fast, the runtime can be quite small and fits into everywhere it needs to go - from mobile to web.

    Avatar of micro systems
    micro systems uses LuaLua

    Lua is used as the programming language for all extensions and the main business logic.

    Avatar of Dick Cocker
    Dick Cocker uses LuaLua

    Used for hashing client IP in Nginx

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