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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
Lua tables - they are everything

In PHP, it sometimes feels like the answer to every question is "there's a function to do that" and in Lua, it seems the answer is always "it's a table" or "use a table"!

I'm running a Lua course this week, and I have just posted up an example in which I set up a table and showed some of the flexibilities - full example [here].

A table is Lua's collection variable - a variable that holds other variables. It may be indexed by numbers (and that's an ordered table, which can be sorted), or by member name (an unordered table, using a hashing technique, so unsortable directly), or even as a mixture, as I've done in the example just quoted.

Variables themselves are very flexible - Lua is a tiny language, and so variables also contain just about everything in order to cut down on the footprint ... that means that a variable can contain a number, a string of text, or another table or a named block of code (yes, that's a function) - all are in the same "namespace" and all are handled by the same base language code.

Do you need to see under Lua'a cover like this in order to use it? Well - it certainly helps to understand just a smidgin of what's going on inside, as that allows you to make the very best use of the language, and allows you to quickly find and rectify coding issues that are associated with this sharing of namespace.
(written 2010-03-30, updated 2010-03-31)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
U105 - Lua - Tables and the table library.
  [1697] Sorting in lua - specifying your own sort routine - (2008-07-05)
  [1742] Lua - Table elements v table as a whole - (2008-08-07)
  [2346] The indexed and hashed parts of a Lua table - (2009-08-10)
  [2499] ourdog is Greyhound, Staffie and Ginger Cake - (2009-11-09)
  [2703] Lua Metatables - (2010-04-02)
  [3694] Special __ methods you can use in Lua metatables - (2012-04-12)
  [3725] Lua Tables - (2012-05-10)
  [4248] Metatables, Metamethods, classes and objects in Lua - (2014-03-18)
  [4273] Dot or Colon separator between table name and member in Lua - what is the difference? - (2014-05-06)
  [4571] Lua - using modules to add your own utilities - (2015-11-04)


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