• 13 Jun, 2024

Is Lua a good language to learn? Let's Find Out

Is Lua a good language to learn? Let's Find Out

Yes, Lua is a good language to learn. It's beginner-friendly, easy to grasp, and widely used in various applications, including game development and scripting. Learning Lua provides a solid foundation for understanding programming concepts that can be applied to other languages as well. So, if you're starting, Lua is a great choice!

What is Lua Programming Language?    

A simple definition of a language is a medium that passes what one thinks, feels, and even opinions or ideas that one might have. And in that case, everyone prefers using a language that they understand best and is also effective when it comes to attaining desired goals. Now, back to programming languages, every programmer will always go for a simple but powerful language. As for Lua, it's listed among high-level programming languages, and more specifically, it's considered to be lightweight and designed mainly for embedded use in applications.

Lua is known to be a very powerful and fast programming language that is good to learn, easy to learn, and even use. Are you looking for a programming language that you want to start with? Well, if you are testing the waters, then Lua is most likely to be your best choice, and you can also decide to do it later, even if you already started with other programming languages. One of the pillar reasons that makes Lua a good language to learn is that it's massively used in developing games that you might know of, such as Roblox, which will equip you with perfect life skills and also with your coding experience.

So, if you have heard of Lua and thought of learning it, there's no point in backing off! Lua is worth your time, as are any other resources that you can use when learning Lua. Despite trolls and negative comments or claims that you might have stumbled upon online, either on social media platforms or programmers' communities, all that you need to do is to get focused and start thinking about how you can start learning Lua since it's not a waste of time or any resource that you may spend! It's also true that Lua has been listed among languages that exhibit poor community engagement, jobs, and even growth. If you are after jobs then it can be a good idea to step back, but if you are after exploring something great, then you are all set to go!

If you want to confirm all the claims and doubts that you might have about Lua, then you need to keep reading since, in this article, everything that you may want to hear about Lua is completely covered and discussed in detail without favor or bias! Jump in, and let's explore all that Lua has in store for you!

Is Lua a hard programming language? 

Here's all that you need to know if you are wondering whether Lua is a hard-to-learn programming language. Are you now fully convinced that you need to learn about Lua after knowing much of what it entails and some of the tasks that it can help you in? Well, it's a good idea. 

You're lucky that you have an interest in learning the Lua language since many developers across the globe consider it an easy-to-learn language! Just like any other programming language, it's recommended that the best way to learn the Lua language is simply to practice some programming. Before you start learning Lua, you will need a text editor. Well, you will simply use the text editor to write your code. In addition to that, you may already know that there are several text editors that you may have used before. 

However, it's advised that you go for the  Roblox text edito r when you want to make things easy for you since it also doubles up as a studio that you can use to learn. If you are wondering how you can get yourself started learning Lua, then you need to think of the massive number of tutorials and videos on how to learn scripting that are available on the Internet. 

Besides that, even though the Lua community is described as being dormant, you will still be able to enjoy a friendly community that will have some of the questions that you need help understanding well explained whenever you have one.  Lastly, there are several platforms that you can use for online classes whereby you can learn how to use the Lua language with fewer tussles at an affordable fee. 

Is Lua faster than Python? 

Lua is much faster than  Python . Lua is lightweight, as opposed to Python, which is heavy and slow. Lua is faster than Python, and further, it has fewer reserved tokens, 21, as compared to those of Python, which are 33. Lua simply requires close to 60% of the keywords to have the same thing done or more. When using Lua, you will also be free from the intuitive counting that is present in Python. Lua's solutions to several algorithms are easier than those of Python. You will need fewer lines of code to do the same thing in Lua as compared to Python, where you will need more, thus making it faster than Python.

Lua is also considered to be the fastest High-Level Language that you will use. At a point, the only snag that you may experience when using or learning to use Lua is C. Several Lua libraries are implemented in C and others in Lua, though many are in C. Lua also boasts the FFI, and with this in place, you have a direct interface into the system, which makes everything easier and faster for you since you can call anything. You will only require some of the glue and binding libraries, which are considered a necessity when working with Python, which makes it slower.

When you need to put Lua as an embedded language into C, you will  only need four lines of code, and also, the needed memory for the whole runtime environment is merely close to 120kb shared code in memory. Lastly, all that you need to know is that Lua is extremely tiny, powerful, and even flexible compared to Python. 

Lua vs. Python game scripting 

Do you need a head-to-head comparison of Lua vs Python in terms of game scripting?  Several things make  Lua and Python  different. Check the below head-to-head comparison of Lua and Python: 

 

  • Lua is simply a multi-paradigm, but it majorly narrows on the scripting language. While Python is also a multi-paradigm, it is primarily an object-oriented language.   
  • The Lua language is also used mainly as an embedded code in a computer or, in other words, a virtual register-based machine. In contrast, the Python language is used for creating web applications of the computer system and other parts of the virtual machines.   
  • The Lua language doesn't support inheritance, though it implements it through the Lua Meta table, while Python language inherits methods and even properties of some classes.   
  • The Lua language is highly praised when it comes to game development, while Python doesn't offer good support for mobile games and other applications.   
  • In terms of ease of learning, Lua is considered to be easier to learn than Python, while Python is considered by many to be more demanding and popular than Lua.   
  • Lua language boasts of being more lightweight, portable, and a rapid execution language, while Python is a scripting language that is considered to be heavy and even slower than Lua.   

When you keenly check these two languages, you will notice that there are observable big differences, hence making these two languages less related.     

Is Lua the easiest programming language?    

Lua is listed among the easiest programming languages that you can choose to learn. You can clearly see that in the requirements and also the duration it takes to learn Lua the language and also due to the fact that several developers across the globe consider it to be easier or easiest to learn. Now that you have decided to learn Lua, you need to know how long it will take to learn the Lua language so that you can schedule yourself without any clashing tasks and any inconveniences that can make you skip your classes.

As said in the previous section of this article – you're lucky when you have an interest in learning about the Lua language since many developers across the globe consider it an easy-to-learn language! Due to the fact that Lua is considered to be easy to learn, it won't demand most of your time, but despite that, you still need to concentrate and give it all the attention required since if you fail to do so, then things may fall apart.

Everything needs interest, time, and concentration to learn, and even the Lua language is easy; it's not an exception since it may turn out to be difficult, or you may end up not understanding some of the core things that you need to understand in detail. When answering how long it takes to learn Lua, it will take you only 2-3 days to know some of the basics of Lua and then another 3-4 weeks to perfectly understand all the ins and outs of the Lua language up to the expert level. Lua's syntax is also simple and moderately easy to learn; it is mostly typed, hence making it consistent and easy to predict. 

Is Lua easier than Java?    

Now that you know so much about the Lua language, you also need to know about the  Java language before we dash into determining which one of them is easier than the other. Well, just like Lua, Java is also known to be a high-level, multi-paradigm, and text-based programming language that is designed to be used on client and server for building amazing web pages and even other different web developments that mainly fall under server-side scripting for introducing all sorts of complex extras in web development.

Java is closely the same as C++ and mostly the same as C#. When you have used both the C and the C# programming languages, you will notice that all three of these programming languages are closely related.  To cut it short, Lua is considered to be much easier than Java and even simpler than Java in terms of interface and nearly everything. Comparing Lua and Java is strange and not fair since these are two different programming languages on different levels. Java is complex and hard as compared to Lua, which is easier and simpler. 

What is Lua used for?    

Do you want to know tasks that you can complete using Lua language before you venture into learning more about what it entails and how it works? It's simple! All that you need to know first is that Lua language mainly focuses on scripting language, and it is rarely used alone or as a standalone programming language when executing tasks. Most of the time, it is used as a scripting language that is then integrated or embedded into other programs that are majorly written in C and C++. The Lua language also has other programming languages covered and supported through third-party plugins that you may know of. 

 

Now that you understand how Lua is used, these are some of the tasks that can be completed using Lua language:   

   

  • Lua can be used as a programming language when building industrial programs such as Adobe Lightroom and also MySQL Workbench.   
  • Lua is considered one of the primary components needed in video game and game engine development. Some of the popular games that use Lua are Warframe and World of Warcraft.   
  • Lua can also be used as a library whereby developers can integrate with their programs so as to activate the scripting functionality.   
  • Lua can also be used as a programming language when designing several network programs such as  Nmap  and even  ModSecurity  .   

 You need to keep in mind that due to the fact that Lua lacks its application, it is used separately as an embedded part of the system that hosts it.        
   

The Popularity Of Lua  

Lua was introduced back in 1993, and it was one of, and it is still one of, the most popular languages that you may learn. Several developers across the globe have learned the Lua language, making it extremely competitive to land jobs that require Lua experience. With that stated alone, you can gain a picture of how popular the Lua language is, right?

Until today, Lua still boasts of dominating and even being popular in domains such as gaming and also web servers, but despite all that, its growth has been diminishing in the last five years. If you haven't heard of Lua, then it's either you quit your programming career or you are a beginner in the programming world since Lua is one of the must-have known programming languages for every programmer out there! 

Conclusion

Lua is a lightweight and fast programming language designed for embedded use, known for its simplicity and ease of learning. Widely used in game development (e.g., Roblox, Warframe), Lua surpasses Python in speed and efficiency. Despite claims of limited job opportunities, Lua is recommended for its valuable skills. In comparison to Python, Lua excels in rapid execution and ease of learning.

When pitted against Java, Lua is considered easier and simpler. Its primary use is scripting, which is integrated into programs in C and C++. Lua is applied in industrial programs, video game development (e.g., World of Warcraft), and network programs like Nmap.

Introduced in 1993, Lua maintains popularity in gaming and web servers, but its growth has slowed in recent years. Despite this, Lua remains a valuable language for programmers due to its versatility and application in various domains.

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Aiden Blenkiron

Hello, I'm Aiden Blenkiron, a Tech blog writer with a Computer Science Degree from Stanford University. Since 2019, I've been sharing insights on Tech innovations and I have contributed along to major brands like TechInsider and WiredTech. My aim is to simplify complex concepts and keep you updated in the dynamic Tech landscape.