Another tool for updating /etc -- lua||other script language bikeshed

Peter Jeremy peterjeremy at
Wed Mar 24 19:03:23 UTC 2010

On 2010-Mar-24 14:11:21 +0100, Ivan Voras <ivoras at> wrote:
>Since the issue comes around very rarely, I assume there are not many 
>people who also get the shivers when they see a shell script (and then a 
>"posixy" /bin/sh shell script) more than a 100 lines long? :)

With the specific exception of GNU configure and related horrors, I
personally don't have anything against shell scripts.  You can write
good or bad code in any language.

>Wouldn't it be nice to have a "blessed" (i.e. present-in-base) script 
>language interpreter with a syntax that has evolved since the 1970-ies? 

There's awk (though it's somewhat restricted in its abilities to do
anything more than text manipulation) but in principle, I agree.  The
requirements as I see them are (in no particular order):
- BSD-compatible license
- must be compatible with buildworld (primarily, it must be possible
  to cross-build)
- contains a critical mass of users in the FreeBSD developer (and
  ideally committer) community 
- language must be reasonably stable - will a script written today still
  work correctly in (say) 5 years.
- must be acceptable to the vast majority of the user base (no religious
  wars allowed)

>There was once Perl in base and even though I personally dislike Perl at 
>least it was a standard of sorts and guaranteed to be there if needed. 

It was removed because it didn't support cross-building (buildworld is
always done as a cross-build) and was evolving at a rate incompatible
with the base system.

>As a possible alternative, or at least to learn about others' opinion on 
>the subject, I'd like to suggest Lua (

As someone who has never used Lua, how well does it meet the
requirements above?

Peter Jeremy
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