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Berikut adalah kutipan sejarah Lua dari The evolution of an extension language: a history of Lua (Q107822978).
The engineers at PETROBRAS (the Brazilian oil company) needed to prepare input data files for simulators several times a day. TeCGraf was asked by PETROBRAS to create several graphical front-ends for this kind of data entry. So we designed a declarative language to describe each data entry task, we called it "DEL" (data entry language).
DEL proved to be a success. Soon users began to demand more power from DEL, such as boolean expressions, conditional control and loops. It was clear that we needed a true programming language.
At about the same time, we started working in another project for PETROBRAS, called PGM, a configurable report generator for lithology profiles. We decided that the best way to configure this application was through a specialized description language, which we called SOL (Simple Object Language), which also means sun in Portuguese. The syntax of Sol was strongly influenced by BiBTeX and UIL (User Interface Language), a language for describing user interfaces in Motif.
In March 1993, we finished Sol. But, we realized that both DEL and Sol could be combined.
The state-owned PETROBRAS could not choose specific hardware because it could only purchase equipment under very strict rules for spending public money. PETROBRAS thus had a very diverse collection of computers, and so the software developed at TecGraf for PETROBRAS should run on every machine they had, which included PC DOS, Windows 3.1, Macintosh and all flavors of Unix.
We could have adopted an existing language instead of creating a new one. The main contenders were Tcl, Forth, and Perl. All three have highly cryptic syntax and none of them offers good support for data description, so we started working on a new language.
Because the new language was a modified version of Sol (sun), a friend at TeCGraf suggested the name Lua (moon, in Portuguese).
Intinya, Pertamina-nya Brasil (PETROBRAS) butuh aplikasi. Aplikasi pertama, simulator. Insinyur teknik perminyakannya akan memasukan data ke aplikasi itu untuk dihitung pakai aplikasi. Aplikasi kedua, report generator. Aplikasi itu akan menghasilkan laporan hasil pengolahan data. Zaman itu 1993. Bahasa pemrograman yang cocok untuk membuat ini cuma ada Tcl, Forth, dan Perl. Itu pun bahasanya agak kurang cocok untuk kasus perusahaan minyak ini, oleh karena itu, dibuatlah Lua.
- ↑ Roberto Ierusalimschy; Luiz Henrique de Figueiredo; Waldemar Celes (2001). "The evolution of an extension language: a history of Lua". Proceedings of V Brazilian Symposium on Programming Languages: B14-B28. 18 Mei 2001. Wikidata Q107822978.