I assume most (if not all) scripting will be server side, so why not allow a choice of both LUA and Java?
I am unfamiliar with LUA, but I do know it is a bytecode type interpreter much like java, although I doubt it is as fast as java due to the layer of interpretation required just to get to the java functions. I can foresee situations where you would want a bit faster solution, although it would be rare and 99% of the time LUA would be plenty of beef to get the job done, it would be nice for the option to use java directly.
it wouldn't be too hard to support both, you would just need some interfaces to force specific functions to be created for specific classes and a list of functions/classes to be used. Eclipse would allow for intellisense and other awesome features to be used and easily develop. or you could go the VB/.net route and it could have partially auto-generated code to where you simply choose an event and put the code within that generated block of code.
but I am a java/C developer by profession, and I am bias to wanting to code in java compared to LUA.
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I am unfamiliar with LUA, but I do know it is a bytecode type interpreter much like java, although I doubt it is as fast as java due to the layer of interpretation required just to get to the java functions.
Java is also faster than Lua because Java is compiled down to machine code as it is running via a JIT compiler and the HotSpot optimizer. Lua, on the other hand, is purely bytecode interpreted.
That being said, Lua is the fastest pure interpreter I've seen.
[*:skwb8tr3]From the viewpoint of the developer, everything is stored in tables. This makes it easy to access any value, and makes it very easy to handle large amounts of data.
[*:skwb8tr3]Under the hood, it appears Lua supports two types of indexing: Regular integer references, and hash tables. This means that all accesses are fast and always constant time.
[*:skwb8tr3]Lua allows the developer to use the array-like "a[b]" convention or the OOP-like "a.b" convention. This makes code more readable and familiar to C++/Java developers.
[*:skwb8tr3]Lua is a garbage collected language, so there's no need to worry about manual memory allocation and deallocation.
[*:skwb8tr3]IMO Lua is easier to secure and sandbox, thanks to Lua's concept of "environments." Give a lua script an empty table as an environment, and it can do nothing except the language basics. Only add what you think developers need access to. Blizzard has done this nicely (along with their "taint" system), and I myself have created sandboxes for some of my own stuff.
[*:skwb8tr3]Lua has the concept of "metatables," allowing developers control over their tables, allowing things like operator overloading and more OOP-like behavior.
[*:skwb8tr3]Lua allows for functional programming (ie, it allows you to treat functions like values), making it easily extendable.
[*:skwb8tr3]Lua uses dynamic typing and has only eight basic types (nil, boolean, number, string, function, userdata, thread, and table), so there's no headaches with different types.
[*:skwb8tr3]Lua is very simple: 21 reserved words, that's it. Easy for beginners to learn.
[*:skwb8tr3]Outside the 21 reserved words, anything else can be overridden, if allowed. Lua scripts share a global environment, so they can extend the functionality of each other and communicate freely. This is of course subject to scoping rules, and a sandboxed script can't reach outside its own environment, so security can be maintained if desired.
Lua is fast and minimalistic compared to most other scripting languages, and I'd love to support it in Minecraft :smile.gif:. I'm a C/Java/C# developer myself, and I like the Lua language. The lack of true OOP support is a bit of a drawback, but it makes up for it in flexibility - you could even create an OOP-like framework in the language if you wanted.
All that said - Notch has stated he's looking into a Java API. It's probably easiest, although it's not difficult to integrate Lua AFAIK.
As far as suggestions go, I'd recommend he open up APIs for the graphical pipeline. I personally would like to see if I could tweak the lighting and play around with some shaders :smile.gif:.
I'd also like to see APIs for the inventory and the chests. Shameless plug: I'm the current maintainer of Reagent Restocker for WoW :biggrin.gif:. I'd like to see if I could play around with addons for organizing items in inventory, as well as maintaining a "stock" of items in the player's chests.
I'd also like to see the ability for items to be destroyed via the addon API. Some things in the game that are renewable a player may want to throw away.
And oh, yeah, trading between players should be possible.
I definitely would like to see some UI APIs available, so we could design our own UI features, much like WoW currently does.
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