Lua on the move...

All those that have been developing with CoronaSDK or a lua based framework have been asking the question, can they test some scripts on the device itself?

Now let's say the scenario is a café, or a place where there is no internet connection and a thought comes to mind, it is a wicked cool thing one can do with Lua, or seated at a public access computer, the tutorial urges you to try out the lua code, but not having an appropriate compiler can be frustrating. I recollect this conversation where there were discussions if Lua can be run on the iOS, there was a company that had an app called iLuaBox I guess, which was priced ridiculously high at $25+ Then there is the free offering called Luna which is mostly for the iPad.

Then out of the madness came a knight in shining armour, Pavel Kanzelsberger who brought to the iTunes store "Lua Console" an iOS implementation of Lua 5.4 running on both the iPhone and the iPad and extremely affordable at $0.99. The low price has absolutely no relevance to the quality, i.e. despite being priced low, the app is a top quality and has better features than iLuaBox. The entire app is an interactive Lua console, with an additional bar of buttons above the keyboard for commonly used symbols like =+-*,."(){}[] which on the iOS keyboard would require shifting into the alternative symbol keyboard. There is a small input box like in Excel for formulas, which is where we can type the current command line command. As the command is types, a series of auto-complete suggestions pop up making it easier to type/use.

Since this is a complete implementation of Lua 5.4, the error messages, etc are the same that one would get when running this on the Terminal on a Mac/Windows box. Lua console also allows for running of lua scripts in the console. Some of the fabulous features found in Lua Console are
  • Multi threading
  • all basic libraries, io, math, string, table, debug are available
  • Auto-completion and customised keyboard shelf
  • clipboard library to interact with the clipboard

When entering multi-line blocks of code like
for i=1,10 do
   print("Item ".. i)
The console is smart enough to pick up that this is a multi-line command and presents the user with a > till the corresponding end is entered. So blocks of code can be easily used.

From a CoronaSDK developers point of view, the only thing missing are the graphic libraries and the physics engine. Or in other words, if you are a student, a developer, a hobbyist or just curious, Lua Console is one app that has to be on the iOS device and with tonnes of tutorials on Lua based development, it is the best way to start.

Software : Lua Console (universal app)
Version : 1.0.1
Publisher : Pavel Kanzelsberger
Website :
Twitter : @mediaware_sk
Platform : iOS 4.2+
Price : $0.99

And we have a copy of Lua Console for one lucky winner, all you need to do
1. Follow @whatsin4me
2. Retweet the message "Read, follow @whatsin4me and RT this msg. You might win a copy of #LuaConsole from @mediaware_sk"
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