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Learning Lua
Started by coronatest Apr 13 2010 11:09 PM

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#1

coronatest

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Hi guys and gals, new here and very excited about the prospects of what Corona has to offer.
So i downloaded the Demo, but since one is soo new to all this i started messing about with the included Samples and wow, im totally impressed.
Now im very interested in diving into iphone, ipad, android dev, but come more from a basic DTP background, i looked at another app called gamesalad, but i think Corona seems to offer more.

Since i have only previouslly messed about with some ligth code (mostly html) im wondering what is the best book (related to lua) and is the lua version used in Corona the same as the latest lua?
Many thanks in advance and do excuse my ignorance if i missed this info on the site.
uid: 6061 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 300787


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#2

s.w.powers

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Hi "coronatest"!

(awesome name, how'd you come up with it? /grin jk :) )

Yah the big link up there at the top for Documentation is a good place to start. It sounds like you already perhaps worked through "Getting Started", but if not, that's an important place to start as it shows you how to set up your text editor, etc.

Follow that up with the "Tools Guide" for a quick exposure to the local build process and some debugging tools.

Now you're up to the "App Programming Guide" which is a pretty good introduction to Lua, especially if you've programmed before. If you have not, then you'll likely need something a little lower level. A quick trip to google shows a multitude of resources, but I always end up at the source... www.lua.org. They still offer the original 5.0 online book "Programming in Lua" which is still very pertinent to the 5.1 release and is an easy, good read. You can find it here:

http://www.lua.org/pil/

There is a version of it for 5.1 (which is what Corona uses), but you have to buy it. That said, Lua is a free language and needs support, so buying it helps continue development on that project. I'd also point out the second edition does indeed contain a lot of good info as well as updates to the 5.1 language.

So there ya go, hope that helps you out.

Scott
uid: 5659 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1622


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#3

coronatest

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Many thanks Scott

Pretty much like you mentioned, im going thru the included docs that followed with the Corona demo. Thanks for the info and links will defenetly look into them.
uid: 6061 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1623


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#4

MikeHart

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Hi CT,

you will see that LAU is pretty easy to learn. Well for someone who coded in so many languages for sure. But the forum is always a place to ask so if you have questions, I am willing to help if I can.

Michael
uid: 5712 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1627


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#5

coronatest

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Many thanks all for the replies and help. Looking forth to learning and getting my hands dirty as per say. So yes i will take you up on your offer, hopefully not too noobie stuff :)

Just another q actually regarding the Corona SDK price. I see its 99 USD for it, is this licence usable on 2 machines owned by me?
Example i have an old PowerBook G4 !2" its great for carrying around a lot, and thats what im testing the demo on. Works fine, and i know i cant/could not build on it due to the actual Apple iphone SDk restrictions to intel only.
Now i have also a Mbook duo core which i would then use for the actual app constructing etc.

So i would like to be able to work on the PB and when all is ready just move to my MB. Hope im making sence. Would this be doable?
uid: 6061 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1632


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#6

MikeHart

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What I read here this is not possible right now. You have to deactivate the license before you can move it. How I don't know.
Maybe you should contact the ansca support.
uid: 5712 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1635


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#7

s.w.powers

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Yah, right now it's one license per machine. There's been other folks who have asked about this so it may be something that changes in the future.
uid: 5659 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1639


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#8

coronatest

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Thank you. Would be nice to have a difference in license or an unlimited version that would allow to work and save, but not compile, then one would need the authorized version.
Also im rushing thru the demo since its the 30 day limit, really wish it was a bigger time period, since one needs to also get to grips with the Lua language.
Otherwise im more than impressed with what i have seen and read here.
uid: 6061 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1640


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#9

mymidlet

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I think that now the most important things is that Corona apps will be accepted by (king) Apple.

I have spent 699 euro for my iPhone and about 950 euro for my macbook, 70 euro for Apple license and finally 70 euro for Corona license.

So about 1800 euro of money that I've invested in tecnology.
Maybe for someone can be a poor quantity, but it about two house mortgage payments :)

Best
Ale
uid: 940 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1641


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#10

MikeHart

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Yes Ale, it is a weird situation. But for myself, when I saw the post about Steve Jobs promoting OS4 with a LUA powered game, I thought that this will not so bad agzer all. LUA is THE game scripting language. So many big companies write their game with it on the IPhone and other platforms. I doubt that Apple will push them out of the door. And if it really comes to the point, then I am sure that Ansca will work on the issue somehow. And there is always the Android market, which I actually see as a stronger force in the future. This will be my main market, the App store is just candy.
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#11

coronatest

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Yes indeed, i was not trying to imply otherwise :)
And yes i understand what you mean, im unenployed, trying to get things going for myself also.
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#12

mymidlet

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@MikeHart

I know that lua is the game scripting language, but (king) Apple can made rules as they want, without listen the user opinion.

About Android, naturally I'm interested, but I've not an Android device at home, that it's mean a new purchase.
So the total amount will be raise a little (any hits about the device to buy will be appreciate ^__^ )

@coronatest

I hpe you can build/develop a million seller apps :)
uid: 940 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1646


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#13

s.w.powers

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I know the topic hasn't been broached here yet (and this seems a bit off the original topic, but since the OP is taking it there... :) ), but IF apple were to start tossing Corona apps because of there being lua inside (and a VM), but do NOT toss all the other apps for those very violations... that is grounds for a very big lawsuit and one any number of lawyers would love to get into (at least in the US).

While that would certainly not be the ideal scenario and it would certainly take quite a while to work itself through the system, it would *not* be in Apple's best interest. It would be a huge marketing blow up for them as the big corporate bad guys are killing the little guys trying to get started. Imagine what M$ would do with that kind of ammunition?

In all honesty, I've got no idea how they plan to actually move forward with this. It just seems like such a bad move, both in the marketing arena and in the business sense.

Scott
uid: 5659 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1647


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#14

dennis

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I would recommend all three books on the Lua Bookstore main page:

Programming in Lua, Second Edition
Lua 5.1 Reference Manual
Lua Programming Gems

http://astore.amazon.com/lua-store-20

Regards,
Dennis
uid: 3642 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1654


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#15

s.w.powers

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Also note that the Blue PiL (Programming in Lua, 2nd) and Gems are available in PDF format (still costs money) if you go to the Lua site. The 5.1 ref manual is free from the Lua site.
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#16

coronatest

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Once again many thanks to ALL for all the tips, info and links to Lua resources.
Will look into those ebooks also.
uid: 6061 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 1678


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#17

mobilefun4me

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I have downloaded the proper syntax highlighting for XCode from http://www.capgo.com/Resources/SoftwareDev/LuaXcode3SyntaxColor.zip from this site:http://www.capgo.com/Resources/SoftwareDev/SoftwareCorner.html I noticed the directory structure is not the same as mentioned in the readme.txt file from 2007. Which states: ~/Library/Application Support/Developer/Shared/Xcode/Specifications/. My version of XCode is at 3.2.2. There is no specifications folder. I've downloaded the Corona Beta 4 and the Getting Started still refers to setting up this syntax highlighter. Is there there a way to use this or another syntax highlighter?
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#18

s.w.powers

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I like easy questions! :)

Make any folders that do not exist. This particular one (a path starting with ~ means your home folder, in case you aren't "unixy") starts from your home folder.

So make any folders that don't exist and put the final files in the folder you specified.

You could, if you wanted, from a terminal shell, give the command:

mkdir -p "~/Library/Application Support/Developer/Shared/Xcode/Specifications/"

And it will make any that need making.

Scott
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#19

POLYGAMe

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Hi guys,

I'm interested in this as well. I've recently released a game made with GameSalad (and it's actually doing pretty well) and in a nutshell... I NEED MORE COWBELL! Erm, I mean power... GS is incredibly taxing on the CPU and my 2D 8-Bit inspired shooter had to be optimised to hell just to get it running smoothly on a 3GS!

So, I've heard great things about Corona but there's a reason I chose GameSalad... I have NO coding ability or experience WHATSOEVER and I have tried looking at books on Objective C etc and I really just ended up getting very confused, very quickly. I'm an intelligent guy (compared to a domestic pet) but I just can't seem to get my head around coding. I even tried Unity but had the same problems... so my question is... is Lua/Corona a good place to start or would I be getting in over my head? Should I try some form of BASIC or something first? I really am the ultra noob when it comes to this... although, thanks to GameSalad, at least I know what a variable is now!

P.S. My brain bleeds if I even have to look at the OSX terminal...

Cheers :-)
uid: 7931 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 4460


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#20

MikeHart

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Hi,

without any coding experience you will fail to use Corona as besides knowing how to program in generally, you need to know the concept of what builds a game coding wise. Sure you can learn things but I think then GameSalad is the right tool for you as it creates an app in a visual way. And imho you won't get much more horsepower in Corona from the LUA side of things.

You said that GS was very taxing on a 3GS. That depends alot on what you wanted to do. Can you describe your project a little. How many sprites are you displaying at one time? How many sound effects do you want to play at one time?

These small devices have limited capabilities anyway and can't be treated like a desktop computer.

Cheers
Michael Hartlef
http://www.whiteskygames.com
http://www.twitter.com/mhartlef
uid: 5712 topic_id: 787 reply_id: 4470


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#21

POLYGAMe

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Gah, thought that might be the case. LOL.

I read on this site somewhere that Corona were developing something for non-coders... anyone know what that's about potential alternative to GS?

In the meantime, I've bought an absolute beginners book on Objective C... I'll try slowly learning over the next couple of years. LOL.
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