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The LuaTableis the most important type of Lua. It is also implemented with an dynamic interface for an easy use in the host application and the script, too.

The lua environment (LuaGlobal, LuaGlobalPortable) is a sub class of the lua table. It holds the basic environment (global variables, basic functions, packages) of the lua script. All chunks (except Lambda's) run on environment and manipulate them.

Create a environment

To create a environment you have to call the CreateEnvironment function of the script engine.

using (Lua l = new Lua())
  var g = l.CreateEnvironment();
  dynamic dg = g;

In all examples l is a script engine and g is a environment (dg is the dynamic environment).

Execute script

To execute a single script on an environment you have to call DoChunk. Every script returns a LuaResult. If there is no return-command in the script, the result is empty.

LuaResult r = g.DoChunk("return 2", "test.lua");

It is also possible to define parameters for a script.

LuaResult r = g.DoChunk("return a + b", "test.lua",
  new KeyValuePair<string, object>("a", 2),
  new KeyValuePair<string, object>("b", 4));

Or run precompiled scripts more than one time.

var c = l.CompileChunk("return b * 2", "test.lua", false, new KeyValuePair<string, Type>("b", typeof(int)));
Console.WriteLine(g.DoChunk(c, 2)[0]);
Console.WriteLine(g.DoChunk(c, 3)[0]);
Console.WriteLine(g.DoChunk(c, 4)[0]);

Dynamic environment

The environment exposes all functionality, that you have in a lua script as an dynamic interface. Use the functions, that you know from lua script.

LuaResult r = dg.dochunk("return 2", "test.lua");

The same with the dynamic interface.

dynamic dr = dg.dochunk("return a + b", "test.lua", "a", 2, "b", 4);

And with an argument.

var c = l.CompileChunk("return b * 2", "test.lua", false, new KeyValuePair<string, Type>("b", typeof(int)));
Console.WriteLine(dg.dochunk(c, 2)[0]);
Console.WriteLine(dg.dochunk(c, 3)[0]);
Console.WriteLine(dg.dochunk(c, 4)[0]);


Define or access variables on the environment or tables.

dg.a = 2; // dynamic way to set a variable
g["b"] = 4; // explicit way to access variable
g.DoChunk("c = a + b", "test.lua");

Define or access a lua table.

dynamic dg = l.CreateEnvironment();
dg.t = new LuaTable(); -- create global variable t
dg.t.a = 2; -- create a member a on table t
dg.t.b = 4;
dg.dochunk("t.c = t.a + t.b", "test.lua");

Index access

It is also easy to work with indices.

dynamic dg = l.CreateEnvironment();
dg.t = new LuaTable();
dg.t[0] = 2;
dg.t[1] = 4;
dg.dochunk("t[2] = t[0] + t[1]", "test.lua");

Define/call functions

dg.myadd = new Func<int, int, int>((a, b) => a + b); // define a new function in c#
dg.dochunk("function Add(a, b) return myadd(a, b) end;", "test.lua"); // define a new function in lua that calls the c# function

Console.WriteLine((int)dg.Add(2, 4)); //call the lua function

var f = (Func<object, object, LuaResult>)dg.Add; // get the lua function
Console.WriteLine(f(2, 4).ToInt32());

Is there no result defined. Lua always let return functions a LuaResult.

But it also possible to give a explicit definition.

dg.myadd = new Func<int, int, int>((a, b) => a + b);
dg.dochunk("function Add(a : int, b : int) : int return myadd(a, b) end;", "test.lua");

Console.WriteLine((int)dg.Add(2, 4));

var f = (Func<int, int, int>)dg.Add;
Console.WriteLine(f(2, 4));

Declaring Methods in the host application

The next example define three members. a, b are members, they are holding a ordinary integer. And add is holding a function, but this definition is not a method. Because if you try to call the function like a method in e.g. c#, it will throw a NullReferenceException. You must always pass the table as a first parameter to it. To declare a real method, you have to call the explicit method DefineMethod.

Lua don't care about the difference, but c# or VB.NET knows it.

dg.t = new LuaTable();
dg.t.a = 2;
dg.t.b = 4;
dg.t.add = new Func<dynamic, int>(self => 
    return self.a + self.b;
((LuaTable)dg.t).DefineMethod("add2", (Delegate)dg.t.add);

Console.WriteLine(dg.dochunk("return t:add()", "test.lua")[0]);
Console.WriteLine(dg.dochunk("return t:add2()", "test.lua")[0]);

Declaring methods in Lua

  • add is a normal function, created from a delegate.
  • add1 is declared as a function.
  • add2 is a method, that is created from a lambda. Becareful a lambda definition doesn't know anything about the concept of methods, so you have to declare the self parameter.
  • add3 shows a method declaration.
LuaResult r = dg.dochunk("t = { a = 2, b = 4 };" +
  "t.add = function(self)" +
  "  return self.a + self.b;" +
  "end;" +
  "function t.add1(self)" +
  "  return self.a + self.b;" +
  "end;" +
  "t:add2 = function (self)" +
  "  return self.a + self.b;" +
  "end;" +
  "function t:add3()" +
  "  return self.a + self.b;" +
  "end;" +
  "return t:add(), t:add2(), t:add3(), t.add(t), t.add2(t), t.add3(t);", 


To create a class you have to write a function, that creates a new object. The function is by definition the class and the result of the function is the object.

dg.dochunk("function classA()" +
  "  local c = { sum = 0 };" +
  "  function c:add(a)" +
  "    self.sum = self.sum + a;" +
  "  end;" +
  "  return c;" +
  "end;", "classA.lua");

dynamic o = dg.classA()[0];

Serialize/Deserialize to a Lua Script Object Notation (Lson)

To create a string representation of a table use the ToLson function. To reparse the string use FromLson.

local str = table.ToLson{
	a = 42,

local t = table.FromLson(str);

The content of the variable str should be look like:

	a = 42,

If you do not want the indentation set the secound parameter to false,

local str = table.ToLson({
	a = 42,
}, false);

The result will be:


If you want to change the indentation set the thrid parameter to an pattern.

local str = table.ToLson({
	a = 42,
}, true, "  ");


  a = 42,

Types supported are the primitive type (e.g. int, long,string, bool, single, double, ...) and Guid, DateTime, char[].