GopherLua: VM and compiler for Lua in Go
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README.rst

GopherLua: VM and compiler for Lua in Go.

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/yuin/gopher-lua

GopherLua is a Lua5.1 VM and compiler written in Go. GopherLua has a same goal with Lua: Be a scripting language with extensible semantics . It provides Go APIs that allow you to easily embed a scripting language to your Go host programs.

Design principle

  • Be a scripting language with extensible semantics.
  • User-friendly Go API
    • The stack based API like the one used in the original Lua implementation will cause a performance improvements in GopherLua (It will reduce memory allocations and concrete type <-> interface conversions). GopherLua API is not the stack based API. GopherLua give preference to the user-friendliness over the performance.

How about performance?

GopherLua is not fast but not too slow, I think.

GopherLua has almost equivalent ( or little bit better ) performance as Python3 on micro benchmarks.

There are some benchmarks on the wiki page .

Installation

go get github.com/yuin/gopher-lua

GopherLua supports >= Go1.9.

Usage

GopherLua APIs perform in much the same way as Lua, but the stack is used only for passing arguments and receiving returned values.

GopherLua supports channel operations. See "Goroutines" section.

Import a package.

import (
    "github.com/yuin/gopher-lua"
)

Run scripts in the VM.

L := lua.NewState()
defer L.Close()
if err := L.DoString(`print("hello")`); err != nil {
    panic(err)
}
L := lua.NewState()
defer L.Close()
if err := L.DoFile("hello.lua"); err != nil {
    panic(err)
}

Refer to Lua Reference Manual and Go doc for further information.

Note that elements that are not commented in Go doc equivalent to Lua Reference Manual , except GopherLua uses objects instead of Lua stack indices.

Data model

All data in a GopherLua program is an LValue . LValue is an interface type that has following methods.

  • String() string
  • Type() LValueType

Objects implement an LValue interface are

Type name Go type Type() value Constants
LNilType (constants) LTNil LNil
LBool (constants) LTBool LTrue, LFalse
LNumber float64 LTNumber -
LString string LTString -
LFunction struct pointer LTFunction -
LUserData struct pointer LTUserData -
LState struct pointer LTThread -
LTable struct pointer LTTable -
LChannel chan LValue LTChannel -

You can test an object type in Go way(type assertion) or using a Type() value.

lv := L.Get(-1) // get the value at the top of the stack
if str, ok := lv.(lua.LString); ok {
    // lv is LString
    fmt.Println(string(str))
}
if lv.Type() != lua.LTString {
    panic("string required.")
}
lv := L.Get(-1) // get the value at the top of the stack
if tbl, ok := lv.(*lua.LTable); ok {
    // lv is LTable
    fmt.Println(L.ObjLen(tbl))
}

Note that LBool , LNumber , LString is not a pointer.

To test LNilType and LBool, You must use pre-defined constants.

lv := L.Get(-1) // get the value at the top of the stack

if lv == lua.LTrue { // correct
}

if bl, ok := lv.(lua.LBool); ok && bool(bl) { // wrong
}

In Lua, both nil and false make a condition false. LVIsFalse and LVAsBool implement this specification.

lv := L.Get(-1) // get the value at the top of the stack
if lua.LVIsFalse(lv) { // lv is nil or false
}

if lua.LVAsBool(lv) { // lv is neither nil nor false
}

Objects that based on go structs(LFunction. LUserData, LTable) have some public methods and fields. You can use these methods and fields for performance and debugging, but there are some limitations.

  • Metatable does not work.
  • No error handlings.

Callstack & Registry size

Size of the callstack & registry is fixed for mainly performance. You can change the default size of the callstack & registry.

lua.RegistrySize = 1024 * 20
lua.CallStackSize = 1024
L := lua.NewState()
defer L.Close()

You can also create an LState object that has the callstack & registry size specified by Options .

L := lua.NewState(lua.Options{
    CallStackSize: 120,
    RegistrySize:  120*20,
})

An LState object that has been created by *LState#NewThread() inherits the callstack & registry size from the parent LState object.

Miscellaneous lua.NewState options

  • Options.SkipOpenLibs bool(default false)
    • By default, GopherLua opens all built-in libraries when new LState is created.
    • You can skip this behaviour by setting this to true .
    • Using the various OpenXXX(L *LState) int functions you can open only those libraries that you require, for an example see below.
  • Options.IncludeGoStackTrace bool(default false)
    • By default, GopherLua does not show Go stack traces when panics occur.
    • You can get Go stack traces by setting this to true .

API

Refer to Lua Reference Manual and Go doc(LState methods) for further information.

Calling Go from Lua

func Double(L *lua.LState) int {
    lv := L.ToInt(1)             /* get argument */
    L.Push(lua.LNumber(lv * 2)) /* push result */
    return 1                     /* number of results */
}

func main() {
    L := lua.NewState()
    defer L.Close()
    L.SetGlobal("double", L.NewFunction(Double)) /* Original lua_setglobal uses stack... */
}
print(double(20)) -- > "40"

Any function registered with GopherLua is a lua.LGFunction, defined in value.go

type LGFunction func(*LState) int

Working with coroutines.

co, _ := L.NewThread() /* create a new thread */
fn := L.GetGlobal("coro").(*lua.LFunction) /* get function from lua */
for {
    st, err, values := L.Resume(co, fn)
    if st == lua.ResumeError {
        fmt.Println("yield break(error)")
        fmt.Println(err.Error())
        break
    }

    for i, lv := range values {
        fmt.Printf("%v : %v\n", i, lv)
    }

    if st == lua.ResumeOK {
        fmt.Println("yield break(ok)")
        break
    }
}

Opening a subset of builtin modules

The following demonstrates how to open a subset of the built-in modules in Lua, say for example to avoid enabling modules with access to local files or system calls.

main.go

func main() {
    L := lua.NewState(lua.Options{SkipOpenLibs: true})
    defer L.Close()
    for _, pair := range []struct {
        n string
        f lua.LGFunction
    }{
        {lua.LoadLibName, lua.OpenPackage}, // Must be first
        {lua.BaseLibName, lua.OpenBase},
        {lua.TabLibName, lua.OpenTable},
    } {
        if err := L.CallByParam(lua.P{
            Fn:      L.NewFunction(pair.f),
            NRet:    0,
            Protect: true,
        }, lua.LString(pair.n)); err != nil {
            panic(err)
        }
    }
    if err := L.DoFile("main.lua"); err != nil {
        panic(err)
    }
}

Creating a module by Go

mymodule.go

package mymodule

import (
    "github.com/yuin/gopher-lua"
)

func Loader(L *lua.LState) int {
    // register functions to the table
    mod := L.SetFuncs(L.NewTable(), exports)
    // register other stuff
    L.SetField(mod, "name", lua.LString("value"))

    // returns the module
    L.Push(mod)
    return 1
}

var exports = map[string]lua.LGFunction{
    "myfunc": myfunc,
}

func myfunc(L *lua.LState) int {
    return 0
}

mymain.go

package main

import (
    "./mymodule"
    "github.com/yuin/gopher-lua"
)

func main() {
    L := lua.NewState()
    defer L.Close()
    L.PreloadModule("mymodule", mymodule.Loader)
    if err := L.DoFile("main.lua"); err != nil {
        panic(err)
    }
}

main.lua

local m = require("mymodule")
m.myfunc()
print(m.name)

Calling Lua from Go

L := lua.NewState()
defer L.Close()
if err := L.DoFile("double.lua"); err != nil {
    panic(err)
}
if err := L.CallByParam(lua.P{
    Fn: L.GetGlobal("double"),
    NRet: 1,
    Protect: true,
    }, lua.LNumber(10)); err != nil {
    panic(err)
}
ret := L.Get(-1) // returned value
L.Pop(1)  // remove received value

If Protect is false, GopherLua will panic instead of returning an error value.

User-Defined types

You can extend GopherLua with new types written in Go. LUserData is provided for this purpose.

type Person struct {
    Name string
}

const luaPersonTypeName = "person"

// Registers my person type to given L.
func registerPersonType(L *lua.LState) {
    mt := L.NewTypeMetatable(luaPersonTypeName)
    L.SetGlobal("person", mt)
    // static attributes
    L.SetField(mt, "new", L.NewFunction(newPerson))
    // methods
    L.SetField(mt, "__index", L.SetFuncs(L.NewTable(), personMethods))
}

// Constructor
func newPerson(L *lua.LState) int {
    person := &Person{L.CheckString(1)}
    ud := L.NewUserData()
    ud.Value = person
    L.SetMetatable(ud, L.GetTypeMetatable(luaPersonTypeName))
    L.Push(ud)
    return 1
}

// Checks whether the first lua argument is a *LUserData with *Person and returns this *Person.
func checkPerson(L *lua.LState) *Person {
    ud := L.CheckUserData(1)
    if v, ok := ud.Value.(*Person); ok {
        return v
    }
    L.ArgError(1, "person expected")
    return nil
}

var personMethods = map[string]lua.LGFunction{
    "name": personGetSetName,
}

// Getter and setter for the Person#Name
func personGetSetName(L *lua.LState) int {
    p := checkPerson(L)
    if L.GetTop() == 2 {
        p.Name = L.CheckString(2)
        return 0
    }
    L.Push(lua.LString(p.Name))
    return 1
}

func main() {
    L := lua.NewState()
    defer L.Close()
    registerPersonType(L)
    if err := L.DoString(`
        p = person.new("Steeve")
        print(p:name()) -- "Steeve"
        p:name("Alice")
        print(p:name()) -- "Alice"
    `); err != nil {
        panic(err)
    }
}

Terminating a running LState

GopherLua supports the Go Concurrency Patterns: Context .

L := lua.NewState()
defer L.Close()
ctx, cancel := context.WithTimeout(context.Background(), 1*time.Second)
defer cancel()
// set the context to our LState
L.SetContext(ctx)
err := L.DoString(`
  local clock = os.clock
  function sleep(n)  -- seconds
    local t0 = clock()
    while clock() - t0 <= n do end
  end
  sleep(3)
`)
// err.Error() contains "context deadline exceeded"

With coroutines

L := lua.NewState()
defer L.Close()
ctx, cancel := context.WithCancel(context.Background())
L.SetContext(ctx)
defer cancel()
L.DoString(`
    function coro()
          local i = 0
          while true do
            coroutine.yield(i)
                i = i+1
          end
          return i
    end
`)
co, cocancel := L.NewThread()
defer cocancel()
fn := L.GetGlobal("coro").(*LFunction)

_, err, values := L.Resume(co, fn) // err is nil

cancel() // cancel the parent context

_, err, values = L.Resume(co, fn) // err is NOT nil : child context was canceled

Note that using a context causes performance degradation.

time ./glua-with-context.exe fib.lua
9227465
0.01s user 0.11s system 1% cpu 7.505 total

time ./glua-without-context.exe fib.lua
9227465
0.01s user 0.01s system 0% cpu 5.306 total

Sharing Lua byte code between LStates

Calling DoFile will load a Lua script, compile it to byte code and run the byte code in a LState.

If you have multiple LStates which are all required to run the same script, you can share the byte code between them, which will save on memory. Sharing byte code is safe as it is read only and cannot be altered by lua scripts.

// CompileLua reads the passed lua file from disk and compiles it.
func CompileLua(filePath string) (*lua.FunctionProto, error) {
    file, err := os.Open(filePath)
    defer file.Close()
    if err != nil {
        return nil, err
    }
    reader := bufio.NewReader(file)
    chunk, err := parse.Parse(reader, filePath)
    if err != nil {
        return nil, err
    }
    proto, err := lua.Compile(chunk, filePath)
    if err != nil {
        return nil, err
    }
    return proto, nil
}

// DoCompiledFile takes a FunctionProto, as returned by CompileLua, and runs it in the LState. It is equivalent
// to calling DoFile on the LState with the original source file.
func DoCompiledFile(L *lua.LState, proto *lua.FunctionProto) error {
    lfunc := L.NewFunctionFromProto(proto)
    L.Push(lfunc)
    return L.PCall(0, lua.MultRet, nil)
}

// Example shows how to share the compiled byte code from a lua script between multiple VMs.
func Example() {
    codeToShare := CompileLua("mylua.lua")
    a := lua.NewState()
    b := lua.NewState()
    c := lua.NewState()
    DoCompiledFile(a, codeToShare)
    DoCompiledFile(b, codeToShare)
    DoCompiledFile(c, codeToShare)
}

Goroutines

The LState is not goroutine-safe. It is recommended to use one LState per goroutine and communicate between goroutines by using channels.

Channels are represented by channel objects in GopherLua. And a channel table provides functions for performing channel operations.

Some objects can not be sent over channels due to having non-goroutine-safe objects inside itself.

  • a thread(state)
  • a function
  • an userdata
  • a table with a metatable

You must not send these objects from Go APIs to channels.

func receiver(ch, quit chan lua.LValue) {
    L := lua.NewState()
    defer L.Close()
    L.SetGlobal("ch", lua.LChannel(ch))
    L.SetGlobal("quit", lua.LChannel(quit))
    if err := L.DoString(`
    local exit = false
    while not exit do
      channel.select(
        {"|<-", ch, function(ok, v)
          if not ok then
            print("channel closed")
            exit = true
          else
            print("received:", v)
          end
        end},
        {"|<-", quit, function(ok, v)
            print("quit")
            exit = true
        end}
      )
    end
  `); err != nil {
        panic(err)
    }
}

func sender(ch, quit chan lua.LValue) {
    L := lua.NewState()
    defer L.Close()
    L.SetGlobal("ch", lua.LChannel(ch))
    L.SetGlobal("quit", lua.LChannel(quit))
    if err := L.DoString(`
    ch:send("1")
    ch:send("2")
  `); err != nil {
        panic(err)
    }
    ch <- lua.LString("3")
    quit <- lua.LTrue
}

func main() {
    ch := make(chan lua.LValue)
    quit := make(chan lua.LValue)
    go receiver(ch, quit)
    go sender(ch, quit)
    time.Sleep(3 * time.Second)
}
Go API

ToChannel, CheckChannel, OptChannel are available.

Refer to Go doc(LState methods) for further information.

Lua API
  • channel.make([buf:int]) -> ch:channel
    • Create new channel that has a buffer size of buf. By default, buf is 0.
  • channel.select(case:table [, case:table, case:table ...]) -> {index:int, recv:any, ok}
    • Same as the select statement in Go. It returns the index of the chosen case and, if that case was a receive operation, the value received and a boolean indicating whether the channel has been closed.
    • case is a table that outlined below.
      • receiving: {"|<-", ch:channel [, handler:func(ok, data:any)]}
      • sending: {"<-|", ch:channel, data:any [, handler:func(data:any)]}
      • default: {"default" [, handler:func()]}

channel.select examples:

local idx, recv, ok = channel.select(
  {"|<-", ch1},
  {"|<-", ch2}
)
if not ok then
    print("closed")
elseif idx == 1 then -- received from ch1
    print(recv)
elseif idx == 2 then -- received from ch2
    print(recv)
end
channel.select(
  {"|<-", ch1, function(ok, data)
    print(ok, data)
  end},
  {"<-|", ch2, "value", function(data)
    print(data)
  end},
  {"default", function()
    print("default action")
  end}
)
  • channel:send(data:any)
    • Send data over the channel.
  • channel:receive() -> ok:bool, data:any
    • Receive some data over the channel.
  • channel:close()
    • Close the channel.
The LState pool pattern

To create per-thread LState instances, You can use the sync.Pool like mechanism.

type lStatePool struct {
    m     sync.Mutex
    saved []*lua.LState
}

func (pl *lStatePool) Get() *lua.LState {
    pl.m.Lock()
    defer pl.m.Unlock()
    n := len(pl.saved)
    if n == 0 {
        return pl.New()
    }
    x := pl.saved[n-1]
    pl.saved = pl.saved[0 : n-1]
    return x
}

func (pl *lStatePool) New() *lua.LState {
    L := lua.NewState()
    // setting the L up here.
    // load scripts, set global variables, share channels, etc...
    return L
}

func (pl *lStatePool) Put(L *lua.LState) {
    pl.m.Lock()
    defer pl.m.Unlock()
    pl.saved = append(pl.saved, L)
}

func (pl *lStatePool) Shutdown() {
    for _, L := range pl.saved {
        L.Close()
    }
}

// Global LState pool
var luaPool = &lStatePool{
    saved: make([]*lua.LState, 0, 4),
}

Now, you can get per-thread LState objects from the luaPool .

func MyWorker() {
   L := luaPool.Get()
   defer luaPool.Put(L)
   /* your code here */
}

func main() {
    defer luaPool.Shutdown()
    go MyWorker()
    go MyWorker()
    /* etc... */
}

Differences between Lua and GopherLua

Goroutines

  • GopherLua supports channel operations.
    • GopherLua has a type named channel.
    • The channel table provides functions for performing channel operations.

Unsupported functions

  • string.dump
  • os.setlocale
  • lua_Debug.namewhat
  • package.loadlib
  • debug hooks

Miscellaneous notes

  • collectgarbage does not take any arguments and runs the garbage collector for the entire Go program.
  • file:setvbuf does not support a line buffering.
  • Daylight saving time is not supported.
  • GopherLua has a function to set an environment variable : os.setenv(name, value)

Standalone interpreter

Lua has an interpreter called lua . GopherLua has an interpreter called glua .

go get github.com/yuin/gopher-lua/cmd/glua

glua has same options as lua .

How to Contribute

See Guidlines for contributors .

Libraries for GopherLua

  • gopher-luar : Simplifies data passing to and from gopher-lua
  • gluamapper : Mapping a Lua table to a Go struct
  • gluare : Regular expressions for gopher-lua
  • gluahttp : HTTP request module for gopher-lua
  • gopher-json : A simple JSON encoder/decoder for gopher-lua
  • gluayaml : Yaml parser for gopher-lua
  • glua-lfs : Partially implements the luafilesystem module for gopher-lua
  • gluaurl : A url parser/builder module for gopher-lua
  • gluahttpscrape : A simple HTML scraper module for gopher-lua
  • gluaxmlpath : An xmlpath module for gopher-lua
  • gluasocket : A LuaSocket library for the GopherLua VM
  • gluabit32 : A native Go implementation of bit32 for the GopherLua VM.
  • gmoonscript : Moonscript Compiler for the Gopher Lua VM
  • loguago : Zerolog wrapper for Gopher-Lua
  • gluacrypto : A native Go implementation of crypto library for the GopherLua VM.
  • gluasql : A native Go implementation of SQL client for the GopherLua VM.
  • purr : A http mock testing tool.
  • vadv/gopher-lua-libs : Some usefull libraries for GopherLua VM.

Donation

BTC: 1NEDSyUmo4SMTDP83JJQSWi1MvQUGGNMZB

License

MIT

Author

Yusuke Inuzuka