Lua Programming/Glossary
This is a glossary that contains terms related to programming in the context of Lua. Its use is recommended to find the meaning of words that are not understood.
 abstract class
 An abstract class is a class of which instances cannot be created directly. Abstract classes are abstract types.
 abstract data type
 An abstract data type is a model to represent a class of data structures that have similar behavior. Abstract data types are defined by the operations that can be performed on them and by mathematical constraints of these operations rather than by the implementation and the way the data is stored in the memory of the computer.
 abstract type
 An abstract type is a type of data of which instances cannot be created directly.
 actual parameter
 See argument.
 additive inverse
 The additive inverse of a number is the number that, when added to that number, yields zero. For example, the additive inverse of 42 is 42.
 arithmetic negation
 Arithmetic negation is the operation that produces the additive inverse of a number.
 arithmetic operation
 An arithmetic operation is an operation whose operands are numbers.
 arity
 The arity of an operation or of a function is the number of operands or arguments the operation or function accepts.
 argument
 An argument is a value passed to a function.
 array
 An array is a data structure consisting of a collection of values, each identified by at least one array index or key.
 associative array
 An associative array is an abstract data type composed of a collection of pairs of keys and values, such that each possible key appears at most once in the collection.
 augmented assignment
 Augmented assignment is a type of assignment that gives a variable a value that is relative to its prior value.
 binary operation
 A binary operation is an operation of which the arity is two.
 boolean
 See logical data.
 boolean negation
 See logical negation.
 chained assignment
 Chained assignment is a type of assignment that gives a single value to many variables. Example:
a = b = c = d = 0
.  chunk
 A chunk is a sequence of statements.
 compound assignment
 See augmented assignment.
 concatenation
 String concatenation is the operation of joining two strings of characters. For example, the concatenation of "snow" and "ball" is "snowball".
 concrete class
 A concrete class is a class of which instances can be created directly. Concrete classes are concrete types.
 concrete type
 A concrete type is a type of which instances can be created directly.
 condition
 A condition is a predicate that is used in a conditional statement or as an operand to the conditional operator. Conditions, in Lua, are considered as true when their expression evaluates to a value other than
nil
orfalse
, and are considered as false otherwise.  conditional operator
 A conditional operator is an operator that returns a value if a condition is true and another if it isn't.
 conditional statement
 A conditional statement is a statement that executes a piece of code if a condition is true.
 data structure
 A data structure is a particular way of storing and organizing data in the memory of a computer. It is the implementation of an abstract data type.
 data type
 A data type is a model for representing the storage of data in the memory of a computer.
 dictionary
 See associative array.
 exclusive disjunction

The exclusive disjunction operation is a binary operation that produces the value
true
when one of its operands is true but the other is not. The exclusive disjunction of a and b is expressed mathematically as . There is no operator corresponding to exclusive disjunction in Lua, but can be represented as(a or b) and not (a and b)
.  formal parameter
 See parameter.
 function
 A function is a sequence of statements (instructions) that perform a specific task. Functions can be used in a program wherever that particular task needs to be performed. Functions are usually defined in the program that will use them, but are sometimes defined in libraries that can be used by other programs.
 hash map
 See hash table.
 hash table
 A hash table is an implementation as a data structure of the associative array. A hash table uses a hash function to compute an index into an array of buckets or slots, from which the value corresponding to the index can be found.
 inline if
 See conditional operator.
 integer
 An integer is a number that can be written without a fractional or decimal component. Integers are implemented in Lua in the same way as other numbers.
 length operation
 The length operation is the operation that produces the number of values in an array.
 literal
 A literal is a notation for representing a fixed value in source code. All values can be represented as literals in Lua except threads and userdata.
 logical complement
 The logical complement of a boolean value is the boolean value that is not that value. This means the logical complement of
true
isfalse
and vice versa.  logical conjunction

The logical conjunction operation is a binary operation that produces the value
true
when both of its operands are true andfalse
in all other cases. It is implemented as theand
operator in Lua and it returns its first operand if it isfalse
ornil
and the second operand otherwise. The logical conjunction of a and b is expressed mathematically as .  logical data
 The logical data type, which is generally called the boolean type, is the type of the values
false
andtrue
.  logical disjunction

The logical disjunction operation is a binary operation that produces the value
false
when both of its operands are false andtrue
in all other cases. It is implemented as theor
operator in Lua and it returns the first operand if it is neitherfalse
nornil
and the second otherwise. The logical disjunction of a and b is expressed mathematically as .  logical negation
 Logical negation, implemented in Lua by the
not
operator, is the operation that produces the logical complement of a boolean value.  map
 See associative array.
 method
 A method is a function that is a member of an object and generally operates on that object.
 modulo
 See modulo operation.
 modulo operation
 The modulo operation, implemented in Lua by the
%
operator, is the operation that produces the remainder of the division of a number by another.  modulus
 See modulo operation.
 multiple assignment
 See parallel assignment.
 nil
 The type nil is the type of the value
nil
, whose main property is to be different from any other value; it usually represents the absence of a useful value.  not operator
 See logical negation.
 number
 The number type represents real (doubleprecision floatingpoint) numbers. It is possible to build Lua interpreters that use other internal representations for numbers, such as singleprecision float or long integers.
 operator
 An operator is a token that generates a value from one or many operands.
 parallel assignment
 Parallel assignment is a type of assignment that simultaneously assigns values to different variables.
 parameter
 A parameter is a variable in a function definition to which the argument that corresponds to it in a call to that function is assigned.
 predicate
 A predicate is an expression that evaluates to a piece of logical data.
 procedure
 See function.
 relational operator
 A relational operator is an operator that is used to compare values.
 routine
 See function.
 sign change
 See arithmetic negation.
 simultaneous assignment
 See parallel assignment.
 string
 The type string represents arrays of characters. Lua is 8bit clean: strings can contain any 8bit character, including embedded zeros.
 string literal
 A string literal is the representation of a string value within the source code of a computer program. With respect to syntax, a string literal is an expression that evaluates to a string.
 subprogram
 See function.
 subroutine
 See function.
 symbol
 See token.
 symbol table
 A symbol table is an implementation as a data structure of the associative array. They are commonly implemented as hash tables.
 token
 A token is an atomic piece of data, such as a word in a human language or such as a keyword in a programming language, for which a meaning may be inferred during parsing.
 variable
 A variable is a label associated to a location in the memory. The data in that location can be changed and the variable will point to the new data.
 variadic function
 A variadic function is a function of indefinite arity.