Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2023


LuaRocks and the challenges of minimalism

We love minimalistic systems, because their concise models fit our brains, and give us a sense of understanding of the whole in a way that is nearly impossible in other environments built around huge frameworks and the like. Lua is a minimalistic language — the source distribution of the language is about 360 kbytes.

However, in any minimalistic system or language, that nice base system itself is just the tip of the iceberg. Minimalistic environments are meant to be extended. How to avoid complexity from creeping in?

This talk will discuss the trials and tribulations of building LuaRocks, the package manager for a minimalistic language, aiming to nurture an ecosystem for the language while trying to keep its design true to the language's principles. We'll discuss lessons learned in the past 15 years of LuaRocks, and finally ask ourselves a question: is there such a thing as minimalistic software maintenance? What would that look like?


Photo of Hisham Muhammad Hisham Muhammad