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LDT/User Area/Execution Environment file format


Execution Environment

An Execution Environment, which may also be referred to as EE, is file containing information about the environment on which a Lua application will be executed.

So, if you want to enable some IDE features (autocompletion, code documentation, ...) for a given execution environment (Lua 5.1, Corona, mihini, Gideros, ...) you can create your own custom EE, there are just few rules to match the type of the file and its inner structure.

You could share your execution environment here.

File format

An EE is simply a regular .zip file.

File structure

To be a valid EE, a ZIP file root must respect the following tree structure.

  • /
    • docs/
      • index.html
    • *.rockspec is a regular ZIP archive containing Lua API files (extension .luadoc) written with the right format.
You could generate these api files from your source code (lua and C) with LuaDocumentor command line tool.(perhaps one day LuaDocumentor will be able to generate the complete execution environment)
Note on globals: All the globals variable you will defined in global.lua will be considered as preloaded global variables, this means they will be always available in LDT autocompletion.

docs/ is a folder containing html documentation files. index.html is the file opened by LDT when user ask for EE documentation. (see LuaDocumentor)

*.rockspec enable to specify information about an EE, it is strongly inspired by the Rockspec format. So far, following fields have been added to match LDT needs:

  • api
  • documentation
  • flags

You may have noticed that api.file is set to '' and documentation.dir to 'docs'. Do not change those values in the *.rockspec you write, it will have no effect.
As I am writing, all parameters are hard coded, except:

  • package
  • version

It is temporary, we will soon handle all *.rockspec settings. This why you must write valid *.rockspec to be compliant with up coming versions of LDT.

Since 1.1:

  • templates/ (optional)
    • default/

If a Lua Project is created using an Execution Environment with the Create a default template ready to run option checked, it will be filled with files and folders under templates/default/. In the future, it will be possible to select different templates defined in the templates/ folder. For now, only the default/ sub folder is supported. By default, the buildpath of your project will only contain the folder src, but it can be customized in the manifest.

Since 1.3:

  • grammar/ (optional)

The grammar of lua on which the execution environment is built. This information is used by LDT to select the right grammar automatically at project creation.

A sample of EE manifest

package = "lua"
version = "5.1"
grammar = "lua-5.1"
flags = { ee = true }
description = {
  summary = "Lua 5.1 Execution Environment",
  detailed = [[ Lua 5.1 Execution Environment Support]],
  licence = "MIT",
  homepage= ""
api = {
  file = ""
documentation = {
templates = {
  default = {
    buildpath = {"mysrc","mysecondsrc"},
    openfile = "mysrc/myfile.lua"

Note on templates: The templates node is optional. If not set, a default one will be used with a src folder in source path and a default main.lua file.
The buildpath node is a list of folder project relative paths to be included in the buildpath of the created project. To add the whole project in the buildpath add / in the buildpath list. An error will be throw if the buildpath list contains a subfolder path to a previous path in the list (e.g. you can't have a list like that: {"src/", "src/myfolder"}).
The openfile node is a project relative path to the file to open when the project creation is finish ( by default src/main.lua).

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