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LDT/Developer Area/Lua API Model 2


Lua API Model

The idea is to define a model of the external API of a Lua file.
This model will then be the main input of:

  • documentation generator,
  • auto-completion engine,
  • type-checking.

The code relative to this model is based on lua and metalua, it is accessible here. This model is build from lua documentation language in code comments and later from lua code analysis. (see also : Lua Comment Model)


A Lua file declares some global variable and types. A file returns values (this is the values you get when you require this file)

.string shortdescription
.string description
.map(typename, typedef) types
.map(varname,item) globalvars
.list(returnvalues) returns


There are some primitive types like string, number, boolean, any, nil, table, function.
TypeDef allow users to define theirs own custom types.
There are 2 kinds of typedef.

typeDef = recordTypeDef | functionTypeDef

A recordTypeDef can be used to define a record (a tuple), a module or an object. (It may be a sub-type of table)

.string name
.string shortdescription
.string description
.map(fieldname,item) fields

A functionTypeDef allows to define a function. Most of the time, the type and the item holding it are merged. It may be useful to name the type of function (for iterator perhaps)

.string name
.string shortdescription
.string description
.list(parameter) params
.list(returnvalues) returns


.string name 
.typeref type
.string description
(.boolean optional)
(.boolean hidden)

Remarks: Hidden could be use when there is a parameter we don't want to expose in the API
Remarks: hidden and optional does not need to be in the 1st version.


.string name
.string shortdescription
.string description
.typeref type


It's a reference to a type. There are 3 kinds of reference.

typeref: externaltyperef | internaltyperef |primitivetyperef

.string modulename
.string typename

.string typename

.string typename

Return values

A return value has references to a type defined in the Lua file. A return value is a list of possible values to return.

e.g. if a function returns a number, or nil and err. your function will have 2 return values :

  • number a result
  • nil, err if an error occured
.list(typeref) types
.string description

Remarks: Perhaps we could have a defaultuse entry to define the return value the type checker should use. At the moment, the first entry in types list is used to type the return value.

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