The Spark Gap Podcast - Episode 11

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Show Synopsis

Karl and Corey interview James Snyder about the eLua project.

Our Guest Today - James Snyder from eLua

James Snyder is Board Member and Core Developer of the eLua project. He also works for Global Satelitte Engineering where they use eLua in commercial products.

What is eLua?

eLua is an embedded version of the Lua programming language. It is currently based of 5.1 Lua.

eLua uses the newlib Library.

Who started the eLua project?

Looks to me like Bogdan Marinescu deserves a mention here.

What platforms does eLua support?

A whole bunch actually. Soem are old like Luminary Micro. Some are really new like the STM32 Nucleo Board.

What is a Read-eval-print loop?

eLua uses uIP as its TCP/IP stack

eLua and mbed can play nice together

I was talking about mbed’s nice firmware uploader and debugger. It uses the CMSIS-DAP interface.

Mbed CMSIS-DAP interface is part of their Hardware Development Kit (HDK). It is not part of the MDK as I wrongly stated. Oh well.

I also mention the openOCD project and inexpensive Arm JTAG debuggers. Here is what I was talking about:

You could also buy a development board with eLua pre-installed.

eLua’s is distributed under the MIT license

Any other boards using different higher level languages?

James mentioned Sierra Wireless, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what they are using. Looks like some are using embedded linux.

BlueGiga uses a higher level language to abstract away the 8051 core used in their devices. And the complexity of bluetooth stacks.

Embedded Pyhton is another high-level embedded programming language

Electric Imp uses Squirrel - kinda like Lua

Main webpage of the Squirrel Programming language:

This is a great interview with the Electric Imp guys:

Good blog post discussing the difference between Lua and Squirrel:

Javascript seems to work well on a small number of platforms

One of these days I will say the name of the project/code/development board correctly. The project I was thinking of is called Espruino, not Espresso.

Another popular one is the Tessel.

What is in eLua’s future?

Lua is moving to version 5.3. Maybe one day eLua will follow suite.
Right now eLua is using a modified Lua 5.1 branch.
This has allowed eLua to concentrate on stability and bug fixes.

How to get involved with eLua?

Best way to get involved is the mailing list. You can find all the contacts here:

Feel free to contact them on Twitter too: