by hengestone

hengestone /lua-languages

Languages that compile to Lua

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Languages that compile to Lua

Lua is famously and deceptively simple and enables many different programming paradigms. Like Javascript, it's possible to make it shine by adding more specialized syntax. I started this list to document the languages I found looking for an ML/F# like language.

Pull requests welcome!

Compile to bytecode

An intriguing new avenue of development started by Rochus Keller for an Oberon to LuaJIT bytecode compiler provides an elegant way of leveraging the ecosystem: - Oberon compiler - A Lua to LuaJIT bytecode compiler/toolkit to enable different language frontends and different compilation backends. - LuaJIT tools, a Qt5 GUI parser, browser, assembler and test VM for LuaJIT 2.0 bytecode

VM forks

  • ljs JS-like syntax with modified VMs for PUC Lua, LuaJIT and RaptorJIT

Tier 1

For lack of a better designator, these projects are well known, or compiles existing languages - Moonscript, indentation based syntax, based on coffeescript - Haxe, strongly typed OO language transpiler with multiple backends - C# transpiler - Transpiler for Venus, a Go-like language, - translates Go into Lua. It targets LuaJIT for 64-bit integer support.

Typed Lua

  • Pallene, friendly fork of Titan
  • Titan
    • Tua
    • Teal

Binary compiled Lua-like

  • and Ravi
  • Terra
  • Nelua, Natively Extensible Lua

Strongly typed

  • Oberon
    • Slightly Rusty with classes and traits


  • Javascript transpiler
  • Javascript transpiler
  • Javascript inspired syntax




  • An ML-like functional programming language that transpiles to lua
  • Hypatia, an ML-like language that transpiles to Lua
  • Haskell-like language that compiles to Lua, Javascript, Emacs lisp and Ruby
  • Basic ML language
  • ML-like language with an experimental Lua back-end


There are so many Lisp variants, the deserve their own category. - Urn, Lisp dialect, extensive libraries - Lisp compiler and library - l2l (lisp) superset of Lua - Hua, Lisp dialect - Lisp implemented in Moonscript - - Scheme - Scheme

### C -

### Python - -




  • Brat, using MoonJIT
  • Shine, using TvmJit
  • Vortex
  • Yu


  • Forth to Lua transpiler

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