Chunks

Lua Manual Version: 5.1
Chunks

The unit of execution of Lua is called a chunk. A chunk is simply a sequence of statements, which are executed sequentially. Each statement can be optionally followed by a semicolon:

	chunk ::= {stat [`;´]}

There are no empty statements and thus ';;' is not legal.

Lua handles a chunk as the body of an anonymous function with a variable number of arguments (see Function Definitions). As such, chunks can define local variables, receive arguments, and return values.

A chunk can be stored in a file or in a string inside the host program. To execute a chunk, Lua first pre-compiles the chunk into instructions for a virtual machine, and then it executes the compiled code with an interpreter for the virtual machine.

Chunks can also be pre-compiled into binary form; see program luac for details. Programs in source and compiled forms are interchangeable; Lua automatically detects the file type and acts accordingly.

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