Alternatives to Lua as an Embedded Language

An Embedded language is a language that can be used in an application. It is a programming language that adds an ease of performing operations in a specific application.

There are many embedded languages that you can use, the most common ones are Lua, LISP, VBA etc.

When it comes to choosing the best embedded language, there are several factors that we need to consider. The most basic factor would be to know what are the basic drawbacks that one can have regarding the use case of the language.

While Lua does a pretty good job to check or satisfy most of the needs of a developer searching for the best embedded language, there are still some quirks that are present that might lead some people to not use the language at all.

Let’s discuss what these quirks are in Lua −

  • 1-based arrays
  • Lack of Unicode support
  • Inability to use nil as a table key
  • Unspecified behavior of the # operator
  • Extremely weak typing

Due to these quirks, some developers might opt for an alternative of Lua while developing their programs. Now let’s consider some other alternatives that one can use instead of using Lua.


One of the first names that comes to my mind is LISP; the language itself was designed for non-programmers and it reads like a pseudocode. It has clean and easy semantics which makes it easier to read and write and use also. It is also unexpectedly powerful and expressive too.


Another name that might come to one's mind is the programming language named Forth which does well as an embedded language, and is used mainly for resource constrained embedded systems.

We know that Lua does have some quirks but overall its quirks are very less in number as compared to the quirks that other programming languages have in respect to their features.