The Art of Commenting in Lua: Understanding the -- Symbol

Communication is key when it comes to writing code. As a programmer, you’re not just communicating with a machine — you’re communicating with your future self and other developers who might work on your code. That’s where comments come into play. Today, we will answer a specific question about comments in Lua: What does -- signify? 📖

The Significance of --

In the world of Lua programming, you’ll often encounter the -- symbol. But what does it represent? Let’s investigate the options:

  • a. Increment by one: In some programming languages, ++ is used to increment a variable by one. However, Lua does not have this operator, and -- does not signify incrementation.
  • c. Decrement by one: Similarly, in some languages, -- is used to decrement a variable by one. But again, this is not the case in Lua.
  • d. None of the above: Is -- a mystery operator in Lua? Not quite!

That leaves us with:

  • b. A comment: That’s right! In Lua, -- is used to signify a comment.

Commenting in Lua: A Guided Tour 🚌

In Lua, any line of code that follows the -- symbol is considered a comment. This means the Lua interpreter will ignore this line when executing the script. Commenting is a powerful tool for developers to leave notes to themselves and others about what their code is supposed to do.

Here’s an example of how -- is used to create comments in Lua:

— This is a single line comment in Lua

print(“Hello, World!”) — This will print “Hello, World!” to the console


In this example, the print("Hello, World!") line is executed, but the lines (or parts of lines) that start with -- are ignored by the Lua interpreter.

But what if you want to write a comment that spans multiple lines? Lua has got you covered. You can create a multi-line comment by wrapping your comment text between --[[ and ]]. Here’s how:

This is a multi-line comment in Lua.
You can write as many lines as you want here.
print(“Hello, World!”) — This will still print “Hello, World!” to the console

In this example, all the lines between --[[ and ]] are considered a comment and are ignored by the Lua interpreter.

Comments are an essential part of programming in any language. They help make your code more understandable, not only for others but also for yourself when you come back to your code after a while. So the next time you see -- in Lua, remember, it’s more than just a pair of hyphens — it’s a powerful tool for communication in code! 🚀