TI-Nspire™ Technology

Script Editor and Lua Scripting

TI is pleased to offer Lua scripting as part of TI-Nspire technology – and excited to introduce the Script Editor, now built into TI-Nspire computer software version 3.2 and handheld operating system (OS) 3.2. Download the Lua Scripting API Reference Guide. 

The Script Editor builds on TI-Nspire scripting features by allowing content authors – educators, students, programmers, publishers and TI's alliance partners – to create, edit and debug Lua scripts within TI-Nspire software.

The addition of scripting to the TI-Nspire platform provides an integrated programming environment for creating rich content with simulations using TI-Nspire or PublishView™ documents to support math and science teaching and learning.

What the Script Editor can do
With the addition of the Script Editor, TI-Nspire technology now provides dedicated programming tools for creating functions and algorithms.

Lua scripts enable programmers to create environments that can use images and graphics in a flexible way.

These capabilities help users write and share programs that extend the built-in functionality of TI-Nspire technology for math and science.

For educators and students
The Script Editor empowers teachers and students with an interest in developing simulations and interactive documents or exploring the capabilities of the platform beyond the limitations of the native tools provided for math and science education applications.

For programmers and the programming community
The wider programming community gains a potential programming and gaming platform that can well suit their needs. We look forward to seeing programmers band together through existing online communities to share their work and learn from one another.

For publishers and TI alliance partners
Lua is ideal for publishers and TI alliance partners around the world for whom content development is important.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What programming capabilities are available with TI-Nspire technology?
A. The TI-Nspire platform includes TI-BASIC user programming for creating functions and algorithms. Users can write and share functions that augment the built-in functionality of the product. This capability supports programming of algorithms in high school math and science curricula. With TI-Nspire version 3.2, we added the Script Editor, so that authors and programmers have a new way to create dynamic environments in addition to the existing applications.

Q. What is Lua?
A. Lua is a mature, popular and flexible scripting language that works well with the TI-Nspire handheld and computer software. To learn more about it, visit http://www.lua.org/about.html.

Q. Why did TI select Lua?
A. We selected Lua because it is a well-established language. It has been around since 1995, has mainstream acceptance and has been used in other applications. For example, it has been adopted by the gaming community in products such as World of Warcraft®. Other benefits from selecting Lua:
  • It is similar enough to TI-BASIC for programmers who are ready to step up to the next level of development
  • Its versatile data types are highly compatible with existing TI-Nspire data types such as lists.
  • Lua's small memory footprint makes it practical to run on TI-Nspire handhelds.
  • It is portable across all TI-Nspire platforms, and Lua programs can access native TI-Nspire functionality.
Q. Where can I find an example of a program created using Lua?
A. The periodic table file is part of the Periodicity of Properties Exploration activity that is featured online on the Science Nspired resource center for educators. The TI-Nspire (.tns) document is linked there for download.

Q. How does the new Lua programming compare to the TI-BASIC already available on the TI-Nspire platform?
A. What programmers can do with Lua scripting is similar to what they can do with TI-83/TI-84 programming. Lua scripting extends the programming capability to simulations, visualizations and science applications.

Q. When will a SDK (Software Development Kit) / Authoring Kit be available for Lua?
A. TI expects to have a kit available later in 2012. If you are interested in providing input for this kit, please contact TI-CARES Customer Support. In the meantime, Lua should be easy to learn for programmers who already know BASIC or other such programming languages.
Getting started with Lua scripting for TI-Nspire technology
Try a series of tutorials that will take you from getting started to creating TI-Nspire documents with the Script Editor. Learn more

View a sampler of Lua documents that include a Hot Molecules document, a Mandelbrot set document and a Multiplying Fractions document. Learn more

We greatly value your feedback. TI is open to broader applications of TI-Nspire technology and flexible in providing tools for enhancing and extending the user experience. We encourage feedback for ways to improve our offerings. Contact TI

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