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I've used 32-bit "luac" 5.1.4 for LR 3 - 6, first on Windows 7 than on OS X, without issue. I can't remember where I got it from.
b) Any switches/configurations I need for maximum compatibility between OSX and Win versions. Providing just one compiled file (for all) seems best to me, if possible.
No switches; a typical invocation looks like:
luac -o anyfilter.lrplugin/AnyFilter.lua AnyFilter.lua
c) Any ways to maximise compatibility with older LR versions. Obviously best to concentrate on current versions, but if it's fairly simple to include older versions then why not.
With respect to compiling, I don't know of any issues to worry about for LR 3 - 6.
From what I understand it's best to compile 32 bit LUA, as this will run on both 32 bit and 64 bit OS's
ALSO, It may just be a link, but I'm having trouble finding out where to add the plugin to the official Adobe site. Google seaches for things like "adobe lightroom plugin" don't seem to end up where I need to be. I'm sure there's a signup page, just I couldn't find it ... probably being dumb, wouldn't be the first time ...
The Creative Cloud add-ons site is here: https://creative.adobe.com/addons.(Marketers keep changing these names over the years: extensions, plug-ins, snap-ins, add-ons, whatever.)
However, since Adobe replaced their "classic" Exchange with the add-ons site, I don't know of anyone here who has successfully published a true LR plugin (as opposed to bundles of presets) and made it easy for users to download and install. You can find the experiences of others in threads in this forum. Nearly all of the widely used plugins I'm aware of avoid the add-ons site. But if you try it and it works, please post your experience and recipe here.
Thanks John, nice to hear from you - you've answered everything I asked, I marked as "correct answer"
As regards distribution, I'd noticed several sites selling LR plugins direct, so this may well be because of what you've indicated. So I'll look into what's involved. If I have any success with the Adobe add-ons site, then I'll be sure and pass on my experiences. However, quite possibly it's simpler/better/cheaper to follow the others and distribute direct.
For anyone reading this later on - From my travels I think it's lua.org that have the downloads for the compilers.
Forums I find a bit hit and miss, so I really appreciate you making this one a "hit" for me ...