> Random thoughts related to this topic:

and some random responses.

> +1 for ForTran.  Learn to love it.

no.  I'll interface when necessary, but love it?  heh.  no.

> Don't start this project in ruby, because when your program takes 3
> months to run you'll just rewrite it in ForTran anyway...

Who is this "Tran" you speak of, and why do you write For them?  ;)

how many small scientific programs really grow up into projects?  What
I've noticed is that a lot of scientific programs actually skip a lot
of the test / usage cycle.  Using a simplier programming language
(interpreted) might help you a lot in the design and tweak stages.  To
pound cliches, "you spend less time creating scaffolding for the
language".

> Repeat after me: "I will not use Visual Basic.  I will NOT use Visual Basic."

Good man.  This I endorse.

> Java does not run only in a web browser, and its speed is certainly
> not related to running in a browser.  But it's not the right tool for
> this job either.

actually, that might not be true.  I saw some very smart people talk
about making Java useful for some big tasks.
  http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/Research/Projects/titanium/
  http://www.siam.org/meetings/pp04/yelick.htm

I just think ruby is far nicer, and more appropriate to the scale I'm
dealing with.

Cameron