Christian Szegedy wrote:

> Pragmatic Programmers wrote, that every year a new language should be 
> learnt.
>
> For 2004, I would propose Scala (scala.epfl.ch).
>
> I think, it is especially interesting for Ruby programmers. Scala 
> seems to be a seamless integration of the best features of object 
> oriented and functional features. Its syntax resembles that of Ruby.
>
> It has full support for object-orientation and also supports closures 
> (see: code-blocks in Ruby), first class higher order functions and 
> meta-programming support.
>
> It has also some important distinguishing features:
> - Static typing with generic types and type inference
> - It compiles to Java bytecode and can seamlessly access existing
>   Java libraries. Therefore, it is platform independent. (compile once 
> - run anywhere.)
> - It features pattern matching like most functional languages, and 
> this also applies to XML documents.
>
> I have read about it today for the first time, but I would say, I was 
> never so impressed by a programming langugage since Ruby.
>
Sounds interesting. For people considering LotY I would like to propose 
Erlang (http://www.erlang.org/faq/t1.html). It's a concurrency-oriented 
(everything is a process) general-purpose programming language with 
dynamic/latent typing and  some niceties from functional languages 
(pattern matching, list comprehension etc).

Been used a lot to build real-time, fault-tolerant apps mostly in 
telecom business.

My 2 cents,

/Robert