They say you should learn a new programming language every year. Among other things, it gives you perspective: you learn new ways to solve new problems. Several years ago I learned PHP (or, I started learning PHP -- I learn new things about it every week), and a little later I learned Java. Last year I learned C, though I only used it briefly and still hate pointers.
Anyway, I figure this year I'll try to pick up the slack. I thought about learning Python or Ruby. Python's definitely attractive -- big support community, really nice syntax. But today I stumbled upon Groovy
. Groovy is sort of a Java/Python/Ruby hybrid. It runs on Java's JVM, but has a lot of constructs similar to Python. If you want to get a feel for it, check out the Quick Start Guide
I've just installed it, so no field reports just yet. To run it, you have to have a newer version of the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) installed, which tripped me up a bit. I don't yet know how to get it running in a web environment, but hopefully it won't be too difficult -- I want to see how it compares to PHP's supereasy handling of such.