Ok, let me be totally clear. I loathe, and detest java, in all forms. I love Perl. The dynamic nature of scalars, the quick and easy lists and hashes, it's all just too good.. The bonus is "strict" and "fields" that give you that warm fuzzy compiler error, instead of having to hunt issues down with endless unit tests (and even then, you'll probably never find them all)...
But, Perl isn't C++, and well, coding in C++ is about as much fun as pouring gasoline in my eyes. I NEED a language that is faster than Perl, but isn't C or C++, and for the love of god don't tell me about some VM that has magical powers. (I have more to say about Allison's post here in a second).
Sooo, a guy in my office showed me a link to Vala. Wow...
Reference counted memory management..
Braces / semicolons based syntax (or python, if you prefer, use Genie)
Compiles down to a binary (no virtual machine)..
It's only pre-requisite is glib..
Wow wow wow.. So, I give up my untyped scalars, to get C level performance, no more ridiculous XS calls, and I get even tighter compile time safety?! Where do I sign up?