Unless you have been living behind your monitor and keyboard only to look up to find the coffee mug you knocked over, you've most likely heard about all the attention dynamic languages, or dynlangs, have been getting these days. Dynamic Languages (or scripting languages) have been taking their spot in the limelight in recent years... I feel this is in large part due to the readily available video streaming sites showcasing the benefits of such languages/frameworks.
For those willing to step outside the compiler, large gains in productivity abound. And with so many dynamic language options being implemented on the JVM, JSR 223, and attention from large companies... dynlangs are quickly becoming viable options in companies and organizations that would never have considered using them in the past.
If you primarily work with a compiled language (Java maybe?) and don't want to miss the productivity boat, you may want to review the following list comprised of just a few languages/frameworks making waves (on and off the JVM) :
Object Oriented, interpreted, dynamically typed language. Created by Yukihiro “matz” Matsumoto, everything is an object and every class is "open" for change.
JVM implementation of the Ruby language... provides the ability to use the Ruby language and leverage the existing capabilities of the Java Virtual Machine (and all it's libraries.)
Dynamic OO language built for the JVM... "builds upon the strengths of Java but has additional power features inspired by languages like Python, Ruby and Smalltalk"
Dynamic OO language, embeddable, integration friendly, dynamically typed. Strong user base.
JVM implementation of the Python language... project has fallen behind the Python pace, but new life buds. As with most JVM dynlangs, Jython provides Java integration.
Type-safe, both object oriented and functional. Written for the JVM so the Java integration is there.
... and of course...
"PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML." Heavily pervasive, low barrier to entry, object oriented with PHP 5, large library code base.
(PHP can now run on the JVM too: Quercus)
Ruby on Rails
"It's an open-source web application framework that leverages the Groovy language and complements Java Web development." Inspired by the Ruby on Rails framework (at least at one time it was.)
"Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design." ORM, MVC we're seeing a pattern here...
"Based on the best practices of web development, thoroughly tried on several active websites, symfony aims to speed up the creation and maintenance of web applications, and to replace the repetitive coding tasks by power, control and pleasure." (PHP web framework)
Did I miss a dynlang/framework you enjoy working with? (most certainly...) Then drop me a line in the comments below and let me know what dynamic language or framework you use to get your job done!
One of the best implementations of a dynamic/scripting language IDE around (non-trivial task): NetBeans Ruby Support (thanks Tor)