Best of luck, Rob, in whatever endeavor you end up undertaking.
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Looks like it's a 32 bit app, not an x86_64 app. Not good if you're running a pure 64-bit environment.
Even Java took a long time to have decent IDE support. Most of these other languages are relatively new, and are still definitely in the "early adopter" phase of the usage curve. I do think Scala in particular has a good chance of adoption, as it's fairly easy to start working with it as if it were Java with type inferences and first-class functions. Also, the next release will have features that specifically make it easier for IDE integrations to be written.
I don't think there necessarily needs to be a big corporate backer- look at Ruby for example; it has a number of small corporate backers, and a wealth of open source developer support. Scala is beginning to get more high-profile usage, Twitter being the biggest name. It has a well written, well defined specification, and a pretty active community around it, with mailing lists, IRC channels, conferences, etc. Being a JVM language, I think it will be easier to sneak into the back door of a lot of corporate projects.
Agreed on F#; it does seem that it would flounder without significant support from MS, but I generally don't hear about companies using it as I live in a JVM world, and don't get much exposure to
All of these alternate languages can use the wealth of libraries available for Java, generally on all platforms on which the JVM runs. For example, I know of Scala apps that can run on Andriod, which is close enough to Sun's VM.
"some aftermarket 3rd party batteries do not meet the rigid safety standards Panasonic uses."
It would be interesting to see what standards they refer to. Is that a trade secret?