Re: languages aren't an end in themselves
> People will write Python software if
> they have a need for it and if Python
> seems to be the right tool for it.
> That's the same for any tool or
While you are quite correct that no language is an end unto itself, there are clear advantages to be had by using certain languages and their use should be encouraged for projects. I would like to encourage anyone considering an open source project to pick a language like Java, Python or Perl over C or C++ so that I don't have to port the resulting application to my platform when I want to run it.
Many open source projects rumble blindly along assuming that all the world runs Windows, or Linux, or whatever because that is what the author him/herself runs. They then produce something that I either have to port (which I have no time for) or never use if I don't have the same operating system preference as the author.
At it's best, some languages like Java and Python can offer portable byte code that can run without change on other platforms. I recently received a message from a user saying that my HotSheet project ran perfectly for him on Mac OS X 10.1 even though I've never tried it in that environment myself. The first time I ever tried my application on Linux it worked perfectly without any changes or any recompilation. That kind of portability should be a goal to be strived for by every open source project and it all starts with choosing a language that encourages portability.