I just read another rant about the many weaknesses of PHP, and of course I'm in complete agreement. Over the last years I've come to use PHP more often than I would have liked to, simply due to the fact that it's pretty much the only scripting language that is available virtually everywhere; and in contrast to Perl I don't have to look up function calls and the language reference as much, simply because it is closer to what I'm normally using (namely the C languages, and Java).
I'm not actually in a position to compare the technical merrits of each of the popular scripting languages available, but I couldn't care less which of them has briefer syntaxes for string operations, better database support, better libraries etc. What I do care about is the amount of time it takes me to get into the zone with the tools I'm using. I'm changing contexts on a regular basis, which means I have to be fluent in a lot of tools, not necessarily in-depth, and the amount of time it takes me to get re-acquainted with a software is directly related to my productivity.
I'm asking for the simple scripting language for everybody, one that is relatively clean, and easy to learn. One that allows me to write small 50-line scripts that process some data and print it. And I don't want to keep using PHP for this. If it's my choice I'd rather not even program my scripts in Perl, Python, Ruby, Java, ASP, or any other of the more popular languages. I'm asking for mod_js.
Note: as I'm writing this, the article mentioned above seems to have been remove from Jens' blog. I have no idea why this happened, and neither archive.org nor Google seem to have the page in their caches; but I can direct you to some other reactions instead.
My experience with Cocoa has made me a real believer in the value of reducing ambiguity and syntax complexity. One of the reasons I don't use Perl is that there's just too much special-purpose syntax. I don't object to that because it's hard to learn, but because it's not great when you're looking at someone else's code. I think one of the reasons Objective-C is so effective is that there's very little syntax. If you understand the syntax for one Cocoa app, you understand almost all of them.
Update3: Great minds think alike. This is getting more and more interesting.