cornelius puts in the good word for ruby. i, too, prefer ruby and agree with all the technical and social reasons cornelius gives for this (heck, as he noted i wrote them in the blog he replied to ;). and if ruby ends up becoming as popular as python, you bet i'd prefer to see us go that route. but that's the rub: right now python is installed pretty much everywhere, it's used by most major linux distros for building their custom apps and likely still has the edge on ruby when it comes to things like bindings support outside of kde (where we have -awesome- support thanks in large part to rich). for that to change would probably take years and it'd be nice to having something between now and then. (apparently ruby won't even have proper unicode support in the language until version 2, so it's got room to grow too anyways.)
in the end, despite my own crush on ruby, i'm willing to lay down my personal language preference and ask if we can't push ahead with a good-enough solution for the vb crowd.
and no, it won't prevent people from continuing to write in ruby or java or c# or dylan or ....... whatever so i don't think that's a fair statement to make, cornelius =) it's just means we'd have a language we could all agree on to support so that it's the easy answer from an availability standpoint. it's not like it has to be a five star solution .... we're talking ex-vb-ers here, after all ;) and python is generall good enough(tm)
p.s. to ade congrats on getting your thesis done. wooo hooo!