My weapon of choice for the past few four years has been Python (prior to that it was Eiffel...another choice that tended to make people scoff). I find myself excitedly babbling about its capabilities to other programmers to the extent that I sound at times like I've descended into full advocacy. Which I kind of have, but not out of any blind faith in it - there are and continue to be some nasty edges that hinder wider deployment - but because no other language has made me as productive as Python. Except for maybe MOO code...but there's not much in the way of paying jobs for MUD coders these days :)
So I admit to feeling a kind of a smug vindication with the launch of the Google App Engine, a development & hosting framework that allows for web applications which will scale up to meet demand. Smug because the entire stack feels like it was custom written for me :) Yes, I know there will be support for other languages coming soon, but the framework itself is very heavily python-based and feels nicely pythonic at all levels. Google has always been my go-to example of a large scale organisation that makes heavy use of Python, but until now I haven't been able to make use of that in an immediate way. With the launch of GAE (that really feels like a poorly thought out acronym...), I am given direct access to some funky Google tech and, most excitingly IMO, the ability to make apps that utilise Google's authentication system. My biggest gripe right now is with the endless number of identities I'm required to manage to use the web, and until OpenID reaches more stable penetration I'm happy to make use of one of the more reputable identity providers out there. It's just a shame this didn't all happen before Google's CAPTCHA was broken...
Right now I'm familiarising myself with the provided APIs by converting a couple of toy projects over to the framework, although I'm disinclined to upload them until the ability to delete existing applications is added (there's currently a cap on the number of apps each developer can deploy, although this is just the 'preview' period). However, if anyone has any ideas for a nice niche webapp that they feel the world is missing, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Frankly, I get sick of my own ideas at times, and would be more than happy to take a fun idea and run with it.
Until I find a paying job, that is.