This story ran in Computerworld on March 12, but I only noticed it when Sun’s HPC Watercooler pointed it out this week. It talks about the programmer productivity and language work going on in the HPCS program, and covers three of the languages to have come out of this work:
Sun recently lost its bid to go to the next phase of the DARPA job, but that hasn’t stopped it from forging ahead with its HPCS programming language, called Fortress. In January, Sun released an early version of a Fortress interpreter. Similarly, Cray and IBM have released their own first-draft implementations of new languages.
According to the article Fortress and Cray’s Chapel are fundamentally new languages while IBM’s X10 is an extension of Java.
The major stumbling block to adoption of new languages will of course be the availability of tools and the difficulty of using the language weighed against the performance/portability of the resulting applications. This could give IBM an early edge, if they can leverage the existing tool base for Java.