Patrick Logan links to an incredible May 2002 speech about choosing a computer language by former Viaweb president and Lisp guru Paul Graham. Though the speech can be read as a justification for why Viaweb made the unorthodox choice to implement the site (now Yahoo Store and Yahoo Site) in Lisp, it offers a lot more on the larger subject of language design. Graham rags quite thoroughly (and hilariously) on my first choice, Java:
"Suppose, for example, you need to write a piece of software. The pointy-haired boss has no idea how this software has to work, and can't tell one programming language from another, and yet he knows what language you should write it in. Right: he thinks you should write it in Java."
Graham's site, which was created with Yahoo Site, is also worth rummaging through. There's some great stuff in the FAQ. Remember those Oracle ads during the dot-com boom about how their software ran Yahoo? According to Graham, most of Yahoo is not using a database of any kind. The commercials neglected to tell the more accurate, though less marketable, truth: The Yahoo accounting department was using it.