Presumably everyone knows that Python is on the rise with a bullet. Of course, now that Python is sexy it will probably attract some weaker programmers, diluting its reputation. Such are the costs of great beauty. Right now, though, the upswing seems to be near its maximum rate.
In the Slashdot article discussing this I saw a ref to a lexicon definition the concept of Language of Choice in the Jargon File. FORTRAN is dismissed as a niche language for scientists, but nothing better is proposed.
So what should the language of choice be for high performance numerical computing?
There are teams working on replacements (Fortress, Chapel, some IBM thing with a forgettable name), but I think much of the high performance work of the future can be done in Python with a code generation strategy. I'm not sure what the target language ought to be for the code generation. Would there be advantages to Fortress or Chapel for this? For contemporary purposes even F77 would work (as I said in the PyNSol papers) but to be honest the F77 target is almost a stunt, just to make a point. I don't expect it would be useful in the long run.
I am currently thinking most of the system should be agnostic as to the target language. If done right, multiple targets can be supported in an architecture-dependent bottom layer. Even Verilog is a candidate. ( F90 and onward are not. I'd sooner use BF or Whitespace. )
Update: Bryan Lawrence has a nice summary of the issues.