I thought Ousterhout's paper was a terrific piece of marketing.
He mentions Tcl and Visual Basic as the primary examples
of "scripting" languages, but since Visual Basic is Windows-only
and Tcl runs "everywhere" (i.e., on Windows, Macs *and* Unix --
other OSes don't have enough market share to really count),
that leaves Tcl as the quintessential scripting language.
Notice too how he presents Java as a "system programming language"
in the same class as C++, in contrast to its usual perception
as a niche language for creating Netscape applets. (Not that
I disagree with this -- Java _is_ a pretty good general-purpose
language, certainly better than C++.)
He further argues that the combination of a good "system" language and
a good "scripting" language is an effective way to develop programs.
(Not that I disagree with this, either; it _is_ a pretty good
development strategy). The (unstated) conclusion seems to be that
all you need for higher-level programming in the 21st century
are Tcl and Java. Guess who owns both languages?
On the whole I thought he made some pretty good points, though
the paper certainly has flaws -- the failure to even mention
Lisp and Scheme (both of which have all the qualities he
cites as desirable in a scripting language), and his description
of strong typing as "too restrictive" typical of those who
have never used a strongly typed programming language with a _good_
type system like Haskell or ML. But most of all, I couldn't
shake the feeling that I was reading an infomercial.