Groovy is a scripting language for Java, and it looks as if it’s appropriately named. A good introduction here. It has a lot of the best features of Python and Ruby, but integrates really well into the Java environment – Java code can be called from Groovy and vice versa very easily, the syntax is similar, with the Java rules relaxed a bit to suit the typically more informal nature of scripting, and Groovy code can be compiled into .class files and executed with the standard ‘java’ command. It has a neat syntax for XML/HTML generation and can be used for creating Ant scripts which are rather more readable than the standard XML.
Must find time to play with this.