Programming: sometimes simpler is better
I chose for this project the combination of Gambit-C Scheme, Emacs, and a few customizations of the Gambit-C Emacs code. For "mostly thinking" projects like my information extraction library, I like simplicity: a simple clean programming language and an environment that provides good editing and debugging support but otherwise stays out of my way. Professionally, I do a lot of work with Common Lisp (either Franz + ELI + Emacs, or SBCL + Slime + Emacs) but since I am basically just experimenting with algorithms I felt like using something light weight. I thought about using Ruby (with either the excellent NetBeans support or TextMate) but I like the ease with which Gambit-C Scheme can be used to build native applications or libraries (compiles to intermediate C) and I will probably want to share my information extraction program (perhaps a free and commercial version) but not release the source code. The performance of compiled Gambit-C code is also very good.