I've long wondered why someone didn't take the learnings from the Ruby/Python languages and from the functional languages, built a lovely little syntax and stuck it on the JVM. [Instead, we get Scala...] [Note: I really want to learn Clojure, but it's a little far from my day-to-day to focus on right now].
In general, Mirah could be seen as a "Ruby with static types"
So Mirah is Ruby + static types + type inference! You get the clean syntax of Ruby with the terseness of scripting and/or type-inferred functional languages with the performance of a compiled language. It's like peanut butter + chocolate + bacon + Himalayan pink salt.
"Mirah is a new way of looking at JVM languages. In attempting to build a replacement for Java, we have followed a few guiding principals:
No runtime library
Clean, simple syntax
Metaprogramming and macros
No performance penalty
Being able to use Ruby or a Ruby-like language throughout would be immense.