I miss the days when every week brought me two or three new development environments as candidates for an eWEEK review. In the three years that I've now been here at salesforce.com, I've kept a close eye on that publication's dev.tool coverage — and been really pleased with their competent and timely reviews of emerging cloud-centered suites.
I felt that way even before Jeff Cogswell penned his thorough review of Force.com as a development experience.
I can swear on a stack of K&Rs that I didn't send Jeff a reviewer guide or scripted review scenario — which is why it's so great to see that his review offers an ideal introduction to what it means to encounter Force.com, including his initial inspection and subsequent exploration of the Eclipse-based IDE; his accurate observations on Force.com code as a quickly-learned, Java-family language; and his brief but useful notes on the many other tools available for building Force.com apps.
I particularly appreciate Jeff's comment that Force.com code "has done a beautiful job of integrating data access right into the language, which is something I’ve longed for more than once in my programming career." That's music to the ears, I'm sure, of everyone involved in the difficult decision to build a native coding facility for our multi-tenant environment that would make the best possible use of its strengths.
Jeff's review is exactly what you need to share with anyone who's skeptical of your proposal to build a production app on Force.com.