The feel of Scala - By Bill Venners of Artima
In this lecture, Bill presents why he chose Scala as his "next" language. He goes through techniques he used in creating scalatest - a unit testing framework, to show how you can get concise, readable code, while maintaining type safety.
About my view of the matter: many things in Scala (operator overloading, implicit conversions) existed already in other languages, and in C++ before Java. In C++, the outcome was that the language becames harder to learn and it became harder to investigate how code works and produce code with all the bells and whistles that will be easy to follow. So the Java designers decided to drop all these features, claiming that they were only syntactic sugar, and to simplify the language ( the generics system shows how a nice feature can be hard to work with). Scala returns to bringing in more features at the expense of larger syntax.