There are so many languages tipped to replace Java that it seems to be difficult to get excited about another one but ... is Ceylon going to be flavour of the week.
This is an odd story and mostly reported by Marc Richards who blogs about a presentation that Gavin King of Red Hat/Hibernate/Seam etc. gave at a low key (from the US point of view at least) conference - QCon Beijing. The fact that it was listed in Chinese perhaps shouldn't make it harder to find in this connected age, but it did.
The title for the presentation The Ceylon Project - the next generation of Java language? makes is clear what the objective is. However a quick look at the specification makes it sound very much like C# 4.0 running on the JVM. It seems to be a standard object-oriented language with block structure and a side order of functions as first class objects. You can find out more from the presentation slides. A compiler is planned for late 2011.
It seems fairly obvious that Ceylon - tea as opposed to Java coffee - isn't going to get anywhere without a lot of political support from the anti-Oracle factions and to a certain extent an even more outrageous display of arrogance and control from Oracle itself. It may be that any language that does take over from Java does so not because of technical elegance but because of simple necessity and being in the right place at the right time.
Given that there are a number of well placed alternatives to Java already and lots of alternative languages - I doubt we will hear much more of Ceylon (the programming language) in the future.
But why languages come into favor is a deep mystery.