This release corrects some GML parsing and spatial reference issues that I found in version 1.2.6. I'm only using a subset of GDAL's formats; there are improvements across the board. Hobu and Kevin Ruland have revised the GDAL and OGR scripting framework to make it possible to produce Java and C# bindings using SWIG. Perhaps even PHP, if SWIG support for that language improves.
Unfortunately for me, Python was the first scripting language for GDAL and its interface has a distinctly un-Pythonic feel. New language users have nothing but blue skies and can work with SWIG to make APIs with the right feel. Java users, for example, really want methods with a getFoo form rather than GetFoo for sake of consistency and clarity. This can be accomplished using SWIG's %rename directive:
Perhaps it seems like a lot of work to some, but I guarantee that some Java user will make the time to do this. Hell, I would if I could, but there are too many legacy Python scripts out there to allow any such changes for the Python bindings. While I'm at it, I might as well wish for a pony ;)
I haven't looked at SWIG's online docs since the 1.3.23 release: when did they get so purty?