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Java Popularity Slips in TIOBE Index

Java earned an "all-time low score" in the latest TIOBE Programming Community Index, along with C, and yet the two programming languages retained the top two spots, ranking first and second, respectively.

In fact, all the top 10 languages in the TIOBE index except one (Visual Basic .NET) slipped in the rankings, year to year. TIOBE researchers credit this shift to the rise in popularity of a group of leaner languages that includes Crystal (No. 32), Kotlin (No. 41), Clojure (No. 42), Hack (No. 43), and Julia (No. 46).

Crystal, a statically typed variant of Ruby, made a particularly noteworthy jump from No. 60 to No. 32 in a single month. TIOBE researchers even gave the language a shout out in this report: "Since it is compiled it is superfast and has a small memory footprint without losing the feeling of being easy to use," they wrote. "It seems worthwhile to give it a try."

Languages over Time
[Click on image for larger view.] Languages over Time (source: TIOBE Index)

TIOBE Software has been publishing the results of its monthly search for the languages in which the most lines of code were written since 2001. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers worldwide, language courses, and third-party vendors, the company says. TIOBE uses 25 search engines to collect key words from the highest ranked websites of Web traffic monitor Alexa and calculates the most lines of code written in a given month to determine its percentage share of developers' attention.

"It is important to note that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written," the company has said on its Web site. TIOBE publishes its search criteria on its Web site.

Java, which TIOBE crowned Programming Language of the Year for 2015, dropped in the ratings by 6.05 percent, earning a 12.961 percent share; C dropped by 4.83 percent, earning a 6.477 percent share. The list of top ten languages in this index also included C++ (down 0.25 percent), C# (down 0.71 percent), Python (down 0.71 percent), PHP down 0.88 percent), JavaScript (down 0.61 percent), Perl (down 0.52 percent), and Ruby (down 0.31 percent). Visual Basic/.NET, the only member of that top 10 group to gain in popularity, gain a 0.05 percent share on the index for a sixth-place ranking.

Apple's popular open-source Swift came in at 11th on the index with a gain of 0.16 percent share. Go, an open source climber that cracked the top ten in July, dropped to 16th, even though it actually early an additional 0.37 percent share. R, MATLAB, Scratch and Dart also climbed the chart.

Posted by John K. Waters on August 7, 2017