Swift Falls from Top 10 in RedMonk Programming Language Rankings
RedMonk noted the "relatively static nature of the top 10 languages" in its new programming language popularity report, but one notable change in that higher echelon is the exit of Swift.
Swift, introduced by Apple about four years ago, quickly became the new darling of the industry, exhibiting the fastest growth rate RedMonk has seen, cracking the top 10 in the January 2018 quarterly report.
In the June report issued today (Aug. 10), however, it fell back to 11. Ironically, it was surpassed by Objective-C, Apple's 34-year-old legacy language for iOS and other development that Swift was introduced to supplant. Though RedMonk advises against reading too much into incremental changes in its rankings, it called out Swift's one-step drop for special attention.
As it has done previously, RedMonk noted the lack of a server-side presence (something IBM has been trying to rectify in its enterprise Swift push) as a factor in its popularity.
"The only change within our top 10 languages this quarter was Swift's demotion from a tie with Objective-C back to the 11th spot on our list," RedMonk said. "This has the consequence of boosting Objective-C from a tie for 10th to outright 9th place. This may seem consequential, but the reality is that the difference in their collective rankings, while measurable, is slight. While it has yet to break in to the top 10 and stay there, Swift's adoption and usage remains robust. If or when it is ever established as a server-side language as IBM and others have attempted to push at times, its ceiling is virtually unlimited."
Here's the top 20 (including ties):
For comparison, here's the June 2017 top 20:
Here's a RedMonk June 2018 report plot including many more languages:
For further comparison, here are the latest programming language popularity reports from IEEE Spectrum and TIOBE, issued a couple weeks ago.
Here's RedMonk's methodology:
While the means of collection has changed, the basic process remains the same: we extract language rankings from GitHub and Stack Overflow, and combine them for a ranking that attempts to reflect both code (GitHub) and discussion (Stack Overflow) traction. The idea is not to offer a statistically valid representation of current usage, but rather to correlate language discussion and usage in an effort to extract insights into potential future adoption trends.
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.