Computer Language Popularity Trend

Discussion in 'Java' started by Xah Lee, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Xah Lee

    Xah Lee Guest

    Computer Language Popularity Trend

    This page gives a visual report of computer languages's popularity, as
    indicated by their traffic level in newsgroups. This is not a
    comprehensive or fair survey, but does give some indications of
    popularity trends.

    http://xahlee.org/lang_traf/index.html

    Xah

    ∑ http://xahlee.org/
    Xah Lee, Sep 27, 2006
    #1
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  2. Xah Lee

    Danno Guest

    Xah Lee wrote:
    > Computer Language Popularity Trend
    >
    > This page gives a visual report of computer languages's popularity, as
    > indicated by their traffic level in newsgroups. This is not a
    > comprehensive or fair survey, but does give some indications of
    > popularity trends.
    >
    > http://xahlee.org/lang_traf/index.html
    >
    > Xah
    >
    > ∑ http://xahlee.org/


    Wow, java is a low level industrial language? ;)
    Danno, Sep 27, 2006
    #2
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  3. Xah Lee

    Guest

    Xah Lee wrote:
    > Computer Language Popularity Trend
    >
    > This page gives a visual report of computer languages's popularity, as
    > indicated by their traffic level in newsgroups. This is not a
    > comprehensive or fair survey, but does give some indications of
    > popularity trends.
    >
    > http://xahlee.org/lang_traf/index.html


    Careful there with the sweeping generalizations and quick judgments
    about languages :)

    Furthermore, it's nice to conclude that Lisp is getting more popular,
    but we also have to take into account global trends (maybe more people
    are using usenet in general? maybe the total number of programmers in
    the world is increasing?).

    Still, it's nice to see trends plotted out like that, thanks for the
    work :)

    mfh
    , Sep 27, 2006
    #3
  4. Xah Lee

    James Stroud Guest

    wrote:
    > Xah Lee wrote:
    >> Computer Language Popularity Trend
    >>
    >> This page gives a visual report of computer languages's popularity, as
    >> indicated by their traffic level in newsgroups. This is not a
    >> comprehensive or fair survey, but does give some indications of
    >> popularity trends.
    >>
    >> http://xahlee.org/lang_traf/index.html

    >
    > Careful there with the sweeping generalizations and quick judgments
    > about languages :)
    >
    > Furthermore, it's nice to conclude that Lisp is getting more popular,
    > but we also have to take into account global trends (maybe more people
    > are using usenet in general? maybe the total number of programmers in
    > the world is increasing?).
    >
    > Still, it's nice to see trends plotted out like that, thanks for the
    > work :)
    >
    > mfh
    >


    Finally, a contribution of substance from lambda. Who woulda thunk it?
    James Stroud, Sep 27, 2006
    #4
  5. Xah Lee

    Guest

    I, too, attempt to track the popularity of computer languages, but I
    like to look at the job boards. My theory is that the number of
    employers looking for particular skills indicates the relative
    popularity of the language. This is a somewhat crude measure,
    particularly with Microsoft technologies (VB, VB6, VB.NET, VS, etc). I
    think it's much more reliable with open source languages, such as Java,
    Perl, PHP, and so on.

    'Popularity' is a slippery concept as well. C isn't real popular in
    terms of jobs, but it is in terms of compensation. In system
    administration (which I also follow), Windows has large numbers of
    jobs, but a low level of compensation. OSes like AIX on the other hand
    have lower numbers of available jobs, but those tend to be more highly
    compensated. One could argue that compensation is a function of
    popularity, with the more unpoular technologies having carrying a
    bigger price to attract more people -- an example of supply and demand
    -- but then one would have to argue that garbade collectors should be
    more highly compensated that physicians.

    You can also get a rough measure ot the popularity of web scripting
    languages from an analysis of the URLs. The last time I did this was in
    2003, and as I recall, these were the results:
    PHP 30% and increasing
    Perl 28% and falling
    ASP 25% and falling fast
    ColdFusion 6% and steady
    Java and JSP 5% and increasing
    others, Python, Ruby, ...

    Again, this is a very rough measure. Java, for instance, is used by big
    companies (like auto manufacturers, aerospace industries, defense
    contractors, big retailers, etc.) One site/one vote isn't
    representative necessarily, plus the bigger companies employ more
    people than the smaller companies that tend to use FOSS.

    Finally, in my area, we have a lot of banking and insurance jobs. These
    companies internally are exclusively Microsoft shops. It's virtually
    impossible to work there unless you know Visual Studio and SQL Server.
    Misrosoft people tend not to prowl the newsgroups, and I would suspect
    that any measurement based on numbers of newsgroup postings would be
    skewed for this reason.

    CC
    , Sep 27, 2006
    #5
  6. "" <> writes:

    > Xah Lee wrote:
    >> Computer Language Popularity Trend
    >>

    >
    > Careful there with the sweeping generalizations and quick judgments


    Such things are all Xah does. Look at the distribution list for this
    message - of what possible use is cross-posting something like this to
    five different language groups, unless you're trying to start a cross-
    group argument?

    In short - Please don't feed the trolls.

    sherm--

    --
    Web Hosting by West Virginians, for West Virginians: http://wv-www.net
    Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
    Sherm Pendley, Sep 27, 2006
    #6
  7. Xah Lee

    Joe Marshall Guest

    Xah Lee wrote:
    > Computer Language Popularity Trend
    >
    > This page gives a visual report of computer languages's popularity, as
    > indicated by their traffic level in newsgroups. This is not a
    > comprehensive or fair survey, but does give some indications of
    > popularity trends.


    Suggestions:
    Provide a log-scale plot. You can clearly see that there are
    exponential trends in the data, these will turn into lines in
    log-scale. You can also see that the plots get more widely distributed
    as the number of posts increase. This too will be minimized in
    log-scale.

    Make the horizontal scale for the `scripting' languages the same as
    the others. I know there isn't data out on the left of the graph, but
    it surprised me to see points out there until I noticed the scale
    change.

    For the Google trends, try looking for `java programming' or `written
    in python' to avoid picking up the island and the popular comedy troupe.
    Joe Marshall, Sep 27, 2006
    #7
  8. Xah Lee

    Guest

    wrote:
    > You can also get a rough measure ot the popularity of web scripting
    > languages from an analysis of the URLs. The last time I did this was in
    > 2003, and as I recall, these were the results:
    > PHP 30% and increasing
    > Perl 28% and falling
    > ASP 25% and falling fast
    > ColdFusion 6% and steady
    > Java and JSP 5% and increasing
    > others, Python, Ruby, ...


    At the site I'm working on, you'd see a URL like
    http://www.whatever.com/login or http://www.whatever.com/boards?id=131
    -- how would you count them? Such (extensionless) URLs are far more
    common in the Python, Ruby, and Java world in my experience than the
    PHP, Perl, and ASP world, so my first instinct looking at your numbers
    is to believe they're just biased toward languages that more often put
    the extension in the URL.
    , Sep 27, 2006
    #8
  9. Stefan Scholl, Sep 27, 2006
    #9
  10. Xah Lee

    John Bailo Guest

    Xah Lee wrote:
    > Computer Language Popularity Trend
    >
    > This page gives a visual report of computer languages's popularity, as
    > indicated by their traffic level in newsgroups.


    The only problem being that in the last five years, there are now a
    multiplicity of options for discussing any of these languages, in places
    that are not Usenet.

    For example, Sun hosts a variety of bulletin boards on its java.net
    site. Likewise Microsoft has it's "communities".

    My guess is that if you included all the new avenues the other languages
    would have growth curves about the same shape as for LISP.




    --
    Texeme Construct
    John Bailo, Sep 27, 2006
    #10
  11. Mladen Adamovic, Sep 27, 2006
    #11
  12. Xah Lee

    Guest

    wrote:
    > At the site I'm working on, you'd see a URL like
    > http://www.whatever.com/login or http://www.whatever.com/boards?id=131
    > -- how would you count them? Such (extensionless) URLs are far more
    > common in the Python, Ruby, and Java world in my experience than the
    > PHP, Perl, and ASP world, so my first instinct looking at your numbers
    > is to believe they're just biased toward languages that more often put
    > the extension in the URL.


    Yeah. CGI is more than Perl, CGI also includes TCL and Python, and
    perhaps some others. In my limited JSP developments, we didn't use file
    extensions.

    I don't think you can use any measure as an accurate yardstick, but
    rather as an impressionistic canvas. Just because there are five times
    as many .cgi extensions as .jsp extensions doesn't mean that Perl is
    five times more popular that Java. Also, web apps tend to stick around,
    and we don't have a sure way to gauge the age of these pages, so it
    could be that, in the last year, the ration of JSP to CGI pages is five
    to one in favor of JSP.

    To some extent, the popularity of technologies is driven by the
    available resources. If there are many more Java programmers than Perl
    programmers, then Java wil appear to be more popular, and vice versa. I
    know that colleges and universities teach Java in their CS and IS
    courses, and they don't teach Perl.

    CC
    , Sep 27, 2006
    #12
  13. Xah Lee

    Ari Johnson Guest

    writes:

    > I don't think you can use any measure as an accurate yardstick, but
    > rather as an impressionistic canvas.


    Exactly. You can't measure "popularity" without defining the term.
    Xah Lee appears to define popularity based on the number of posts made
    in a given language's Usenet group (for his choice of which group
    belongs to a given language). Given that a substantial portion of the
    recent posts in each group is likely an off-topic Xah Lee crosspost,
    this metric is probably unreliable even for measuring his own intended
    metric: the amount of discussion taking place about each language on
    Usenet.

    How do you define popularity? Do you define it by how much people
    talk about a language on the internet? How many programs are written
    in it? How many lines of code are written in it? How many CPU cycles
    are used to run code written in it?

    None of these is fair, as it is. More people use Ada than talk about
    it online, because it is a common language in classified government
    work. More people talk about Lisp online than use it, because their
    jobs or other circumstances limit their choice to other languages.
    Moreover, most people use more than one language, and after a long day
    at the office of pumping out Java or Perl, they go home and talk about
    Lisp or C#. Online discussion isn't a measure of actual use, even if
    you can actually measure the total amount of discussion.

    The number of programs written is likely to be grossly inaccurate.
    People write millions of small C or Perl utilities all the time, to a
    combined effect of less problem-solving than one big Java application.

    The number of lines of code written in a language is also unfair,
    because it takes more lines of C than of almost any other language to
    solve most problems.

    The number of CPU cycles spent running code that was written in a
    given language is also unfair, because, for instance, Ruby code burns
    more CPU cycles to do something than C code does, in the average case.

    So, how do you define popularity?
    Ari Johnson, Sep 27, 2006
    #13
  14. Xah Lee

    James Stroud Guest

    Sherm Pendley wrote:
    > "" <> writes:
    >
    >
    >>Xah Lee wrote:
    >>
    >>>Computer Language Popularity Trend
    >>>

    >>
    >>Careful there with the sweeping generalizations and quick judgments

    >
    >
    > Such things are all Xah does. Look at the distribution list for this
    > message - of what possible use is cross-posting something like this to
    > five different language groups, unless you're trying to start a cross-
    > group argument?
    >
    > In short - Please don't feed the trolls.
    >
    > sherm--
    >


    While Xah does have a reputation for trolling, and the crossposting
    borders on pathological, you must admit that he presents here a bit of
    nice and illuminating research. We probably should encourage him when he
    does worthwhile things, and perhaps, in the future, he will put more
    time towards them and less time towards the trolling for which he is famous.

    James

    --
    James Stroud
    UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics
    Box 951570
    Los Angeles, CA 90095

    http://www.jamesstroud.com/
    James Stroud, Sep 27, 2006
    #14
  15. Xah Lee

    Guest

    John Bailo wrote:
    > Xah Lee wrote:
    > > Computer Language Popularity Trend
    > >
    > > This page gives a visual report of computer languages's popularity, as
    > > indicated by their traffic level in newsgroups.

    >
    > The only problem being that in the last five years, there are now a
    > multiplicity of options for discussing any of these languages, in places
    > that are not Usenet.
    >
    > For example, Sun hosts a variety of bulletin boards on its java.net
    > site. Likewise Microsoft has it's "communities".
    >
    > My guess is that if you included all the new avenues the other languages
    > would have growth curves about the same shape as for LISP.
    >

    Good point - especially given the sheer volume of the microsoft groups.
    For example, I follow microsoft.public.excel.programming (and thus have
    been quite interested in the discussion in fa.haskell recently about
    finding a way for VBA to call Haskell functions) regularly and it
    almost always has hundreds of posts a day - most of them business-like
    discussions of code. Few of the traditional comp groups can boast of
    such volume - so any attempt to measure an ill-defined popularity by
    focusing on them will be skewed.

    -semiopen
    , Sep 28, 2006
    #15
  16. Xah Lee

    Tagore Smith Guest

    Stefan Scholl wrote:
    > In comp.lang.lisp Jon Ribbens <> wrote:
    > > In article <>, wrote:
    > >>> http://xahlee.org/lang_traf/index.html
    > >>
    > >> Careful there with the sweeping generalizations and quick judgments
    > >> about languages :)

    > >
    > > I just read "PHP as a language is rather dry and business-like",
    > > and fell off my chair.

    >
    > Well, business really is that crazy! :)


    Of the three people with whom I've worked who have sat on boards in the
    Fortune 100, at least two of them have screwy reference semantics ;).
    Tagore Smith, Sep 28, 2006
    #16
  17. Danno wrote:
    > Xah Lee wrote:
    >> This page gives a visual report of computer languages's popularity, as
    >> indicated by their traffic level in newsgroups. This is not a
    >> comprehensive or fair survey, but does give some indications of
    >> popularity trends.
    >>
    >> http://xahlee.org/lang_traf/index.html

    >
    > Wow, java is a low level industrial language? ;)


    Compared to Python, Ruby etc. - yes.

    Arne
    =?UTF-8?B?QXJuZSBWYWpow7hq?=, Sep 30, 2006
    #17
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