RIse and fall of languages in 2012


S

Steven D'Aprano

"In general-purpose scripting languages, Python continues to grow slowly,
JavaScript and Ruby are treading water, and Perl continues its long
decline. According to Google trends, the number of searches for Perl is
19% of what it was in 2004. Its declining role in open-source communities
further cements the perception that it's in an irretrievable tailspin.
One should always be careful pronouncing a language dead or dying,
because rare resurrections have occurred: JavaScript and Objective-C
being two stand-out cases. However, Perl is unlikely to see such a new
lease on life because of direct competition from Python, which is
considerably more popular (whereas Objective-C and JavaScript had no
direct equivalents when they came back)."

http://www.drdobbs.com/jvm/the-rise-and-fall-of-languages-in-2012/240145800


And from the TIOBE Index, Python is steady at number 8:

http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html
 
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M

Michael Torrie

"In general-purpose scripting languages, Python continues to grow slowly,
JavaScript and Ruby are treading water, and Perl continues its long
decline. According to Google trends, the number of searches for Perl is
19% of what it was in 2004. Its declining role in open-source communities
further cements the perception that it's in an irretrievable tailspin.
One should always be careful pronouncing a language dead or dying,
because rare resurrections have occurred: JavaScript and Objective-C
being two stand-out cases. However, Perl is unlikely to see such a new
lease on life because of direct competition from Python, which is
considerably more popular (whereas Objective-C and JavaScript had no
direct equivalents when they came back)."

http://www.drdobbs.com/jvm/the-rise-and-fall-of-languages-in-2012/240145800


And from the TIOBE Index, Python is steady at number 8:

http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html

The TIOBE index is meaningless. Since it's based on google searches,
one could probably guess that any language that is awkward and difficult
will require more searches to figure out how to use the thing. Thus of
course C is top! Especially if ranked by sarcastic queries like, "C
sucks," and "why does C suck so much."

Javascript is doing much more than just "treading water." Javascript
may not be glamorous but it is *the* glue that makes the web run. Funny
to see such a reputable journal make such an absurd statement. I can
buy that Perl is in a slow decline. Certainly I'd use Python for the
same tasks that people used to use Perl for. In short I see no rise and
fall of languages in 2012. Seems like business as usual, and the usual
suspects continue to get steady use.
 
S

Steven D'Aprano

The TIOBE index is meaningless. Since it's based on google searches,
one could probably guess that any language that is awkward and difficult
will require more searches to figure out how to use the thing. Thus of
course C is top! Especially if ranked by sarcastic queries like, "C
sucks," and "why does C suck so much."

If you have a problem with TIOBE's methodology, feel free to come up with
your own. Or take it up with them.

I dispute that TIOBE measures difficulty of language. If it did, Malbolge
would likely be at the top of the list. Yes, there are sarcastic queries
asking "C sucks", but that's just measurement error: 21,200 hits for "C
sucks" versus 9,900,000 for "C programming". It's not as if there is any
language, not even Python, that is so easy to use that nobody needs to
write about it.

Javascript is doing much more than just "treading water."

How do you know? What's *your* methodology for determining the popularity
of a language?

* "But everybody knows that Javascript is super popular!!!"

* "All my friends are using Javascript."

* "I'm a web developer, and I use Javascript for my day job."

* "I counted 14 job adverts on Monster.com for Javascript devs last week,
what more evidence does anyone need?"

* "I googled for `What's the most popular language?` and found a blog
that says it's Javascript, that's good enough for me."

* "I have a gut feeling."

If you are going to criticise TIOBE's methodology, and then make your own
claims for language popularity, you really need to demonstrate that your
methodology is better.

Javascript
may not be glamorous but it is *the* glue that makes the web run.

And web development is a tiny fraction of all software development.
 
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W

Walter Hurry

"In general-purpose scripting languages, Python continues to grow
slowly, JavaScript and Ruby are treading water, and Perl continues its
long decline. According to Google trends, the number of searches for
Perl is 19% of what it was in 2004. Its declining role in open-source
communities further cements the perception that it's in an irretrievable
tailspin.
One should always be careful pronouncing a language dead or dying,
because rare resurrections have occurred: JavaScript and Objective-C
being two stand-out cases. However, Perl is unlikely to see such a new
lease on life because of direct competition from Python, which is
considerably more popular (whereas Objective-C and JavaScript had no
direct equivalents when they came back)."

Why should we care? We use Python because it's powerful, easy, elegant
and all the other things.
 

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