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13 September 2012, 16:52

Language popularity varies based on data sampled

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Where different analysts are concerned, either C or JavaScript is currently the most popular programming language. Both the TIOBE Programming Community Index and RedMonk's Programming Language Rankings for September do agree in one respect, though: Java is programming language number two on both lists. Generally speaking, RedMonk's top five is dominated by programming languages that have a greater presence in web development, while TIOBE's top five includes mostly languages that tend to be used for writing native applications.

TIOBE Software's index places C at the top of its list of the most popular languages with Objective-C in third place and C++ and C# in the fourth and fifth positions. PHP comes in sixth place, while Python, Perl and Ruby hold places eight to ten. The analysts at RedMonk, on the other hand, place JavaScript at the top of the list while PHP and Python hold positions three and four. Places six to nine are occupied by C#, C++, C and Objective-C respectively. Ruby is in fifth place on RedMonk's list while the tenth popular programming language is listed as shell scripting.

Zoom RedMonk's plot shows the correlation of language popularity between GitHub and StackOverflow
Source: RedMonk

RedMonk's analysis notably includes R, CoffeeScript and Assembly in its top twenty programming languages. These languages don't appear in the TIOBE top twenty, which instead lists several SQL variants, Pascal, Delphi, Lua, Ada and MATLAB – all languages that don't make RedMonk's list.

The TIOBE Community Index is based on finding the number of engineers working with a particular language from sites such as Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and several search engines. The RedMonk rankings are based on the programming languages prevalent for projects that share their code on GitHub and the number of interactions for a particular language on StackOverflow. Interestingly, the RedMonk analysts note that, in their observations, rankings didn't change much from month to month, while the TIOBE index does regularly show movement in this respect.


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