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Objective-C Overtakes C++, But C Is Number One 594

Posted by timothy
from the you-c-you-c dept.
mikejuk writes "Although the TIOBE Index has its shortcomings, the finding that Objective-C has overtaken C++ is reiterated in the open source Transparent Language Popularity Index. The reason is, of course, that Objective-C is the language you have to use to create iOS applications — and as iPads and iPhones have risen in popularity, so has Objective-C. If you look at the raw charts then you can see that C++ has been in decline since about 2005 and Objective-C has shot up to overtake it with amazing growth. But the two charts are on different scales: if you plot both on the same chart, you can see that rather than rocketing up, Objective-C has just crawled its way past, and it is as much to do with the decline of C++. It simply hasn't reached the popularity of C++ in its heyday before 2005. However the real story is that C, a raw machine independent assembler-like language, with no pretense to be object oriented or sophisticated, has beaten all three of the object oriented heavy weights — Java, C++ and Objective C. Yes C is number one (and a close second in the transparent index)."
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Objective-C Overtakes C++, But C Is Number One

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:32PM (#40585857)

    But that's just my opinion.

    • Agreed. (Score:5, Funny)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:40PM (#40585925) Homepage

      C's philosophy doesn't integrate well with Ayn Rand's.

      • Re:Agreed. (Score:4, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:53PM (#40585995)

        C's philosophy doesn't integrate well with Ayn Rand's.

        Like hell it doesn't.

        With C and Ayn Rand - you're on your own.

        No pussy footing around with pee-pee holding concepts like "garbage collection", "array bounds checking", "welfare", "free health care".

        Those are all for fucking wimps who need something to protect their incompetent asses.

        • Re:Agreed. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:21PM (#40586237) Journal

          So strange... I find Ayn Rand completely guilty of the very same romantic notions that got the founders of Communism (she so despised) into so much hot water. Perhaps its true what they say about choosing your enemies well. Both presumed that the underlying greatness and magnificence of the human spirit either as a society or as a specific productive individual would prove the guiding light for humanity. In fact humanity has shown precious few guiding lights and for the most part, we are little descended from our primate ancestors. This isn't to say that we aren't capable of transcendence, simply that you can't depend on that to build a social or philosophical framework.

          Design the system that demands human transcendence, inspires greatness, and puts strict limits to personal power and responsibly accounts for the grosser of human foibles and frailties, and you'll have a winner. We had that system in the form of checks and balances, until the "Randian" among us began to systematically dismantle those very defenses against our poorer natures, beginning in the 80s. Up until then, we had the time and means to look at the future we wanted as a society, not just a few social (read financial) elites, and strive towards that future wisely and with due consideration. Now we're in a kettle of fish. Those elite have proven to be every bit as ignorant, self obsessed/serving and foolish as everyone else and they've squandered the future on extra McMansions, expensive cars and yachts, and the virtual hijacking of our society.

          C is a great language. You can't any closer to bare metal without slugging assembly around, and as we move to more and more intelligent particles infiltrating everything from household appliances to ubiquitous sensors in the roads we drive on, you better believe that C will bring consciousness to the dross matter that surrounds us. I can only hope, that we can put aside our prejudices (not only racial, but societal), and begin to replace belief systems with educated inquiry, and treat the future with our intelligence rather than our primate predilections. It is the only hope I can see for a future worth living in.

          • Re:Agreed. (Score:5, Funny)

            by sam_nead (607057) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @08:46PM (#40586887)
            Don't knock having primate ancestors. Some of my best friends are primates.
            • Re:Agreed. (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @09:23PM (#40587109) Journal

              By all means, there's nothing wrong with primates... fine animals. They just tend to form hierarchies along lines off dominance, commit acts of violence on one another including infants, they're greedy, scheming, back-stabbing, self serving Machiavellian bastards (to paraphrase one of the world's leading authorities [wordpress.com] on primate research.

              So we aren't as bad as baboons and we aren't as good as bonobos. We fall neatly on the primate continuum of behavior (good and bad.) The problem is that we have nukes. A pissing contest among humans could end in a 20 mile wide blue glass ashtray. All I'm saying is that as good as being a primate has gotten us so far, its perhaps time to begin rising above the worst of our inclinations while rising above them still makes a difference.

              • Re:Agreed. (Score:5, Funny)

                by NalosLayor (958307) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:43PM (#40587969)
                Christ, only on /. could the statement "Objective C is now more popular than C++" turn into a pissing match about objectivism and then morph into a discussion about evolutionary behaviorism. I don't know if I should be disappointed or proud, to be honest.
                • On slashdot, it's a point of pride not to RTFA. Also it's much more interesting to go from Objective-C to Objectiv-isim to the spectrum of primate behaviour. The language popularity thing is just something for people who like talking about football ladders.

                  What we need now is another tenuosly linked meme...In my copy of 1984 there is a reference to a fictional document that describes the different languages spoken by various groups. One of those languages is 'C' - the language of technocrats. So it follo
      • Re:Agreed. (Score:5, Funny)

        by WrecklessSandwich (1000139) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:26PM (#40586277)
        I think you're looking for Objectivist C [fdiv.net].
  • sorry (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:33PM (#40585867)

    sorry but html and javascript is the future.. it must be true because all the kids just out of college say so.

    • Re:sorry (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Johann Lau (1040920) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:02PM (#40586069) Homepage Journal

      That'd be like saying letters are no longer required because we'll all be using words and sentences from now on.

      • Re:sorry (Score:5, Insightful)

        by the_humeister (922869) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @11:06PM (#40587715)

        That'd be like saying letters are no longer required because we'll all be using words and sentences from now on.

        That's what the Chinese did!

        • Re:sorry (Score:5, Informative)

          by Jeeeb (1141117) on Monday July 09, 2012 @03:06AM (#40588935)

          That'd be like saying letters are no longer required because we'll all be using words and sentences from now on.

          That's what the Chinese did!

          Kind of but not really. There are far, far more words in Chinese than there are Chinese characters and characters often don't stand on their own as words. Rather individual characters represent morphemes with a single (or small number of) sounds, which often have no real meaning on their own. These morphemes are then combined to form words. In that sense Chinese characters are like an alphabet, albeit with characters which represent complete syllables rather than individual sounds and which generally (but not always) have some sort of semantic meaning. Secondly if you look at the way characters are formed in Chinese, there is a set of basic characters which are used as phonetic units in constructing most of the other characters. Most of the other characters end up consisting of a basic character indicating the phonological sound and a radical to (very broadly) indicate the semantic meaning of the character. So in terms of both 1. how the characters are used and 2. how the characters are constructed Chinese characters still deal with sound and meaning at a sub-word level.

          • Most individual Chinese characters do have their own individual meaning(s).

            It used to be (thousands of years ago) that characters were essentially words, but these days multiple-character-words are more in fashion. The classical Chinese is still legible to those with a bit of training, and still sees some use in modern contexts.

            You are indeed correct that the characters are often constructed with other "basic characters" that contributes a meaning and sound, but that's at a "sub-character" level, not really

    • So far as is necessary to do something slightly more complex, for example, controlling a printer. Will be possible to make an operating system controlling the hardware (yep, bare metal) in a shitty language like javascript? uhh ... I think not.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:35PM (#40585879)

    However the real story is that C, a raw machine independent assembler-like language, with no pretense to be object oriented or sophisticated, has beaten all three of the object oriented heavy weights

    This sounds like it was written by someone who doesn't understand C. You can write object orientated code in C. You don't always need the language to hold your hand. And C is NOT assembler-like language. Not even close.

    And as far as sophisticated code, I guess the author doesn't consider operating systems or most system programming to be sophisticated.

    • by Lendrick (314723) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:44PM (#40585945) Homepage Journal

      Is this a touchy subject for you, AC?

      The author didn't say anything about sophisticated code, they said that C isn't a particularly sophisticated language. And it's not. C doesn't have very many bells and whistles -- it's just a very good, general-purpose language. The fact that the language itself is unsophisticated is what makes it good for writing the kind of code people write in C.

      Secondly, C is not an object oriented language. I can write object oriented code in assembly language if I want, but that doesn't make assembly language object oriented.

    • by EllisDees (268037)

      > You can write object orientated code in C.

      You technically could...but why would you? If you want to write object oriented C, there's C++. What's the benefit?

      • by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:25PM (#40586265) Homepage
        From: Linus Torvalds
        Subject: Re: [RFC] Convert builin-mailinfo.c to use The Better String Library.
        Newsgroups: gmane.comp.version-control.git
        Date: 2007-09-06 17:50:28 GMT (2 years, 14 weeks, 16 hours and 36 minutes ago)

        On Wed, 5 Sep 2007, Dmitry Kakurin wrote:
        >
        > When I first looked at Git source code two things struck me as odd:
        > 1. Pure C as opposed to C++. No idea why. Please don't talk about portability,
        > it's BS.

        *YOU* are full of bullshit.

        C++ is a horrible language. It's made more horrible by the fact that a lot of substandard programmers use it, to the point where it's much much easier to generate total and utter crap with it. Quite frankly, even if the choice of C were to do *nothing* but keep the C++ programmers out,  that in itself would be a huge reason to use C.

        In other words: the choice of C is the only sane choice. I know Miles Bader jokingly said "to piss you off", but it's actually true. I've come to the conclusion that any programmer that would prefer the project to be in C++ over C is likely a programmer that I really *would* prefer to piss off, so that he doesn't come and screw up any project I'm involved with.

        C++ leads to really really bad design choices. You invariably start using the "nice" library features of the language like STL and Boost and other total and utter crap, that may "help" you program, but causes:

        - infinite amounts of pain when they don't work (and anybody who tells me that STL and especially Boost are stable and portable is just so full of BS that it's not even funny)

        - inefficient abstracted programming models where two years down the road you notice that some abstraction wasn't very efficient, but now all your code depends on all the nice object models around it, and you cannot fix it without rewriting your app.

        In other words, the only way to do good, efficient, and system-level and portable C++ ends up to limit yourself to all the things that are basically available in C. And limiting your project to C means that people don't screw that up, and also means that you get a lot of programmers that do actually understand low-level issues and don't screw things up with any
        idiotic "object model" crap.

        So I'm sorry, but for something like git, where efficiency was a primary objective, the "advantages" of C++ is just a huge mistake. The fact that we also piss off people who cannot see that is just a big additional advantage.

        If you want a VCS that is written in C++, go play with Monotone. Really.
        They use a "real database". They use "nice object-oriented libraries". They use "nice C++ abstractions". And quite frankly, as a result of all these design decisions that sound so appealing to some CS people, the end result is a horrible and unmaintainable mess.

        But I'm sure you'd like it more than git.

                    Linus
        - - -
        From: Linus Torvalds
        Subject: Re: Compiling C++ kernel module + Makefile
        Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2004 22:46:23 -0800 (PST)

        On Tue, 20 Jan 2004, Robin Rosenberg wrote:
        >
        > This is the "We've always used COBOL^H^H^H^H" argument.

        In fact, in Linux we did try C++ once already, back in 1992.

        It sucks. Trust me - writing kernel code in C++ is a BLOODY STUPID IDEA.

        The fact is, C++ compilers are not trustworthy. They were even worse in 1992, but some fundamental facts haven't changed:

        - the whole C++ exception handling thing is fundamentally broken. It's _especially_ broken for kernels.
        - any compiler or language that likes to hide things like memory allocations behind your back just isn't a good choice for a kernel.
        - you can write object-oriented code (useful for filesystems etc) in C, _without_ the crap that is C++.

        In general, I'd say that anybody who designs his kernel modules for C++ is either
        (a) looking for problems
        (b) a C++ bigot that can't see what he is writing is really just C anyway
        (c) was given an assignment in CS class to do so.

        Feel free to make up (d).

                Linus
        • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @08:06PM (#40586579)

          From: Linus Torvalds Subject: Re: [RFC] Convert builin-mailinfo.c to use The Better String Library. Newsgroups: gmane.comp.version-control.git Date: 2007-09-06 17:50:28 GMT (2 years, 14 weeks, 16 hours and 36 minutes ago) ... In other words, the only way to do good, efficient, and system-level and portable C++ ends up to limit yourself to all the things that are basically available in C. And limiting your project to C means that people don't screw that up, and also means that you get a lot of programmers that do actually understand low-level issues and don't screw things up with any idiotic "object model" crap.

          And, for a view somewhat less harsh about C++, but still not a case of "C++ roolz, C droolz!", see The Old Man and the C [opensolaris.org], the abstract of which says

          "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" goes the old proverb. This is a story about a pack of old dogs (C programmers) and their odyssey of trying to learn new tricks (C++ programming).

          C++ is a large, complex language which can easily be abused, but also includes many features to help programmers more quickly write higher quality code. The TeamWare group consciously decided which C++ features to use and, just as importantly, which features not to use. We also incrementally adopted those features we chose to use. This resulted in a successful C++ experience.

        • by Calavar (1587721) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @10:02PM (#40587331)
          Anyone who complains about STL portability issues clearly hasn't written a line of C++ code in the past decade. STL is the single most portable and consistent library behind the C standard library. And don't even get me started about efficiency psuedo-arguments. std::sort outperforms qsort by a huge margin on most platforms.

          And--I know I'm going to be stoned for this--Linus =/= God.
        • by Tough Love (215404) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:32AM (#40588295)

          For all his brilliance, Linus is stupid about some things. One of them is his near complete lack of understanding of C++. He obviously has zero skill in it, but he has plenty of skill at getting up on his pulpit and flaming people who do.

      • Perhaps you cannot remember a time before C++ existed. Object-oriented ideas existed before C++ and some people wanted to use them in their code.
      • by pthisis (27352)

        You technically could...but why would you? If you want to write object oriented C, there's C++. What's the benefit?

        C++ is a more expressive language than C. That's not necessarily better, though--I could define an extension to C where the + operator works between a string and an integer as follows:

        mystr + myint is defined such that it returns a string of the same length as mystr, but where each element of the return value is myint less than the equivalent char in mystr. So "dddd" + 2 returns "bbbb", "zzzz

      • by SpeedBump0619 (324581) on Monday July 09, 2012 @02:45AM (#40588863)

        Creating unusual object structures:
        I once played around with a state machine framework that was object oriented c. It had a virtual table at the top of one base class and at the bottom of a different one. Using the same layout in the virtual table allowed multiple inheritance without any special effort and without any wasted space. It's the only object structure I've ever played with that I couldn't implement with C++ classes and inheritance (I guess a *really* good C++ compiler might be able to optimize to that structure)

        Virtual Static members and member functions:
        There are occasionally times when I need polymorphic behavior, but the behavior itself isn't instance specific. As a contrived example, imagine needing to query an instance of an object for the total number of peer objects that are in existence (I'm probably managing a count during construction/destruction). I need to call some member that is class specific, but that member will only need to use static members to execute. As it is this ends up being declared virtual and the this pointer is (needlessly) passed in.

        Those are the only two instances I've run across where I actually wrote code up to the point of noticing that I couldn't do that in C++ (I'm actually still shocked ten years later that there's no such thing as a pure virtual static function).

    • by bbn (172659) <baldur.norddahl@gmail.com> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:07PM (#40586121)

      You will often see comments to the effect that C is like assembler or that you can do anything in C it just lacks some syntactic sugar. But that is very wrong. Yes, you can to some degree emulate object oriented programming in C. But how would you go about changing your memory allocation (malloc) to use a copying garbage collector? Or do lazy evaluation Haskell style? How do you implement zero-cost exception handling? (longjmp is NOT zero-cost because it requires setjmp).

      These concepts are easy for a compiler that compiles directly to assembly language. Often less mature compilers will compile to C as an intermediate language, but in that case the compiler will not be able to generate the most efficient code. For example, a compiler that uses C as intermediate step can implement exceptions using setjmp/longjmp but this adds extra code at every function call. A compiler that goes directly to assembler can implement exception unrolling using static knowledge about the stack instead for a so called zero-cost exception handling solution.

      Similarly, a compiler using C as intermediate will be forced to use a conservative garbage collector such as the Boehm GC. Using more efficient solutions such as a copying garbage collector is simply not possible without knowledge of the stack layout.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eruza (2679307)

      You can write object orientated code in C.

      The OP never said you couldn't, they said: "no pretense to be object oriented" (Emphasis mine.)

      And as far as sophisticated code, I guess the author doesn't consider operating systems or most system programming to be sophisticated.

      Again that's not what the OP said, they said C has: "no pretense to be ... sophisticated" They're saying C itself is not sophisticated, that has nothing to do with the code written in C. Sand is not a sophisticated medium, but I've seen sand sculptures that are definitely sophisticated.

      However, you are 100% correct in challenging the "assembler-like" comment.

    • by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @08:02PM (#40586555) Journal

      Code is a way of expressing human thought (language) in a way that binary machines can interpret and perform. There has been a forever search for a language that best captures the grace and power of abstract human thinking elegantly.

      One of those searches lead to Object Oriented Programming. An OO language breaks the organization of THINGS in a very natural way for western thinkers. The thought here is that by creating logical constructs representing an OBJECT which has both its own unique qualities and abilities, while at the same time inheriting qualities and capabilities from the family of OBJECT from whence it was derived, that you can perform wonderful things with a minimum of code and that if you were careful in designing your application that it should be easily adaptable and extensible to the vagaries of life. Of course this power doesn't come free, and there is operational code to support its behavior, so tiny problems or very small code may well demand C, while a large application is best implemented in a framework that gives you the logical freedom of an OO environment.

      I see you nodding, is that you understanding or falling asleep... sorry if the monologue uses big words, they're part of the concepts. Anyway, languages have intrinsic power depending on their features and capabilities. Arguably, LISP is the most powerful language one can program in today. It is also one of the more syntactically challenging, and demands a fairly healthy understanding of what a machine is fundamentally capable of doing to use to its full potential. There is a spectacular free course available at MIT online, go here [oreillynet.com] to read more about it, and decide if its something you might be interested in. While you're at it, you might want to read up in functional languages (for the more action oriented among us) or just spend a while over at Wikipedia learning about computer languages and how we got here. Definitely read a book on algorithms. Understanding how we take every day problems and reduce them to logical constructs, and how very smart people have optimized the process of managing those problems is a very cool exercise... and it'll grow your brain a notch or two (help you look at problems newly.) Master abstraction and reduction, and you've got a bright future wherever you go.

      • "Code is a way of expressing human thought (language)..." - I assume you don't mean verbal language when you say language, right? Based on my experiences and those of most other developers I've talked to (not all), what is going on inside a programmers head that needs to be expressed by a computer language does not appear to involve much of our verbal language at all, rather it seems to involve an abstract/visual type of computation/manipulation.
      • by lennier (44736) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:20AM (#40588231) Homepage

        An OO language breaks the organization of THINGS in a very natural way for western thinkers.

        Yes. And that right there is a subtle trap.

        The first problem is that the "tree of subclasses" organisation, while on the surface seeming natural, is not in fact an accurate description of real taxonomies found either in nature or in large software projects. Especially so if the "software" includes business data. It turns out there are an awful lot of platypuses in the real world, things which simply don't fit neatly into the tree.

        For example, a classic "toy" example often used in the OO analysis world is a database of employees. Lets see, we have managers, and we have workers. Great, we can subclass those! We'll have an abstract Person class, then personWorker and personManager who are subclasses of Person. Instantiate Jack Smith as an instance of class personWorker. Problem sol - um. Wait. Jack just got promoted from a worker to a manager. Crap. Can our OO system of choice handle dynamically changing an object's class during its lifetime? No, it enforces strict classing, so it can't. Oops. No problem, we'll delete Jack and recreate... oh. His entire work history was attached to that object, linked by opaque reference and not by name or staff ID, and now it's all gone forever. Double crap. Oh well. He's left the company anyway, and now he's come back as a private contractor. We'll just make him a new personContractor. Easy. Yeah, wait, now we're dealing with him also over in the billing system as a personSupplier. But wait, there's more, he just bought some stuff from us, so he's also a personCustomer! Now he's three classes at once! The universe has gone crazy!

        Most real OO systems "solve" this problem by either not doing inheritance here at all - therefore completely invalidating the "OO is about inheritance" line - or duplicating the data in multiple objects - thereby invalidating the "OO is about modelling the business domain directly" line. But at this point we're really starting to lose most of the advantages of OO entirely.

        But there's a second, even more subtle problem: although OO usually uses "class" as a synonym for "type", it turns out that subclasses are NOT at all the same thing mathematically as a subtype. (Because you can override the behaviour of a class, meaning its behaviour is now not a strict subset of its superclass, but can also be a superset.) In fact there's no really sensible definition of "subtype" at all - Liskov substitutability requires that you define a context within which you want to limit your idea of "equality", and over the scope and lifetime of a sufficiently large software system, that context is going to change radically. So there goes all your type safety. Add in runtime reflection (which was a fundamental principle of Smalltalk, the first OO system, but seems to be an optional add-on recently tossed haphazardly back into the modern variety) and things get even more confused.

        And finally, even the idea of typing can become a third subtle trap. Even if you could (which you can't in the real world) restrict your software system to a neat tree of subclasses corresponding exactly to strict subtypes in a glorious Platonic universe - if you look at your code carefully, you find out that your class/type structure, no matter how strict and clever you make it, doesn't actually tell you anything about the behaviour of your objects. It only tells you the calling signature. That you've defined an addOne method in all your IncrementableByOne class structures doesn't mean that any of those subclasses actually have to implement int addOne(int X) as returning X plus one - just that they receive and emit an integer. So after all your compile-time declarations, you've gained a whole lot of not much at all, and you have to implement a whole testing harness apparatus to do by hand what your compiler initially promised it will do.

        tl;dr: Just like (insert a political philosophy you dislike), OO is a big idea, a seductive idea, but not actually a correct idea. And attempting to apply thoughtlessly will cause pain.

  • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:46PM (#40585959)

    Java's apparent decline seems to be because of the financial slump. Where the number of new enterprise projects using Java has reduced. Most of this work was deferred and is starting to pick up again (at least as far as I can see). Some of the apparent 'decline' in languages is due to the introduction of new languages. The absolute number of projects using any language may be increasing but with new languages being introduced the proportion for any one language becomes diluted.

    That said, C deserves to be right up there because it is still completely relevant as a 'lingua franca' (common language) for talking to hardware or operating systems. It also has the same benefits of Java in that the language is small and the convention is to place complexity in the libraries rather than as arbitrarily added keywords. This is not very exciting for many Slashdotters but for regular joes it allows them to get things done while working on huge, long-term projects (where the set of staff that start the project aren't necessarily those that finish it) where being able to follow other people's code is critical. This doesn't make for good press or excitement in the blogosphere or conference circuit but these two stalwarts pretty much let you solve any problem in any computing environment (portability matters!).

    • by geminidomino (614729) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:59PM (#40586047) Journal

      Java's apparent decline seems to be because of the financial slump. Where the number of new enterprise projects using Java has reduced. Most of this work was deferred and is starting to pick up again (at least as far as I can see)

      I'm sure Oracle's mongolian horde of lawyers factors in there somewhere, too.

    • Actually I think that's half the story. The other half probably has to do with the rocket-scientists trying to obtain the near millisecond response time required for today's financial markets so C get dusted off for a return engagement. That's just a guess, though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:48PM (#40585967)

    "Objective-C is the language you have to use to create iOS applications"

    There are plenty of games and other iOS applications that are written in C and C++.

    Yes, there is a little bit of "glue" code required for interaction with Apple APIs, but the implication here is that you can't use another language write the majority of an iOS Application, which is wrong.

    • by solidraven (1633185) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:19PM (#40586217)
      The real problem here is that they assume that search engine popularity translates into language popularity. It's not cause a bunch of hipsters want to learn how to make an iOS application that it's actually going to become the programming language of choice for a majority of the developers.
      C in combination with some form of assembly still holds the absolute first position in terms of how much its actually deployed. Every mainstream OS its core, bootloader, ... was written in C and assembly. And lets not forget about all the microcontrollers out there. Almost all mainstream microcontrollers are programmed in C and assembly. And there are a whole lot more microcontrollers out there than CPUs. Lets take the 8051 as an example; If you knew how many USB controllers actually use an 8051 internally. I'd go as far as appointing the 8051 assembly a top 10 spot if the amount of deployed units of software is taken into account.
      C++ holds its second spot without problem simply due to the fact that it's compatible with C and it does offer native object extensions.
      The top 5 will probably be completed by Visual Basic, C# and Java for enterprise applications. They're perfectly fine languages for such goals and they do their job well.
      After that it becomes tricky, most likely a couple of web languages like PHP and Perl in combination with a few of the old gems like Ada and FORTRAN. Ada is used in the aircraft industry on a regular basis and FORTRAN is the corner stone of weather prediction. Two rather interesting languages (not really programming languages though) would most likely also show up on there: VHDL and Verilog.
      Anyway, I would just wish people would stop linking to the TIOBE index cause it actually has 0 value compared to real research into the subject. I'd rather see them do a study trying to correlate suicide statistics in the programming community with the programming language that was being used at the time, that might actually give more information about how good a language is than a couple of search engine hits.
  • by PerlPunk (548551) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:51PM (#40585985) Homepage Journal
    As much as I like languages like Perl and Java, where memory is managed for you (kind of), there will always be a great need for languages that brings programmers as close as necessary to the workings of the machine itself.
    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      yes, those 2 needs for performance are: cloud and mobile.

      Both have energy issues, so efficient code means more battery life or less electricity bill. Nowadays, no-one cares about the old desktop area, so native code is coming back.

  • by Brannon (221550) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:52PM (#40585989)

    What? What idiot posted that garbage? Oh, timothy...

    Understood.

  • 1) The one stated in the summary - the C++ vs. Objective C graph is on a very small Y axis that exaggerates the differences.

    2) They've included Javascript, apparently in it's seldom-used server-side form, to intimate its popularity is going down (AFAICT they don't bother to mention this differentiation).

    3) In their 2011 vs 2012 table, they indicate a language's change in table rank using arrows - one point in change equals one arrow. Visually that makes it look like some languages (e.g. Visual Basic .NET) a

    • by jmerlin (1010641)
      I find it hilarious that Obj-C is ranked so far above something like Javascript. These indexes are meant to rate popularity, right? So subjective qualitative WTF-is-wrong-with-your-language arguments aside, the sheer volume of Javascript programming going on in browsers (that includes a large portion of phone-based software in webapps built for phones) should surely dwarf Obj-C. I also find that JS questions tend to dominate SO, too, much more so than Java, Obj-C, or C/C++. In fact, the numbers from SO
  • by tomhath (637240) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:54PM (#40586003)
    I have to wonder if the world is ready to move back to a simpler time. So much of programming these days involves building "infrastructure" with all the industry approved buzzwords (factories, patterns, aspects, reuse, blah, blah, blah); sometimes it's better to just bang out the application and move on.
  • by Jiro (131519) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:58PM (#40586029)

    I don't get it. If you try searching for jobs programming in C, you'll find that almost everything that matches the search is Objective C, C++, or C# (or, on some poorly run job sites,a C++ or C# job where the punctuation got lost and it's displayed as C). Sometimes a job will say C/C++. C is rare as hen's teeth except for embedded development and there aren't *that* many jobs in embedded development.

    I just went to monster.com and searched for C. What I found starting at the top was:

    -- C++ job that lost the punctuation
    -- Objective-C
    -- C# job that lost the punctuation
    -- C/C++
    -- Objective-C
    -- C/C++, C#
    -- C/C++
    -- Objective-C

    etc. The first C job was item 14 (and is embedded). The next C job, ignoring the false hits on such things as A B C, was item 24 (also embedded), and C wasn't the main skill required. So how in the world can C be number one?

    • by Animats (122034) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:14PM (#40586171) Homepage

      Mod parent up. "The popular search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings." That's rather lame. Exactly how do they search for "C", anyway? Do Sesame Street episodes brought to you by the letter C count?

      The decline in C++ is probably real. It's on the way out as an application-level programming language. Big, complex applications with serious performance requirements and elaborate internal data structures, like 3D CAD, benefit from being written in C++. But there's no reason to write a routine desktop business app in it any more. Just moving windows and menus around and talking to the database can be done far more easily by other means.

      • by Raenex (947668) on Monday July 09, 2012 @04:49AM (#40589247)

        Mod parent up. "The popular search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings." That's rather lame. Exactly how do they search for "C", anyway? Do Sesame Street episodes brought to you by the letter C count?

        TIOBE is good for generating bullshit headlines and boastful articles about misleading statistics.

        The definition [tiobe.com] is pretty simple. They search for: +"<language> programming", then they try to look for false positives to get a "confidence" factor, and then use that to scale the resulting number of hits. They also include some search term qualifiers for certain languages, but I didn't see any listed for C.

        This is really, really poor for a language with many false positives like C, because there are so many false positive results returned, but they are only looking at the first 100 results. The first results will have the fewest number of false positives, while the later results will almost all be false positives. What they are doing is assuming a linear relationship where instead it is most likely an exponential dropoff.

        The fact that C is now on top is almost for sure due to the rise of false postives due to Objective-C gaining popularity.

  • Wherefore art thou Dennis Ritchie?

  • Power and syntax of C, safety of C++, useful compiler errors like Java. NO HEADER FILES!!!
  • by johnlcallaway (165670) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:23PM (#40586247)
    All languages come with compromises, and it's still a matter of selecting the one that gets a particular task done in an optimal manner given all the parameters of getting the specific task done with whatever compromises are allowed, the skills available, using the program, and maintaining it going forward.

    And that's not something to be settled by a popularity contest.
  • by kriston (7886) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @07:45PM (#40586423) Homepage Journal

    This survey is skewed by iOS developers trowelling out tons of appstore apps of questionable utility.

  • by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:00AM (#40588107)
    I have written apps in C++, Objective-C, and others such as C#. I have always wound up using C in those apps, too. All of them make provisions for its use. The reason I used the other languages was the tools associated with the development environments such as Xcode and Visual Studio. For example, getting to the iOS APIs is not as easy for me just using C, but some things are easier for me to write in C, and the wrappers are straightforward.

    Therefore, the survey might include usage such as mine, which could tag every app I ever wrote as a 'C' app. FWIW

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