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Programming Stats

IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages 197

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the lisp-is-number-one dept.
An anonymous reader writes Working with computational journalist Nick Diakopoulos, we at IEEE Spectrum have published an app that ranks the popularity of dozens of programming languages. Because different fields have different interests (what's popular with programmers writing embedded code versus what's hot with web developers isn't going to be identical) we tried to make the ranking system as transparent as possible — you can use our presets or you can go in and create your own customized ranking by adjusting the individual weightings of the various data sources we mined.
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IEEE Spectrum Ranks the Top Programming Languages

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  • by Meshach (578918) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @03:53PM (#47389627)
    But more a ranking of what are the most talked about / downloaded / popular.
    • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @03:54PM (#47389637) Homepage Journal
      ...And somehow, HTML is both on the list and lower than Java. Anyone got any theories?
      • GIGO (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @04:04PM (#47389665)

        Whether with programming languages or with studies it's the same: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

        Select mobile, and you'll find Objective-C listed 16th, 6 places after MATLAB, and two places after Visual Basic. Which is clearly nonsense.

        We already have tried and tested (back to 1989!) rankings for this. http://www.tiobe.com/index.php... [tiobe.com]
        And Objective-C is currently number three across the board, never mind just mobile.

        • In the link they provided explaining how they do their rankings, they mention Google search is one metric and also mention that it's what tiobe uses [with a link to tiobe's page]. They're trying to be more transparent and use multiple metrics vs just one or two. Maybe it's time to have an alternative to tiobe. If both indexes, done with different methodologies, provide similar results, this would tend to bolster the validity of each.

          • Maybe it's time to have an alternative to tiobe. If both indexes, done with different methodologies, provide similar results, this would tend to bolster the validity of each.

            But as I pointed out cursory examination proves it's garbage. I've already donr Obj-C. How about MATLAB being 5 places above HTML? Complete drivel.

            • I agreed with your original first paragraph [but forgot to mention it--sorry].

              We need multiple such ranking lists just like we need multiple style guides. On the latter, some are better than others, but when they all converge on a given point, that's when it's more likely to be a valid concept.

              I just looked at the latest tiobe and it appears to better match how I would have [being a programmer] ranked some of the languages. Spectrum will no doubt [have to] tune their methodology, based upon the drumming t

          • Maybe it's time to have an alternative to tiobe.

            There's an alternative [langpop.com].

        • Select mobile, and you'll find Objective-C listed 16th, 6 places after MATLAB, and two places after Visual Basic. Which is clearly nonsense.

          lol you're reading the results wrong. Read the instructions where it says 'click to hide'. Objective-C turns up in 16th place if you disable mobile.

          So yeah, you're right, that is clearly nonsense. :)

        • Whether with programming languages or with studies it's the same: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

          Select mobile, and you'll find Objective-C listed 16th, 6 places after MATLAB, and two places after Visual Basic. Which is clearly nonsense.

          We already have tried and tested (back to 1989!) rankings for this. http://www.tiobe.com/index.php... [tiobe.com] And Objective-C is currently number three across the board, never mind just mobile.

          The filters are meaningless because they just hide the languages that are not classed as being used in that space, they don't actually measure usage in that space. When you hide all but mobile they're still ranking the languages by overall use, not use in the mobile space. So C# is at 4th despite it having almost no use in the mobile space.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        HTML is a markup language, not a programming language. Jscript is the typical programming language associated with it.

        Amazing that people still mix these up.

        • by skids (119237)

          HTML5 is enough of a language that it is supplanting Flash and Java, and I think this is what they are referring to. Declarative animation can get you a long way and if all you are using ECMA for is to fill in a few gaps you can arguably classify it as a language for the purposes of this survey.

      • HTML is not a language. Sorry.

        • HTML is not a language. Sorry.

          All these years, I guess I was wrong about what the L stood for.

          HTML may not be a Turing-complete programming language (I haven't looked to see how much HTML5 added), but it is a "language".

        • Nice catch, Captain Obvious. That was my point!
    • Figuring out the best programming language is just an opening to a flame war.
      1. Different languages have chosen a different set of trade offs as to meet the problems they solve. Speed to run vs speed to code. Compiled vs interpreted. Verbose descriptive command vs quick to type but cryptic commands.

      2. Different platforms. Are you coding for Windows or Linux perhaps for Apple. How much do you want to take advantaged of the platforms features?

      3. You tend to favor what you know. Why do you think most of these

  • I am somewhat doubtful that Verilog counts as a programming language. SystemVerilog, perhaps, but that isn't mentioned.

    Also SQL -- yes, there is a distinct syntax associated with it, but is it a "programming language"?

    • by ATMAvatar (648864)
      Yes. SQL is a turing-complete language. Whether you want to actually write full-blown programs with it or stick to the queries it was designed for, however...
      • SQL certainly is not turing complete, but I wonder why people even bring up that matter?

        • You're incorrect. Please see Cyclic Tag System [postgresql.org] and Turing Machine in SQL [coelho.net].

          • This is not SQL but an enhanced/extended proprietary dialect.
            The first sentences even mention the extensions :)
            Better luck next time.

            • You clearly didn't actually read the material provided. Please read it, in its entirety, and let me know when you're done. Cheers!

              • Why should I? It does not add to the discussion.
                On top of that, the definition of turin complete is not that you are able to simulate a turing machine, albeit if you can do that you are turing complete, hence the misconceptions in this thread I guess.

                • You should do so because you've proven that you're capable of not only once, but twice, commenting on a topic that you're unqualified to speak on. Will you continue to refuse to read the referenced materials, reply again, and hence continue to demonstrate your willful ignorance? Your initial statement was provably false, and you're simply unable to admit your error. That's pathetic.

                  • What is your problem?
                    Standard SQL (1986/1999) is not turing complete.
                    The articles you linked are not about standard SQL but about modern derivates, no idea if they 'just yesterday' became an agreed standard (which is not adopted yet, and from which is unclear which vendor will when implement what of it). And I don't care. I'm not particular interested in using SQL for solving programming problems.
                    Your initial statement was provably false, and you're simply unable to admit your error.
                    No, it was not!
                    Google:

                    • You should be asking yourself what your problem is. Clearly, you still haven't read the referenced materials; proprietary extensions are not needed. Here's something else to read while you're at it: SQL Standardization [wikipedia.org]. There is no single "standard SQL." SQL standardization has gone through many iterations: SQL-86, SQL-89, SQL-92, SQL:1999, SQL:2003, SQL:2006, SQL:2008, SQL:2011. The SQL standard is presently maintained by ISO/IEC JTC 1 [wikipedia.org].

                      So yes, your initial statement (which was "SQL certainly is not turing

                    • As you are a practitioner of Aikido, I'm genuinely surprised by the direction this entire commend thread has taken. I am looking forward to your next reply, though.

                    • So you still believe that 'ordinary' SQL is turing complete?
                      Wow ... that is astonishing.
                      But as you obviously keep insulting me ... I guess you don't want to learn anything.

    • Also SQL -- yes, there is a distinct syntax associated with it, but is it a "programming language"?

      If not, any of the variants of PL/SQL certainly are.

    • SQL is not a programming language but a querry language.

    • by eulernet (1132389)

      If HTML is a programming language, then anything can be a programming language.

    • Also SQL -- yes, there is a distinct syntax associated with it, but is it a "programming language"?

      SQL99 is Turing complete. You need more than SELECT, JOIN, UNION though.

  • What's next in flamebait-land? Rate the best editor?
  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @06:10PM (#47390207)
    It's a pretty good list but my only question is how on earth did Java beat out C. Java is a decent language for a lot of different areas but doesn't come to the table in any one area and own the hill. On the other hand C is the king of the embedded world, Operating System world ( such as kernels ) and can still rock it on the desktop with C++ and C#. If C and Java switched places then it would be prefect, until that happens I can't really agree with it.
    • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday July 05, 2014 @06:43PM (#47390323) Journal

      how on earth did Java beat out C....... the other hand C is the king of the embedded world, Operating System world ( such as kernels ) and can still rock it on the desktop with C++ and C#.

      Because most programming isn't exciting new hip startups, it's not embedded.
      Most programming in the world is boring business software. And that is where Java shines, for various reasons. As someone else pointed out, it's like the COBOL of the 21st century.

      • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
        Java is what a lazy developer uses to get free security and free memory protection, a child could write a business application in Java and have it secure. To me that doesn't sounds like a good language as much as it does a language for lazy programmers, which should loose it a few points.
        • Java is what a lazy developer uses to get free security and free memory protection, a child could write a business application in Java and have it secure

          No, if you think Java will give you security and free memory protection, then your program has both security holes and memory leaks.

          • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
            Well I'm an embedded system developer and I can tell that compared to C, Java gives you everything and the kitchen sink.
            • I'm an embedded programmer too, and I can tell you that if you're having trouble with memory or security, the problem isn't the language, it's you.
              • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
                I never said or implied that I have any problem with memory management or security. The problems come when languages like Java, C++ or etc... try to insert protections for you without knowing exactly how you want the protection to work. Java also extracts the programmer way to far away from the hardware, which is essential for any good developer, who doesn't work in web land.
        • by ultranova (717540)

          Java is what a lazy developer uses to get free security and free memory protection, a child could write a business application in Java and have it secure. To me that doesn't sounds like a good language as much as it does a language for lazy programmers, which should loose it a few points.

          Java should lose points because you think it's not challenging enough? Seriously?

    • by gnupun (752725)

      but my only question is how on earth did Java beat out C

      That's like asking why isn't Assembly language on the top of the list? It runs circles around C in the performance area, both in speed and size (important for embedded apps).

      Java beats C because you can accomplish more in Java than C with fewer lines of code and less mental effort. Things like exceptions, OO, garbage collection, a massive library, etc. save a lot of time compared to C. Debugging is also relatively painless because you get a stack trac

      • by mvdwege (243851)

        fewer lines of code

        I'm sorry? Have you ever seen the huge amounts of boilerplate Java requires?

        • by gnupun (752725)
          That's often a symptom of bloated corporate design. You can write clean Java code that resembles C in succinctness. Granted the language is verbose using words where other languages use symbols. Why isn't there a sensible default for method access -- 'public or private?' The default 'package' access is rarely used.
          • by dkf (304284)

            The default 'package' access is rarely used.

            Huh. I use it quite a bit when implementing an API. (You hardly need to use public at all inside interfaces.)

    • Java is a decent language for a lot of different areas but doesn't come to the table in any one area and own the hill.

      Except, you know, that whole Android API thing...

  • by nick_urbanik (534101) <nicku@nic k u .org> on Saturday July 05, 2014 @06:39PM (#47390309) Homepage
    IEEE shows "PERL" at number 11. IEEE, It's Perl, not PERL. [perl.org]
  • Why do they only list VHDL and Verilog HDLs?

    SystemVerilog and VHDL are now the primary HDL languages we use in chip design.

    • by jd (1658)

      I didn't see SystemC, either, but may have missed it. But the real question is what the stats would look like if you only included Wishbone-compliant usage?

  • There should have been modifiers for typical bugs per kloc and security holes per kloc.

    Also, there are many more layers to the industry. Scientific computing? Avionics? Publishing?

    The subdivisions between languages are also a bit... strange. Java/Oak isn't truly uniform, whatever anyone claims. C and C++ have standards that aren't always backwards-compatible - if you ignore such changes, why bother listing C# or D as distinct? Lump the lot, together with B and BCPL under a single header.

    My guess is that acc

  • I look through the comments here and it seems a lot of people are unhappy, displeased, confused, or otherwise negative about the rankings of languages in the list. As someone that is seriously considering going to graduate school to update my programming skills I'd like to know where I could get the best return on my investment.

    I did VHDL and Verilog primarily for a few years. As is the nature of the beast there was some mix of programming in a lot of other languages that went with that to make tools work

    • by dkf (304284)

      A masters in computer science program means taking about 10 three credit courses to get the degree. That means learning potentially 10 different languages. Which 10 would you choose? Which of those 10 are a must to learn, which would be merely advantageous to know?

      Take at least one OO language (Java's fussy and bureaucratic, but its a pretty good example of the breed and is likely to be useful after you get your masters), at least one functional language (probably Haskell these days), at least one declarative language (Prolog or SQL), and don't just learn programming languages. You also need to learn about data, about data structures, about algorithms and their analysis, about parsing and compilation, and about concurrency; these are all independent of any programmin

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