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GitHub Commits Reveal The Top 'Weekend Programming' Languages ( 149

An anonymous reader writes: Google "developer advocate" Felipe Hoffa has determined the top "weekend programming languages," those which see the biggest spike in commit activity on the weekends. "Clearly 2016 was a year dedicated to play with functional languages, up and coming paradigms, and scripting 3d worlds," he writes, revealing that the top weekend programming languages are:

Rust, Glsl, D, Haskell, Common Lisp, Kicad, Emacs Lisp, Lua, Scheme, Julia, Elm, Eagle, Racket, Dart, Nsis, Clojure, Kotlin, Elixir, F#, Ocaml

Earlier this week another data scientist calculated ended up with an entirely different list by counting the frequency of each language's tag in StackOverflow questions. But Hoffa's analysis was performed using Google's BigQuery web service, and he's also compiled a list of 2016's least popular weekend languages -- the ones people seem to prefer using at the office rather than in their own free time.

Nginx, Matlab, Processing, Vue, Fortran, Visual Basic, Objective-C++, Plsql, Plpgsql, Web Ontology Language, Smarty, Groovy, Batchfile, Objective-C, Powershell, Xslt, Cucumber, Hcl, Puppet, Gcc Machine Description

What's most interesting is the changes over time. In the last year Perl has become more popular than Java, PHP, and ASP as a weekend programming language. And Rust "used to be a weekday language," Hoffa writes, but it soon also grew more popular for Saturdays and Sunday. Meanwhile, "The more popular Go grows, the more it settles as a weekday language," while Puppet "is the champion of weekday coders." Ruby on the other hand, is "slowly leaving the week and embracing the weekend."

Hoffa is also a long-time Slashdot reader who analyzed one billion files on GitHub last summer to determine whether they'd been indented with spaces or tabs. But does this new list resonate with anybody? What languages are you using for your weekend coding projects?
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GitHub Commits Reveal The Top 'Weekend Programming' Languages

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  • Java (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Java is the classic weekday language, taking COBOL's place.

    Not that it's poorly designed, but... getting the right things to happen is work that people need to get paid for.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Cue everyone telling you that Java sucks and you should switch to one of the many fad languages.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I am no advocate of Java but occasionally a well-designed, low resource, application developed using the Java programming language comes along and impresses me.

        As for my weekend programming languages recently these include bash, python, R, and SQL (yeah I know it is technically not a programming language in the Turing Complete sense). LaTeX is not a programming language, right?

        • LaTeX is not a programming language, right?

          It has been used to write some interesting applications [], according to Stack Overflow. It is, apparently, a programming language, although one I'm not going to use for weekend projects not involving text formatting.

  • Pretty neat week-end language IMO... Not for a living though!
  • My repositories that contain QuickBASIC language code for compilation with QB64 are tagged Visual Basic by GitHub.
  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Saturday February 11, 2017 @09:23PM (#53848303)
    Learned Java on my own a couple years ago, but have never used it in a professional environment. Do a lot of Python on my own. Do C/perl/bash/some C++ at work.

    Love Python, Java is OK.

    Then again, I've never used github neither personally nor professionally, I'm gonna guess these results are biased heavily towards github users, the rest of us (Perforce for me) are completely left out.

    / several years ago we were writing a new test suite
    // I wanted Python, most others wanted Perl
    /// Boss said "3,000 engineers here know Perl, you know Python. Wanna support 3,000 engineers?"
    //// bummer, but he had a damned valid point
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, sounds like awesome job security. You're a goddamn fool for saying no, now there's at least 3000 engineers that can do your job better than you.

    • There is no way that there is still 3000 people who wouldn't switch from Perl to Python in the entire world. Are you working with aliens.?
      • When you have a large code base in language X and 3000 (competent) developers working on it: why the hell would you want to switch to a different language?

        Doing new stuff in a different language would be ok, but ditching the old code and rewriting it?

        • Doing new stuff in a different language would be ok, but ditching the old code and rewriting it?

          Well, rewriting old Perl code... Yeah, I guess. Of course, if it were old Python code, it wouldn't be an issue. Perl, as the saying goes, is a write-only language.

          • by doom ( 14564 )
            Lame piss.
            • Seriously? It really gets you going that someone you don't even know would suggest that Perl is much easier to write than to read? I have never heard in my life anyone say that they saw a project which was written in Perl and the code was beautiful. I've heard it about C and Python... and, yes, about Java. I've even heard it about Bash scripting framework. But never about Perl. I guess your experience may be different, but if it is, I assure you that it is fairly unique.
              • Sounds like you don't know any good Perl programmers.

              • by SoTuA ( 683507 )
                Well, now you can't say that anymore. I have seen beautiful Perl with my own two eyes. It was awesome.
                / I had been writing Perl regularly for a decade at that point. I did feel like I had found an unicorn.
      • by doom ( 14564 )

        There is no way that there is still 3000 people who wouldn't switch from Perl to Python

        Ah, would that there were only 3000 mindless trolls left on the internet.

  • So during the week, I get my normal work done, but on Friday afternoons, if I've been frustrated with some part of the build system I've written or I want to make something about my process better, I work on tinkering with emacs. Few people need elisp as their main language, but if they're using emacs, they're working in elisp on the weekends to make the rest of their week more liveable.

  • Is that like when the CEO creates an unrealistic deadline out of thin air and I spend the weekend coding a hack to make it look like a feature kinda sorta works? Surely this study isn't suggesting that people are spending their weekends writing programs in obscure languages just for fun?!?!?
  • mhmhmh (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I write FORTRAN in every language!

  • Come on. All the cool kids use Erlang Outlaw Techno Psychobitch []

  • Kicad? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jenningsthecat ( 1525947 ) on Sunday February 12, 2017 @12:46AM (#53849057)

    top weekend programming languages are: Rust, Glsl... Kicad...

    I use KiCad to create schematics and PCB designs. When, and how, did it become a programming language?

    • Re: Kicad? (Score:4, Informative)

      by BeaverCleaver ( 673164 ) on Sunday February 12, 2017 @03:25AM (#53849655)

      I came here to ask the same thing. Maybe because KiCad component footprints are hosted on GitHub, it got counted as a "language." And given the number of PCBs for hobby projects which get developed on weekends, this might account for its popularity.

    • I was thinking the same thing about Puppet. I haven't used it much, but I don't remember there being a programming language involved.
      • Puppet has its own programming language do describe dependencies and deployments. I think it is Ruby based, not sure so, looked at it once and immediately hated it, it was to ugly.

        • That and the people that use Puppet (that I have seen, e.g. Web Devs), aren't doing much more than a basic GREP and PIPE bash script. Tools for Fools.
          • Well,
            I had no problem to use Puppet for what it does, and would likely use bash myself.
            I have a problem with the "reinvented" programming language however.

            I like programming languages ... if they do something NEW and do it BETTER or with a different PARADIGM than other/older languages. The Puppet language looked more like a missbreed of Ruby/Python/PERL to me though.

    • by pkphilip ( 6861 )

      Also, when did Nginx become a language?

  • by Tony Isaac ( 1301187 ) on Sunday February 12, 2017 @02:20AM (#53849457) Homepage

    Github is especially popular with the Linux crowd. It was, after all, invented to improve development coordination of Linux.

    This population skews the results in three significant ways:
    1. Towards obscure and fad languages. This is linked to the extreme fracturing of Linux programmers, each group of which fiercely promotes its own favorite language and tools.
    2. Away from Windows. GitHub is especially popular with the open source crowd. This means that C# and .NET languages (favored by programmers who want to make money with their code) will be underrepresented in the statistics.
    3. Away from projects developed by less-than-genius developers. GitHub still has a steep learning curve for a lot of developers to master, especially those who have been raised on TFS and SubVersion. The obsession with cloning and branching is foreign to these programmers, and they often don't see the point. These types of programmers are typically creating relatively straightforward Web applications, and tend to write their code in C#.

    I suspect that the real numbers for weekend coding would feature Microsoft .NET languages much more prominently, if all types of repositories could be counted.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Hmm, I think that you are confusing git and github.

      By the way, I read recently about Microsoft creating a git-friendly file system, and that the Windows code base was managed with git.

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Sunday February 12, 2017 @02:32AM (#53849505) Journal
    Counting the most commits is only a step above counting kloc's. Or is it just the new kloc? If a language is at the point where it finally has it together (good std library support, intuitive syntax, etc.) one might expect projects in that language to get to stable condition much faster with fewer commits. The more messy and error-inducing a language is, the more the projects in it need to be fixed. So it would see more commits (assuming enough people are conned into using it).
  • by Anonymous Coward

    C++ always strict me as a great weekend language: obscure, featureful, fun to play with, but damned if I'd want to use it on a "professional" project.

    • by cpghost ( 719344 )
      To C++ aficionados, weekends are for reading and meditating through Stroustrup's and others' fine books, the ISO standard, Boost code, etc. to get a better grasp of the language and its modern features to then be used during the week days to create even more obscure, beautiful metaprograms that solve the Halting Problem at compile time by applying a policy meta-template instantiated with some magic traits. Do you think there's time to commit code like that on GitHub on the weekends and hoping those commits
    • It takes skill, experience, and knowledge to do a good job with C++. If you've got all that, it's a really powerful and expressive language.

  • Nginx ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    So Nginx is a programming language now ? I always thought it was an HTTP and proxy server, not a programming language.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That was what I was thinking. Unless the config language is now Turing complete and used by hipsters migrating from node and Go.

  • That's interesting. The only practical use for Objective-C++ is to write wrappers for C++ classes to be used from Objective-C code or vice versa. So people are writing wrappers for either their C++ code or their Objective-C code on the weekends?
  • I've used Livecode for all my "I need a program to do X immediately" needs for years. It has since become open source and free for most usesâ"including all of mine. The paid additional features, like compiling for iOS, are always available if needed. One if the best parts if using Livecode is its integrated IDE. It is exceedingly simple to fire it up, create a New project, and drag a few text fields and buttons on to its window. I've been using the language, or one of its ancestors, since 1988 when I
  • AutoHotkey... which is basically C with optional curly braces... Did you hear that Python? optional curly braces... imagine that.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Python is very heavily used both in commercial day jobs and by neophyte/weekend coders. The fact Python appears on none of these lists and that the likes of Nginx - a web server - is suggested to be a programming language, clearly indicates that this "analysis" is utterly worthless.

    GIGO. This whole story is garbage.

  • Go and some python on weekends.

    Should I try Rust next?

    During the week it is mostly C, some C# and for scripting, Python.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle