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RedMonk Identifies 2017's Most Popular Languages: JavaScript, Java, And Python (redmonk.com) 125

Twice a year the tech analysts at RedMonk attempt to gauge adoption trends for programing languages based on data from both GitHub and Stack Overflow. Here's their top 10 list for 2017: JavaScript, Java, Python, and PHP, followed by a two-way tie between C# and C++, a two-way tie between Ruby and CSS, and then C at #9, and Objective-C at #10. But their GitHub data now counts the number of pull requests rather than the number of repositories. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Swift was a major beneficiary of the new GitHub process, jumping eight spots from 24 to 16 on our GitHub rankings. While the language appears to be entering something of a trough of disillusionment from a market perception standpoint, with major hype giving way to skepticism in many quarters, its statistical performance according to the observable metrics we track remains strong. Swift has reached a Top 15 ranking faster than any other language we have tracked since we've been performing these rankings. Its strong performance from a GitHub perspective suggests that the wider, multi-platform approach taken by the language is paying benefits...

Of all of the top tier languages, none jumped more than TypeScript on our GitHub rankings, as the JavaScript superset moved up 17 points.... PowerShell moved from 36 within the GitHub rankings to 19 to match TypeScript's 17 point jump, and that was enough to nudge it into the Top 20 overall from its prior ranking of 25... One of the biggest overall gainers of any of the measured languages, Rust leaped from 47 on our board to 26 â" one spot behind Visual Basic.

Swift and Scala and Shell all just missed out on the top 10, clustering in a three-way tie at the #11 spot.
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RedMonk Identifies 2017's Most Popular Languages: JavaScript, Java, And Python

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    And we all know the difference between elevator/rap/kiddie-pop music and Mozart/Beethoven/Strauss/Sousa...
    Assembly, C, C++, Pascal, and Fortran still live!

    • So does QuickBASICâin the form of QB64. Things that are external libraries in other programming languages are built into the language and many graphics commands are designed to be distinct from other function calls. It means you can tell what a function is meant to do by looking at it. It still doesn't go far enough in my opinion, but at least it's a start down that approach.
      • I would argue that it is the IDE that should be highlighting a languages standard library commands.

        I am not a BASIC hater by any stretch, but library calls should use a unified syntax.

        Not requiring ()'s for procedure calls (functions that return no value) is fine, and as far as I am concerned is actually quite beneficial, but it should also apply to the users own procedures because it is also beneficial there for all the same reasons.

        SCREEN 0
        LOCATE 25, 1

        PRINT SIGNATURE$
  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @12:53AM (#54067981) Journal

    Reading this, perhaps we should keep in mind it is based on pull requests on public Github repositories; that's counting how much these languages are *shared*, not how much they are *used*.

    Since the full source code most Javascript is generally distributed to the public anyway, it's not the language of choice for proprietary applications. You may as well put it on Github, since you're already putting the source code on your web site. Proprietary software is most commonly written for Windows, and therefore written in C#. Github pull requests will over represent Javascript, and under represent C# in terms of actual usage.

    Github also very much over represents new projects that were started in only the last few years, after Github became popular. You won't find Linux or Apache on Github, for example, or most other software that has been around a long time. A lot of software had their development processes in place before Github even existed. Along the same lines, Github is used more by people who choose to newer, "trendier" options versus time-tested methods.

    This survey will therefore under represent older languages and over represent newer, trendier languages.

    Measuring Github pull requests might be a better measure of which languages are popular in recent open source packages, vs overall usage.

    • by hajile ( 2457040 )
      Most serious JS is definitely NOT open to the public. Common libraries certainly are (and the JS community is very aggressive about pushing the programming envelope), but most significant projects are closed source. You could argue that you can see the source anyway, but between babel transformations and minification, the output is obfuscated (to say differently would be similar to arguing that C projects are open because you can disassemble them).
    • Maybe JavaScript is not "popular", just used a lot because it is necessary to use it.
    • Most popular among "being used in development" are Javascript, Java, C# and PHP according to stackoverflow tags [stackoverflow.com].
    • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @03:38AM (#54068251)

      You won't find Linux or Apache on Github, for example...

      Linux kernel [github.com]
      Apache HTTPD Server [github.com]

      I'm not saying you're wrong, but your examples are wrong.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @05:20AM (#54068389)

      Whenever there's a "language popularity" thing online they always do their research by looking at what people are doing online. Either what they are talking about, what they are sharing, etc. Somehow none of them ever consider how horribly skewed this is.

      The simplest counterexample to something like this is embedded software. It is unarguable that there's a lot of development of that going on. Everything today gets controlled with a micro-controller or small CPU. Actual custom designed ASICs/circuits are reserved for only a few applications, most things get a more general purpose device and do it in code. Your car, your cable modem, your microwave, your TV, etc all of them run code.

      Well guess what? That embedded code isn't done in Javascript or Ruby or any of these other trendy languages. Often as not it is done in C/C++ (and sometimes partially or all assembly). It just isn't the sort of things that gets posted about online. First the code is almost always proprietary, so the project itself isn't going to get posted as it is property of the company that paid to have it written and second it is professionals working in teams doing it, not people who are getting started out or playing around. They are likely to get help internally, not talk about it on the Internet.

      So if you want to look at Github to see what is popular on Github, that's cool, but when people try to generalize that to development overall, it is false. To get a feeling for what is really popular in software development you'd have to poll programmers working at a variety of big companies since that's where a lot of the code is being generated.

    • Reading this, perhaps we should keep in mind it is based on pull requests on public Github repositories; that's counting how much these languages are *shared*, not how much they are *used*.

      Oh... so you're saying the several squillion single-function dependencies that are pulled any time you try to do anything nontrivial in node.js are counted separately every time you deploy it on a new machine? Yeah, that would explain it.

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @01:33AM (#54068061)
    The most popular hamburgers worldwide are Mac Donald's. Does that make them better?
  • Contrary to many other aspects of life, I see popularity as a major boon to the usefulness of a programming language (not just for professional reasons). I looked at the first few pages of a Java book and saw that I had to write a class just for "hello world" and haven't delved any deeper since. Of course, it is VERY popular apparently. I have heard plenty of bad things, but does anyone have anything good to say about Java?
    • Re:java (Score:5, Insightful)

      by j-b0y ( 449975 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @03:37AM (#54068245)

      Java has a robust and widely used and robust frameworks for applications so in many cases the developer can focus on the business code; several mature development environments which hook into the reflection capabilities of the language to make coding quite pleasant; a rich set of tools useful for program qa and developer support; a massive developer pool. As a language it's OK, but language wars are so 90s.

      For a business that needs to get stuff done that's pretty important. For projects with lifetimes potentially in decades Java is an easy choice. A good programmer is a good programmer in any language; Java can make mediocre programmers productive. That might sound deeply unsexy to the slashdot crowd, but I think that's the reality of an awful lot of SW development, which is internal or contracted development for businesses.

      • by PJ6 ( 1151747 )

        Java has a robust and widely used and robust frameworks for applications so in many cases the developer can focus on the business code; several mature development environments which hook into the reflection capabilities of the language to make coding quite pleasant; a rich set of tools useful for program qa and developer support; a massive developer pool. As a language it's OK, but language wars are so 90s.

        "Robust", huh? [blogspot.com]

        The worst misuse and overuse of design patterns I have ever seen have all come from people who write, or learned to code writing Java.

        Those "robust frameworks" you talk about are a scourge. At best they're cargo-cult engineering, and at worst, deliberate overiengineering make-work to craete job security.

        Java can make mediocre programmers productive

        I'm guessing you and I have very different ideas about what productivity is.

    • Yes. I have something to say that is good about it. It scares away incompetent people like you according to you ;-)
    • I have heard plenty of bad things, but does anyone have anything good to say about Java?

      Absolutely! Off the top of my head:

      Java broke the logjam in the open source world (though it wasn't called "open source" at the time). Before Java, pretty much everything was in C (and maybe a little Tcl). The Java hype opened up the open source world to all languages. (Note that Perl 5 dates from around the same time as Java 1, and I don't want to discount its relevance, but while Perl and CPAN would have gone on to influence other languages like Perl, it didn't step into C's space like Java did.)

      Java brok

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 19, 2017 @04:03AM (#54068287)

    Every couple of days some random guy who measured programming language popularity by pissing against the wind while spelling the name of the language backwards pretends to have figured out how he future of software development will look like. And every damn time this garbage is getting posted on /.

  • Popular?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maroberts ( 15852 )

    I do JavaScript development. That does not necessarily mean I like JavaScript

    • I do JavaScript development. That does not necessarily mean I like JavaScript

      Who said it means folks like you like it?

      This is what it means:

      It means folks like you help make it more popular. Do you deny this?

  • Python (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fluffernutter ( 1411889 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @09:19AM (#54068699)
    I just want to say. Good for Python. I know a lot of people hate it but once you get past the static indents there is a lot to like about the language.
    • +1.
      Coming from Ruby, I have a few WTF moments with Python, but mostly, the syntax is acceptable and it's really easy to get shit done with Python.
      There are so many cool libraries for everything, programming often feels like cheating now.

  • A perfect example of how "popular" does not necessarily mean "good".

  • C is a subset of C++. To get a true indication of popularity, add the numbers for those two together, and nothing else is even close.

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