Dueling language popularity assessments cite C and Java as the most popular programming languages this month.
Tiobe and PyPL offer differing perspectives on which languages are the hottest, respectively basing their criteria on Web page totals and number of searches on a language
The established Tiobe Programming Community Index, which determines popularity by assessing Web page totals pertaining to a specific language, has C as this month’s most popular language, rated at 17.855% estimated market share. It is followed by Java, with 17.417%.
Meanwhile, the new PyPL Popularity of Programming Language Index, which analyzes Google searches on language tutorials, has Java as the top language, with 30.5%, followed by PHP at 15.4%. C ranks just fifth on the PyPL index, with 9.2%. PHP only turns up in sixth place on the Tiobe index, with 5.546%.
“The Tiobe index in my view doesn’t give [an] adequate view of popularity of a programming language,” said Pierre Carbonelle, founder of the PyPL index, which is posted within the pyDatalog website. The Tiobe index, Carbonelle said, looks at pages available, while Pypl counts the number of people actively searching those pages.
Tiobe’s Paul Jansen defended Tiobe’s methodology. “It is true that we are a lagging indicator because we measure the number of pages available. If a page has been created 10 years ago and it still can be looked up, it counts for us. PyPL tracks demand for pages, whereas we track availability of pages. On the long term this is about the same because if there is no demand, there will be no availability and vice versa.” Tiobe also does not rely simply on Google; it also factors in such sites as Yahoo and Wikipedia.
Tiobe has Objective-C as its language of the year for the second consecutive year, with the language in 2012 again gaining the most market share, and it ranks third in the Tiobe January index, with a 10.283% share. Objective-C is the language of choice for developing Apple iOS applications, thus boosting its prominence. PyPL, though, calls C# its language of the year and gives a nod to Python, as well. “Over a five-year period, Python is the language whose popularity is growing the fastest; it is already the second most popular in the U.S.,” PyPL said.
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