Top 20 Programming Languages

The Tiobe Community Programming Index, lists the popularity of programming languages. This is an interesting idea when trying to figure out what tools to use to write your next next system in. This month’s winners are:
Java, C, C++, PHP, Basic, Perl, C#, Python, JavaScript, Delphi/Kylix, SAS, PL/SQL, Visual FoxPro, Lisp/Scheme, Coldfusion, VB.NET, Cobol, Ruby, Ada, D.

From their commentary:

It is important to note that this only one of many criteria to be used before taking a decision to adopt a language. Other criteria are suitability for the application domain, reliability of compilers, expression power, performance, and scalability. Hence, Ada can still be used for mission-critical systems although one should consider alternatives. This is what you also see in daily practice, Ada is hardly used for new mission-critical systems anymore. The other way around is also true. Everybody will agree that it is not wise to program missile software in JavaScript.

I think it is interesting that the first 12 languages in the list can be considered cross-platform. (i.e. work on Windows/Linux/Macs/mainframes…) and that the first ranked Windows-only language is Visual FoxPro. Also, Coldfusion actually shows up before VB.NET. I think that suggests that data-centric languages still have their place over general purpose languages as a way to leverage database queries and manipulation. Yet…yet, the three top-ranked languages could be considered third-generation, even low-level, general purpose languages. Fortunately, there are all manner of ways to leverage these with application frameworks and automation tools, which offset their level. Few application programmers write with just an ASCII editor nowadays, and I would suggest that when hiring a programmer for a specific application you examine not only the language that they will use, but also the tools.


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