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The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2015

Update: These rankings have been updated. The third quarter snapshot is available here.

With two quarters having passed since our last snapshot, it’s time to update our programming language rankings. Since Drew Conway and John Myles White originally performed this analysis late in 2010, we have been regularly comparing the relative performance of programming languages on GitHub and Stack Overflow. The idea is not to offer a statistically valid representation of current usage, but rather to correlate language discussion (Stack Overflow) and usage (GitHub) in an effort to extract insights into potential future adoption trends.

In general, the process has changed little over the years. With the exception of GitHub’s decision to no longer provide language rankings on its Explore page – they are now calculated from the GitHub archive – the rankings are performed in the same manner, meaning that we can compare rankings from run to run, and year to year, with confidence.

This is brought up because one result in particular, described below, is very unusual. But in the meantime, it’s worth noting that the steady decline in correlation between rankings on GitHub and Stack Overlow observed over the last several iterations of this exercise has been arrested, at least for one quarter. After dropping from its historical .78 – .8 correlation to .74 during the Q314 rankings, the correlation between the two properties is back up to .76. It will be interesting to observe whether this is a temporary reprieve, or if the lack of correlation itself was the anomaly.

For the time being, however, the focus will remain on the current rankings. Before we continue, please keep in mind the usual caveats.

  • To be included in this analysis, a language must be observable within both GitHub and Stack Overflow.
  • No claims are made here that these rankings are representative of general usage more broadly. They are nothing more or less than an examination of the correlation between two populations we believe to be predictive of future use, hence their value.
  • There are many potential communities that could be surveyed for this analysis. GitHub and Stack Overflow are used here first because of their size and second because of their public exposure of the data necessary for the analysis. We encourage, however, interested parties to perform their own analyses using other sources.
  • All numerical rankings should be taken with a grain of salt. We rank by numbers here strictly for the sake of interest. In general, the numerical ranking is substantially less relevant than the language’s tier or grouping. In many cases, one spot on the list is not distinguishable from the next. The separation between language tiers on the plot, however, is generally representative of substantial differences in relative popularity.
  • GitHub language rankings are based on raw lines of code, which means that repositories written in a given language that include a greater number amount of code in a second language (e.g. JavaScript) will be read as the latter rather than the former.
  • In addition, the further down the rankings one goes, the less data available to rank languages by. Beyond the top tiers of languages, depending on the snapshot, the amount of data to assess is minute, and the actual placement of languages becomes less reliable the further down the list one proceeds.

(click to embiggen the chart)

Besides the above plot, which can be difficult to parse even at full size, we offer the following numerical rankings. As will be observed, this run produced several ties which are reflected below (they are listed out here alphabetically rather than consolidated as ties because the latter approach led to misunderstandings).

1 JavaScript
2 Java
3 PHP
4 Python
5 C#
5 C++
5 Ruby
8 CSS
9 C
10 Objective-C
11 Perl
11 Shell
13 R
14 Scala
15 Haskell
16 Matlab
17 Go
17 Visual Basic
19 Clojure
19 Groovy

By the narrowest of margins, JavaScript edged Java for the top spot in the rankings, but as always, the difference between the two is so marginal as to be insignificant. The most important takeaway is that the language frequently written off for dead and the language sometimes touted as the future have shown sustained growth and traction and remain, according to this measure, the most popular offerings.

Outside of that change, the Top 10 was effectively static. C++ and Ruby jumped each one spot to split fifth place with C#, but that minimal distinction reflects the lack of movement of the rest of the “Tier 1,” or top grouping of languages. PHP has not shown the ability to unseat either Java or JavaScript, but it has remained unassailable for its part in the third position. After a brief drop in Q1 of 2014, Python has been stable in the fourth spot, and the rest of the Top 10 looks much as it has for several quarters.

Further down in the rankings, however, there are several trends worth noting – one in particular.

  • R: Advocates of the language have been pleased by four consecutive gains in these rankings, but this quarter’s snapshot showed R instead holding steady at 13. This was predictable, however, given that the languages remaining ahead of it – from Java and JavaScript at the top of the rankings to Shell and Perl just ahead – are more general purpose and thus likely to be more widely used. Even if R’s grow does stall at 13, however, it will remain the most popular statistical language by this measure, and this in spite of substantial competition from general purpose alternatives like Python.

  • Go: In our last rankings, it was predicted based on its trajectory that Go would become a Top 20 language within six to twelve months. Six months following that, Go can consider that mission accomplished. In this iteration of the rankings, Go leapfrogs Visual Basic, Clojure and Groovy – and displaces Coffeescript entirely – to take number 17 on the list. Again, we caution against placing too much weight on the actual numerical position, because the differences between one spot and another can be slight, but there’s no arguing with the trendline behind Go. While the language has its critics, its growth prospects appear secure. And should the Android support in 1.4 mature, Go’s path to becoming a Top 10 if not Top 5 language would be clear.

  • Julia/Rust: Long two of the notable languages to watch, Julia and Rust’s growth has typically been in lockstep, though not for any particular functional reason. This time around, however, Rust outpaced Julia, jumping eight spots to 50 against Julia’s more steady progression from 57 to 56. It’s not clear what’s responsible for the differential growth, or more specifically if it’s problems with Julia, progress from Rust (with a DTrace probe, even), or both. But while both remain languages of interest, this ranking suggests that Rust might be poised to outpace its counterpart.

  • Coffeescript: As mentioned above, Coffeescript dropped out of the Top 20 languages for the first time in almost two years, and may have peaked. From its high ranking of 17 in Q3 of 2013, in the three runs since, it has clocked in at 18, 18 and now 21. The “little language that compiles into JavaScript” positioned itself as a compromise between JavaScript’s ubiquity and syntactical eccentricities, but support for it appears to be slowly eroding. How it performs in the third quarter rankings should provide more insight into whether this is a temporary dip or more permanent decline.

  • Swift: Last, there is the curious case of Swift. During our last rankings, Swift was listed as the language to watch – an obvious choice given its status as the Apple-anointed successor to the #10 language on our list, Objective-C. Being officially sanctioned as the future standard for iOS applications everywhere was obviously going to lead to growth. As was said during the Q3 rankings which marked its debut, “Swift is a language that is going to be a lot more popular, and very soon.” Even so, the growth that Swift experienced is essentially unprecedented in the history of these rankings. When we see dramatic growth from a language it typically has jumped somewhere between 5 and 10 spots, and the closer the language gets to the Top 20 or within it, the more difficult growth is to come by. And yet Swift has gone from our 68th ranked language during Q3 to number 22 this quarter, a jump of 46 spots. From its position far down on the board, Swift now finds itself one spot behind Coffeescript and just ahead of Lua. As the plot suggests, Swift’s growth is more obvious on StackOverflow than GitHub, where the most active Swift repositories are either educational or infrastructure in nature, but even so the growth has been remarkable. Given this dramatic ascension, it seems reasonable to expect that the Q3 rankings this year will see Swift as a Top 20 language.

The Net

Swift’s meteoric growth notwithstanding, the high level takeaway from these rankings is stability. The inertia of the Top 10 remains substantial, and what change there is in the back half of the Top 20 or just outside of it – from Go to Swift – is both predictable and expected. The picture these rankings paint is of an environment thoroughly driven by developers; rather than seeing a heavy concentration around one or two languages as has been an aspiration in the past, we’re seeing a heavy distribution amongst a larger number of top tier languages followed by a long tail of more specialized usage. With the exceptions mentioned above, then, there is little reason to expect dramatic change moving forward.

Update: The above language plot chart was based on an incorrect Stack Overflow tag for Common Lisp and thereby failed to incorporate existing activity on that site. This has been corrected.

Categories: Programming Languages.

Comment Feed

144 Responses

  1. CSS: A programming language?

    • yep.

    • Yes, a special purpose programming language for styling sheets.

      • That’s a stretch. That is like saying wall paper is building material.

        penultimateNameJanuary 17, 2015 @ 9:10 amReply
      • A programming language must be compiled or executed. CSS is parsed. It is at best a markup language like HTML, and my gut tells me that if HTML were on this list, it would take the top spot easily.

        • Being parsed doesn’t make a language not a programming language, because pretty much all compiler have a parser stage. You probably mean interpreted, but then JavaScript is not a programming language until V8. I believe HTML is in the ranking, but its usage is far below JavaScript in almost all modern websites.

          • A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. The point of CSS is that it isn’t executed. If CSS were a programming languages, CSS preprocessors like Less and Sass would not exist.

            spuy767January 24, 2015 @ 9:53 pm
          • A language, to be considered a programming language, must be Turing-complete. And a language to be Turing-complete must have, at least, a concept of memory (which CSS doesn’t), a concept of iteration (which CSS doesn’t), a concept of ordered sequence of instructions (which CSS, perhaps, has) and a concept of conditional execution (which CSS, perhaps, has, although very restricted).

            We can say thus that, at most, CSS is a (powerful though) descriptive language, because it doesn’t met all the conditions.

            PeregringlkDecember 28, 2015 @ 8:07 pm
        • It aint a markup language because thats wat CSS is for. You (program) certain rules for markup and as of CSS3 there are also various functions. When adding SASS you are doing much more than simply making text bold. Especially when working with grids and components, you aren’t doing the thing that CSS was originally developed for. It is now as different for HTML as Javascript is for purely DOM manipulation (which it also originated from).

          SASS is the development for CSS that NodeJS is for Javascript

        • Well I’m going to assume that HTML classifies as XML. And it sits on the chart right up in the “everyone asks questions, but no-one seems to publish any code” section. Most likely as there is rarely a need to publish Frameworks for HTML or alike on GitHub xD.

          If the rankings cared about where it was used HTML would beat everyone else, but they simply dont. They count GitHub projects (Why would you do that?) and StackOverflow Questions (Come on HTML is firkin easy)…

      • I thought the main criteria for a “programming” language was it’s ability to make decisions (if, loop, variables, conditionals). CSS sets properties.

        Dale RogersJanuary 20, 2015 @ 12:31 pmReply
        • @Dale – Some of the most advanced languages (functional) do not have “loops” or “variables” or even conditional control statements. If in a functional language has more in common to a ternary if operation in java ( int = true ? 1 : 0), while loops are only as a bi-product of breaking things down into smaller problems (and calling itself; recursion) and variables don’t exist since functional languages are “programming without side-effects”. Functional languages are a favourite in academia, and only now becoming commercially acceptable. It is a favourite because of the mathematical nature and the ability to prove something works. So defining what is and what is not a language based on your criteria is problematic.

          bkkcanuckFebruary 4, 2015 @ 6:14 amReply
        • As of CSS3 the language also includes various functions (like calc), statements (like the media queries) and more. Adding SASS to the mix and you are really programming (simple) stuff.

    • CSS does have functions, such as transform() and linear-gradient() which take arguments and return results.

  2. What about Dart? No mention of it. In June, you said it stalled in 39th position. Is that still the case?

    Richard EngJanuary 15, 2015 @ 8:26 pmReply
  3. I like the languages under that line: more popular on GitHub than StackExchange. Means people are writing stuff and not asking questions. Off to learn CommonLisp.

    NadsumatalJanuary 15, 2015 @ 8:37 pmReply
  4. Some of the jump in Rust may be due to Swift’s coat-tails. A ton of iOS programmers heard of Rust for the first time ever when Swift was introduced and Rust mentioned as an influence. Many people I know then decided to check into it, as well as Haskell.

    • Yehuda Katz and Steve Klabnik recently joined the Rust team, too, which adds some clout to the language as well. I’ve done a little bit of Rust and I like it a lot, not having done any systems programming in the past.

  5. I assume the reason C# is not positioned further to right top, is because it’s more widely used in enterprise environments and for that reason not often shared publicly in Github repos.

    Ted van der VeenJanuary 16, 2015 @ 2:15 amReply
    • As the authors say, the “rankings” show what happens on Stack Overflow and GitHub, no more, no less.
      In particular languages that are used much more for tinkering and solving immediate problems than for creating large public projects are at a significant disadvantage by this metric, in that their GitHub numbers don’t match mindshare. Of course this only matters if you’re on some jihad to show how your language is superior to all others!

      My own favorite language, Mathematica, suffers from this — many more questions than repository lines of code. (Of course you could also argue this means Mathematica is incomprehensible!)
      SQL, I think, suffers from the same issue, as do Makefile and AppleScript.

    • Your assumption is flawed. Java is a language probably much more widely used in enterprise environments, and generally has fallen out of favour in other environments as newer / hotter languages are just better for most general purpose programming purposes. Javascript is widely used in a vast majority of web portals (also enterprise). The most popular languages generally end up spawning open solutions where are widely available (java did a lot of this years ago) — a number of these frameworks were adapted for C#. C# may be popular with Windows environments only, but larger enterprise usually have a mix of Linux/Unix servers for enterprisy things, and Windows for the desktop. Simply put you are trying to find an excuse why using the criteria given C# is not ranked higher. It is not ranked higher because it is not as popular as you think (though it might be very popular in your circle). Popularity is not a good metric to measure if a language is good generally speaking, or for specific solutions. A solution that has sufficient and dynamic community and is generally superior is better than choosing a language because more than 10% say they use it etc.

      Additionally, using lines of code without a verbosity component is flawed. I can write a much more concise (and still very readable) solution in Scala than I can in Java which generally has a lot of boilerplate code in pretty much any solution (getter / setter for every property etc.).

      bkkcanuckFebruary 4, 2015 @ 7:25 amReply
      • “C# may be popular with Windows environments only”… I guess we both like our own flawed assumptions….
        http://www.mono-project.com/
        https://github.com/dotnet/corefx

        Let’s see how latest developments influence next year’s charts.

        Ted van der VeenFebruary 4, 2015 @ 7:49 amReply
        • I am well aware of mono, but from personal experience most of the people I know that develop .NET develop it for a Windows environment and only go looking for a cross-platform solution after-the-fact once they realize that the whole world does not prefer a windows solution (including one company I know very well that made a 10 million dollar mistake building an enterprise solution on a windows platform only to have to migrate the whole thing onto something else because some of the large banks would not accept it as a Windows based server platform) — which made it both a harder sale for less money.

          bkkcanuckFebruary 4, 2015 @ 7:55 amReply
          • Personal experience != statistics. Yes its logical to do .NET on Windows, but not exclusive.

          • Statistics are what the original person was arguing with, I am not arguing with them…. it is not as popular as he wished…. but it is very popular on Windows platforms hence the other side of the equation has to be very unpopular (non-windows or mixed environments). C# was developed for Windows, just like Swift has been developed for Apple platforms. Mono came to the rescue of some that programmed them in a bind by choosing C# for what had to become cross platform. For a long time there were threats of pending lawsuits against Mono for giving people that option (though Microsoft seems to becoming aware that being open might actually help).

            bkkcanuckFebruary 5, 2015 @ 10:07 am
  6. This has been used elsewhere as PR for Apple. I wonder if there is some tie-up between the two because of several major omissions. AngularJS is by far the most popular programming language in 2014, yet it is nowhere on the chart. Perhaps because it is a Google Product. Firebase (Google) is also missing. Are you seeing a pattern here?

    There are several new initiatives which don’t make the chart, but will be important in 2015. Polymer is the one to watch.

    • AngularJS isn’t a programming language. It’s a framework for Javascript, which is on #1.

    • AngularJS is not a programming language.
      And even if it was it would not be the most popular one 🙂

    • You know this ranking is about programming languages, right? Not about libraries, frameworks or other side products…

    • AngularJS is not a programming language. Key is in (JS), its a front end framework written in JavaScript!

    • Polymer is not a programming language, either. I am puzzled how you can confuse programming languages with frameworks/libraries. Are you not technical?

      Richard EngJanuary 16, 2015 @ 8:55 amReply
      • A lot of confusion here. We live in a world where most snippets of code have already been created. So the world is moving away from “reinventing the wheel” programming languages, towards ones with complied libraries of common tasks which can be called up with only a few keystrokes.

        But the author of the piece has tried to say that the old way is better than the new one, by excluding these. And this distorts the choices, even for the sheep who would choose a program by its popularity, not by its value (a program could score highly here because it is so crap, people need to keep looking up help articles).

        The real choice for a front-end web developer however, is not Swift v Javascript, but Swift v Angular. Python, Perl or Ruby, although excellent programming languages, are really in a different decision tree and lumping them together makes no sense.

        In the same way the future has moved beyond the skeuomorphism of iOS into faster, more intuitive ways of communicating information such as Material Design. The real decision is which makes a web interface more useful. This affects the choice of design tool too – why have a popular tool designed around old-fashioned ways of using the web?

        • Basically, you’re saying that a language’s ecosystem of tools and libraries is more important than the language itself. That’s true as far as it goes. However, you cannot ignore fundamentals such as the quality of the syntax and the degree of expressiveness. These things impact the ease of programming, too.

          For example, Smalltalk represents the ultimate in simplicity and elegance for a programming language. It is very easy to learn, very easy to use, and very expressive. Combined with its image-based IDE, which is a system of live objects that can be manipulated in real time, Smalltalk affords the programmer a tremendous productivity advantage unmatched by any other programming language. (I’m not being hyperbolic here.)

          A language’s “popularity” is a rough metric of its relative quality. If a language is popular, it may reflect how useful it has been in the industry thanks to its ecosystem. It may also reflect the degree of resistance to change, what we can call “inertia.” This explains Java and JavaScript.

          Angular does not represent anything special in this respect. It’s just another JS framework. Choosing the “best” language is a matter of balancing its ecosystem with all the other factors. Popularity can be a guide, but don’t let it blind you to other possibilities.

          Richard EngJanuary 16, 2015 @ 12:31 pmReply
          • Dude, you’re being trolled.

            “The real choice for a front-end web developer however, is not Swift v Javascript, but Swift v Angular.”

    • Angular and Polymer are JavaScript (mostly) frameworks, hosted on Github – so will be counting towards that No.1 ranking.

      The other argument against your theory is that Go IS a Google Product, and both the top languages are strongly associated with Google. If there is one company that has focused on making JavaScript a fast and viable language – it’s Google. I doubt Java would hold that number 2 position if Google had used a different language for Android – C# would likely have overtaken Java. My simpler take is that Swift is rising quickly because the majority of developers on iOS want a replacement for Obj-C. You could read that as a criticism of Obj-C/Apple as much as a win. My view – Obj-C is conceptually better than Java, and the way it extended pure C, compared to C++, is elegant – but it’s resulted in something that was syntactically clunky/weird – and Python-like has won the battle for the post C-syntax languages.

      • I support your theory on Obj C. Swift caught on rapidly was that Apple had fallen badly behind, so the burning platform for change was there.
        But the problem is that Apple has fallen behind badly everywhere. iOS is well behind the work on Material Design which makes the web more intuitive and useful as we move from the web being something you read to something you do.
        We are also moving to the new Responsive, which is to make code which works on all platforms, rather than having to have a website for desktop, an app for mobile and something else again for Things. Again Apple is behind the curve.
        So Swift may have helped Apple catch up a little, but the others have moved on in the meanwhile.

        • I’m going to have to disagree. I can’t compare Material with Apple’s UI guidelines, because I don’t do UI design or development. As for Obj-C, you’ll note that I dodged saying it was out-dated or had fallen behind – and that was quite deliberate, because I don’t believe that was the case – or rather, no more so that Java – and it is certainly a better designed language that JavaScript. It’s more that for most programmers coming to it, it was like learning German, rather than French or Italian. It would be ridiculous to talk of German as ‘falling behind’ but from a commercial point of view it makes sense to acknowledge the reality that developers want Python-like. (As for why invent another language – all language designs reflect the design of their runtime, even C). Finally – I think the jury is still out on “code that works on all platforms”. There have been solutions offering this since the 80s, and I think the key problem is that they are a solution to the problem of the cost of software development, not solving a user problem. It took me a while to realise it, but as a user it’s data portability I wanted, not application portability. A lot of cross-platform desktop software failed, for instance, because developers thought that developing a Mac version was as simple as having identical software running on PC and Windows – without understanding things like differences in keyboard shortcuts, or the plus side of using a framework that supported things like the system-wide dictionary. It’s a failure to understand why different platforms exist, and why users may opt for one platform over another. That’s more of a moot point on mobile, because it is more like the 80s software world where there are fewer system-wide conventions, but Google applications running on iOS are a good example of ‘conginitive mismatch’.

          • And as an example of the issues still dogging web development, the reason there are no paragraphs in the above is because this text box will not accept them on the version of Firefox I’m stuck using at work. But what I came back to say is that I think there is a difference between being technically behind and commercially behind.

            trashbatJanuary 16, 2015 @ 11:41 am
          • We have a spine which evolved to make us better fish. The creature of now often incorporates the creature of yesterday but has evolved it into something else entirely.

            And I’m old enough to remember when people talked of French as the pre-eminent language of Europe. Now France is seen as a backwardly moving country and English has become the language of the world.

            I don’t believe you can separate design from function anymore. Material Design isn’t just a few pretty images, it is a fundamentally different way of presenting information to the user and it opens possibilities which only a developer can exploit.

            As to cross-platform I’m with you a lot of the way. I hate people who use responsive as an excuse for being lazy in their design, without recognising that people interact with their phones, their tablets, their laptops and their desktoips in fundamentally different ways. And they will interact with their watches, their glasses and their virtual reality differently too. A perfect manifestation of this is the people who write one app in HTML5 to cover both iOS and Android – it is poor on both platforms.

            But the move to packets of code to do a simple task is a good one – it reduces errors and makes for better, more thoroughly developed code, not just simply saving time.

            PeterJ42January 16, 2015 @ 12:14 pm
          • LOL. Good trolling Peter. Haha.

            First comment:
            “We are also moving to the new Responsive, which is to make code which works on all platforms, rather than having to have a website for desktop, an app for mobile and something else again for Things. Again Apple is behind the curve.”

            Second comment:
            “A perfect manifestation of this is the people who write one app in HTML5 to cover both iOS and Android – it is poor on both platforms.”

            Huh?

          • French is official language for 4 European countries and it is widely used in more than 20 countries in Africa, the next emerging continent.

            oldman_60January 19, 2015 @ 10:36 pm
    • As mentioned below, Angular, Polymer et al are excluded from these rankings because they are frameworks rather than languages. This is a language analysis: nothing more and nothing less.

      We’re simply presenting the results of a basic quantitative measurement. No inclusion or exclusion is driven by editorializing of the “old way is better than the new one” type.

    • Yes, there’s definitely a pattern: none of the ones you mentioned are programming languages. Angular is a framework, Polymer is a library, Firebase is an API.

      No conspiracy.

  7. I’m surprised not to see SAS in this list as it is wildly use and present both in github and stackoverflow…

  8. Wow, both PL/1 and Assembler no longer exist? Or am I missing something?

    • Your more likely to find those languages discussed on LinkedIn forums than stack overflow. Those developers are less likely to use GiHub their stuff maybe at http://www.cbttape.org. What surprises me is that FORTRAN is still active in both sites, although just as old this is more likely because it had an significant open source community roots. Compare that COBOL which would go in same category as two languages you have mentioned. As the article says be careful about what conclusions you make you know what they say about statistics.

      RaceQuestJanuary 20, 2015 @ 3:55 pmReply
      • I’ve worked on Fortran code fairly recently for some scientific stuff. It was a reasonable language for the task at hand. There wasn’t any strong reason to move away from it, especially because it’s learning curve is so easy as new programmers joined the team.

        In contrast, COBOL is just a bucket full of suck, I’m told.

        That may explain why, although both are old languages, only one shows active new development.

        LikeBuffaloWingsALittleTooMuchFebruary 17, 2015 @ 10:21 amReply
  9. CSS is a programming language!! Time to learn.

    • 😀

      Raghav VenkataramanFebruary 5, 2015 @ 4:14 amReply
    • As of CSS3 there are some functions involved and when you add SASS to the mix, you are really doing some (simple) programming.
      Look it up, CSS nowadays isn’t just about making font bold anymore.

    • If CSS is a programming language, can you make a program in it? Or just do some mathematical calculations, along with style definitions?

      This is just my own assumption, but I believe by “programming language” it is meant “turing-complete programming languages”.

      CSS is, of course, extremely popular and in wide use. However, this ranking is a different kind of race— and one where listing CSS would come off as silly and uncredable, especially to those with a CS background.

      • Note that having Turing completeness as a requirement would mean taking Coq off the list. That may or may not be something you want to do.

      • currently there are a few calculating variables like Calc() and some other stuff that is plain programming.
        Extending it with SASS or Less is even more technical.

        But since you have to know about the syntax, about the rules it follows and how you “program” your styles it can be called a programming language yes. It might not be as difficult as C++ or Java, but it is programming. Just a bit different than what normal programmers are doing. You have to set in which order styles are applied and need to think what you want first and what do you want later.

        And things like SASS or Less came because they wanted to do more or automatize a few things. But those add functions and variables to the mix, keystones of programming.

        • • Calc() does math, not necessarily programming.
          • Technical complexity or difficulty aren’t qualifying factors for being a programming language or not.
          • Yes, “program” used as a verb is a flexible word with many usages. That’s why my question used it as a noun— the valid applications of that form are much more specific.

          I think you’re confusing what could be called “coding” and what’s “programming”. CSS is made of code, yes, much like HTML, JSON, XML, and lots languages designed for information to be “coded” for a machine to be able to parse it and do something with it. Programs, however, run on the machine. They do things. They’re relatively open-ended in functionality (what Turing-completeness is a test for). And ultimately, the programming code becomes instructions that are run by the CPU. Information description languages like CSS don’t run— they’re just read, converted, and referenced by some other program. You can argue that Calc() runs, but that brings us back to the scope of functionality argument. CSS is a information description language, and now contains a minimal math/logic language. But it’s still missing many parts common to programming languages and necessary (in some combination of the following): point of execution (PC), conditional repetition/jumps, ability to read/write from storage, functions w/ abstraction from and apply-ability to data, probably others (RTFM yourself).

          Credit where credit is due: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_completeness , http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/132385/what-makes-a-language-turing-complete

          • I think you just can’t handle the fact that programming nowadays means something different than it did in the 80’s. Plus Turing doesn’t have anything to do with what could be called programming and what can’t. Its a language-thing, not a contents thing.

            Different languages do different things. And thus one might seem like a true programming language while the other doesn,t but that doesn’t mean they aren’t both programming languages. If you cannot see that then there is no use continue arguing

          • I disagree with you on this. I believe there’s a strong divide in the use-cases.

          • That doesn’t mean the list should be changed. You just have a different opinion on what should be called a programming language. Then make your own list

          • Not “opinion”. Logical validation. Not the only one on this issue, but different than an opinion.

            Your points, however, are closer to opinions. You’ve spent far more effort with vague attacks of my points (“doesn’t have anything thing to do with”, “just a bit different than”), and personal attacks — mostly belittlement — towards me.

            At this point, we’ve both made our points we have here. Neither of us is in control of this list, but the people who are are most certainly reading this discussion. If you want to leave your points like “it’s a language thing, not a contents thing” unvalidated, that’s your call.

        • No way.

          CSS is so far to be a programming language as HTML is.

          CSS just format the HTML structure. w/o HTML, CSS are nothing but a bunch of codes so, Once you promote CSS as programming language you need to promote HTML too.

          Forget SASS, If you claim SASS as CSS part we need to call GZIP, NPM, GRUNT and several others tools as programming language.

          Fagner AraujoMarch 14, 2015 @ 12:27 pmReply
      • Sorry, it’s for Martin! 🙁

        Fagner AraujoMarch 14, 2015 @ 12:25 pmReply
  10. It would be cool to plot these values over time. Can you make the historical data available in JSON or other format?

    Dave StewartJanuary 17, 2015 @ 4:41 amReply
  11. Hmm,can’t find QML there…

    Onaj TamoJanuary 17, 2015 @ 4:53 pmReply
  12. Where is SPARQL? It has presence in both GitHub and Stack Overflow. It’ll be interesting to watch this one over the next year.

    Pete AvenJanuary 17, 2015 @ 5:54 pmReply
  13. Simula, how could you forget Simula ?

    Per WeisteenJanuary 19, 2015 @ 5:13 amReply
  14. I would imagine that a review of job postings would give a pretty good picture of demand vs supply. Not sure about the actual meaning or utility of number or volume of projects/discussions on public forums. I do find this useful as some guidance as to trending for study (Swift is of particular interest here).

    A.HildrethFebruary 4, 2015 @ 11:09 amReply
  15. Swift is nice, but only useful for Apple platforms. If you want to do cross-platform development, you’ll need Java for Android, and C#/C++/C for Windows or Linux.

    Or you can use our just-released cross-platform development tool, “8th” (http://8th-dev.com)

    8th fulfils the promise of “One effort, multiple platforms”. So even though you have to learn yet another language, your effort pays off in the end.

  16. I’d love to see a correllation of the top languages with their average associated salaries.

    CodeMonkieFebruary 5, 2015 @ 9:47 amReply
    • Looking on Indeed, it seems C#, Java, Python JavaScript then PHP. It seems if someone needs a JS expert, then they really need an expert. All web based techs also include JS in the requirements, which it would indicate that the graph above also loosely resresents the general requirements in the job market as well.

  17. First of all, thanks stephen o’grady for putting together these stats. It’s fascinating to see how different this is with the TIOBE index at the top of the scale. My feeling is that the RedMonk is a closer measure of what’s “hip and open source” vs closed source and establishment.

    Now I’ve gone out on a limb to predict language popularity over the next 5 years. To that end I’ve put together a survey for developers to fill in and I’ll be publishing raw stats.

    The survey also records the participants’ ‘native languages’. From this we’ll see how their predictions diverge based on which languages they’re currently coding in.

    https://geekuni.com/survey.html

    It’d be great if people could pass this around so there’s a rich vein of data to mine.

  18. can we please get a version with a weighted moving average? it would be far more interesting to see what’s trending, that how many stack overflow tags perl has.

    Languages for 2015: #Scala, #golang #Javascript, #swiftlang . (No, HTML5, CSS or even PHP are not real languages)

    Fernando RaccaFebruary 8, 2015 @ 1:52 pmReply
  19. I personally think it hilarious that AutoHotKey is on the list, but not AutoIt. AHK is a bastardized offshoot of AutoIt, is far inferior in feature sets, and lacks the community and usage of AutoIt.

    JLogan3o13February 10, 2015 @ 8:41 amReply
  20. Note to author: Objective-C++ isn’t really a programming language, it’s a file format that contains both Objective-C and C++ code.

    How to count this in your rankings, however, gets sticky. If Obj-C++ were to count towards both Obj-C’s and C++’s rank, should C++ and Obj-C also count towards C, since any .cpp or .m file can contain plain C code?

  21. css? jaja

  22. It would be interesting to see languages colored by their age. So blue would be old languages and red would be new ones. Is the data for these graphs public?

    Aistis RaulinaitisMarch 11, 2015 @ 3:40 pmReply
  23. Is the raw data available anywhere? Think the ratio of (stack overflow)/ (git hub) is more telling of the importance of the language. The language on both end’s of the language ratio curve r really the ones to watch.

    moe grenJuly 4, 2015 @ 7:24 pmReply
  24. I’m continually surprised how cromulent PHP still is.

  25. This is all nonsense. Who in their right mind puts their coded project on the web. You could lose control of it.

    And to me the more difficult the language is to even do basic operations requires more web questions and web searches. And this does not promote the health of a language. It does the opposite and increases the level of frustration which promotes shabby results.



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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] issued the raking about popularity of programming languages. This research is conducted periodically since 2010. This chart below is coming from this research. Although […]

  2. […] dimostrare questa tendenza è la semestrale classifica redatta da Redmonk sui linguaggi di programmazione più in voga del momento. La classifica analizza i […]

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  5. […] a tech-industry analyst firm, uses data from GitHub and Stack Overflow to create rankings of not only the most popular programming languages, but also the up-and-comers. Based on those […]

  6. […] interesting Swift-growth-trajectory story was told by RedMonk’s Stephen O’Grady. In their Programming Language Rankings, Swift saw a meteoric rise from #68 in Q3 2014 to #22 in Q1 2015. What makes the RedMonk rankings a […]

  7. […] by the European Union and on the other hand by industrial investors. Scala has gained popularity in recent years, and is used more and more in production – also at codecentric. This blog series […]

  8. […] Vam i istraživanje RedMonk-a koje pokazuje da je Swift i jedan od najbrže rastućih jezika. Sa statusom jezika koji treba […]

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  11. […] A recent study showed the rise of Go to a place in the top 20. The pace at which this happened exceeded expectations. Go definitely has a lot of momentum building up, especially with the recent support of the Android mobile OS. […]

  12. […] Para ver a lista completa, assim como a materia original em inglês clique aqui. […]

  13. […] RedMonk公司在官方博客上指出,一门编程语言的排名在两期排行榜间跃升幅度一般很难超过10位,Swift的蹿红速度较为罕见,很有可能在今年第三季度就跻身Top20。 […]

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  15. […] data can be helpful. In addition to Indeed Trends, other sources include the ThoughtWorks Radar, RedMonk rankings, and the TIOBE Index. Always consider how the ratings are assembled, past performances to […]

  16. […] il nuovo linguaggio di Cupertino per lo sviluppo semplificato di app iOS, aveva rilevato anche un sondaggio di RedMonk ad inizio anno, si sta guadagnando una popolarità […]

  17. […] with great fanfare and claimed that it was going to seriously change the face of IOS development. Despite unprecedented growth in interest in Swift as per the RedMonk rankings, one of our beardy coworking members is not convinced… here are his […]

  18. […] to favour older, more established languages and is not so quick to pick up trends. By contrast, the Redmonk rankings have JavaScript in first place. The Redmonk method is somewhat biased towards languages with strong […]

  19. […] (one of the top languages used) made code simpler and it […]

  20. […] favour older, more established languages and is not so quick to pick up trends. By contrast, the Redmonk rankings have JavaScript in first place. The Redmonk method is somewhat biased towards languages with […]

  21. […] gesuchten Sprach-Tutorials, sieht Java aktuell jedoch auch an erster Stelle. Im ebenfalls beliebten RedMonk-Ranking, das vor allem Open-Source-Plattformen wie GitHub oder Stack Overflow durchforstet, steht […]

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  25. […] out extensively in a Bloomberg piece yesterday. In January of this year, analysis firm RedMonk found Swift to be the 27th-most-popular programming language (JavaScript is number one, Objective-C is […]

  26. […] In fact, Java is so popular, according to a study performed by independent developer industry analyst firm, RedMonk, Java ranked #2 just behind JavaScript on their January 2015 Programming Language Rankings. […]

  27. […] of rankings of the top programming languages, from places like the TIOBE Index or analyst firm Red Monk, like some people keep track of the stock market: Trying to read the tea leaves to figure out which […]

  28. […] voor internet, zo blijkt uit het European App Economy 2015-rapport van VisionMobile. Een analyse van de GitHub-coderepositoryservice door het Amerikaanse analysebureau RedMonk laat zien dat dit […]

  29. […] of rankings of the top programming languages, from places like the TIOBE Index or analyst firm Red Monk, like some people keep track of the stock market: Trying to read the tea leaves to figure out which […]

  30. […] RedMonk’s language ranking for 2015 determines popularity by analyzing activity on both GitHub and StackOverflow. Their results: […]

  31. […] Java is so popular that today, according to a study performed by RedMonk, an independent developer industry analyst firm, Java ranked #2 just behind JavaScript on their January 2015 Programming Language Power Rankings. […]

  32. […] voor internet, zo blijkt uit het European App Economy 2015-rapport van VisionMobile. Een analyse van de GitHub-coderepositoryservice door het Amerikaanse analysebureau RedMonk laat zien dat dit […]

  33. […] I/O is one reason why Javascript is the most popular programming language in 2015 as analyzed by RedMonk. To understand how Javascript handle concurrency read about the Javascript Event […]

  34. […] RedMonk’s language ranking for 2015 determines popularity by analyzing activity on both GitHub and StackOverflow. Their results: […]

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  36. […] tutta Europa, dopo HTML5, il linguaggio di markup per la strutturazione delle pagine web. Un’analisi del servizio di archivio del codice GitHub svolta dalla società di ricerca statunitense RedMonk […]

  37. […] mest populære programmeringssprog i Europa efter HTML5, der er et kodesprog til internettet. En analyse af GitHub-kodearkivtjenesten udført af det amerikanske analyseselskab RedMonk viser, at dette ikke […]

  38. […] de programación más popular en Europa es Java, por detrás del lenguaje de marcado web HTML5. Un análisis del servicio de repositorio de código de GitHub por la empresa analista estadounidense RedMonk […]

  39. […] Redmonkのプログラミング言語ランキング(2015年1月発表)によれば、今最も人気がある言語のベストスリーはJavaScript, Java, PHPということです。Redmonkプログラミング言語ランキングは、GitHubとstackoverflowのコミュニティで人気の言語を順位付けしていますが、WEBサービス/オープンソース界隈の人気が色濃く反映されているようですね。 […]

  40. […] Redmonkのプログラミング言語ランキング(2015年1月発表)によれば、今人気がある言語のベストスリーはJavaScript, Java, PHPということです。Redmonkプログラミング言語ランキングは、GitHubとstackoverflowのコミュニティで人気の言語を順位付けしていますが、WEBサービス/オープンソース界隈の人気が色濃く反映されているようですね。 […]

  41. […] Source: http://redmonk.com/sogrady/2015/01/14/language-rankings-1-15/ […]

  42. […] RedMonk’s language ranking for 2015 determines popularity by analyzing activity on both GitHub and StackOverflow. Their results: […]

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  47. […] RedMonk’s language ranking for 2015 determines popularity by analyzing activity on both GitHub and StackOverflow. Their results: […]

  48. […] here was an interesting one, compared to tiobe […]

  49. […] The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2015 […]

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