Measuring programming language popularity
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It is difficult to determine which
programming language A programming language is a formal language comprising a Instruction set architecture, set of instructions that produce various kinds of Input/output, output. Programming languages are used in computer programming to implement algorithms. Most ...

programming language
s are "most widely used" because the meaning of the term varies by context. One language may occupy the most programmer-hours, another may have the most lines of code, a third may utilize the most CPU time, and so on. Some languages are very popular for particular kinds of applications: for example,
Python PYTHON was a Cold War contingency plan of the Government of the United Kingdom, British Government for the continuity of government in the event of Nuclear warfare, nuclear war. Background Following the report of the Strath Committee in 1955, the ...
for
machine learning Machine learning (ML) is the study of computer algorithms that can improve automatically through experience and by the use of data. It is seen as a part of artificial intelligence. Machine learning algorithms build a model based on sample data, ...

machine learning
,
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia, in the Pacific Ocean. The islands, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra, are internat ...
for backend server development, C in embedded applications and operating systems;
JavaScript JavaScript (), often abbreviated JS, is a programming language A programming language is a formal language comprising a Instruction set architecture, set of instructions that produce various kinds of Input/output, output. Programming langu ...

JavaScript
in
web development Web development is the work involved in developing a Web site, website for the Internet (World Wide Web) or an intranet (a private network). Web development can range from developing a simple single Static Web page, static page of plain text to co ...
and other languages for many kinds of applications.


Methods

Various counts have been proposed to indicate a language's popularity, each subject to a different bias over what is measured. These counts include the number of: * job advertisements that mention the language * times the language is mentioned in web searches, as with
Google Trends Google Trends is a website by Google Google LLC is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising, online advertising t ...

Google Trends
* estimates of
lines of code Source lines of code (SLOC), also known as lines of code (LOC), is a software metric used to measure the size of a computer program by counting the number of lines in the text of the program's source code. SLOC is typically used to predict the amo ...

lines of code
written in the language (which may underestimate languages not often found in public searches) * references to the language found using a
web search engine A search engine is a software system that is designed to carry out Web search query, web searches. They search the World Wide Web in a systematic way for particular information specified in a textual web search query. The Search engine results ...
* projects in the language on
SourceForge SourceForge is a web service that offers software consumers a centralized online location to control and manage open-source software projects and research business software. It provides source code repository hosting, bug tracking, Mirror site, ...
and
GitHub __FORCETOC__ GitHub, Inc. is a provider of Internet hosting The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate ...

GitHub
* postings in
Usenet newsgroup A Usenet newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet Usenet () is a worldwide distributed discussion system available on computers. It was developed from the general-purpose UUCP, Unix-to-Unix Copy (UUCP) dial-up network architecture. ...
s about the language * commits or changed source lines for open source projects in the language on
Open Hub Black Duck Open Hub, formerly Ohloh, is a website which provides a web services suite and online community platform that aims to index the open-source software development community. It was founded by former Microsoft managers Jason Allen and Scot ...
* courses on the language sold by programming bootcamps * students enrolled in programming classes teaching the language around the world * videos on the language on YouTube * postings on
Reddit Reddit (, stylized as reddit) is an American social news A social news website is a website that features User (system), user-posted stories. Such stories are ranked based on popularity, as voted on by other users of the site or by website admi ...
or
Stack Exchange Stack Exchange is a network of question-and-answer (Q&A) websites A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at least one web server. ...
about the language


Indices

Different Indices calculate a programming language's popularity based on different metrics. For example: The IEEE Spectrum publishes the rankings by taking the data points from an array of matrices including Google, GitHub, Reddit, and Twitter to calculate the overall rank for the 2021 list with keeping in the account factors like job demands, Reliability, and Current trends that sum up to say Python is the top programming language of 2021. Several indices have been published: * The monthly '' TIOBE Programming Community Index'' has been published since 2001, showing the top 10 languages graphically, the top 20 languages with a rating and delta, and the top 50 languages by rating. The numbers are based on searching the Web with certain phrases that include language names and counting the numbers of hits returned. In 2021, the top ranking languages included: C, Python, Java, C++, and C#. * The ''PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language'' index is an indicator based on
Google Trends Google Trends is a website by Google Google LLC is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising, online advertising t ...

Google Trends
, reflecting the developers' searches for " tutorial", instead of what pages are available. It shows the popularity trends since 2004, worldwide or separated for 5 countries. As of 2021, the top ranking were: Python, Java, JavaScript, and C#. * The ''RedMonk Programming Language Rankings'' are derived from a correlation of programming traction on
GitHub __FORCETOC__ GitHub, Inc. is a provider of Internet hosting The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate ...

GitHub
(usage) and
Stack Overflow Stack Overflow is a Question-and-answer site, question and answer website for professional and enthusiast programmers. It is the flagship site of the Stack Exchange, Stack Exchange Network, created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. It fea ...

Stack Overflow
(discussion). As of June 2021, the top ranking were: JavaScript, Python, Java, PHP, CSS. * ''Trendy Skills'' searches and extracts from popular advertising websites the skills and technologies that employers are seeking and classifies them in categories, one of which is ''Programming Languages''. It displays trends for one or more skills or categories during specified time ranges. Data is also accessible via a public
API In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and soft ...

API
, so anyone can generate their own statistics. * ''
Indeed Indeed is an American worldwide employment website An employment website is a website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web pages and related content that is identified by a common domain name and published on at leas ...
2016 survey'' combed through job listings, identifying mentions of programming languages. *
Stack Overflow Stack Overflow is a Question-and-answer site, question and answer website for professional and enthusiast programmers. It is the flagship site of the Stack Exchange, Stack Exchange Network, created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. It fea ...

Stack Overflow
's annual ''Developer Survey'' which polls site users. In 2021, the most popular were: JavaScript, HTML/CSS, Python, and SQL. *
IEEE Spectrum ''IEEE Spectrum'' is a magazine edited by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The IEEE's description of it is: ''IEEE Spectrum'' began publishing in January 1964 as a successor to ''Electrical Engineering''. It contains peer ...
's annual ranking of top programming languages. In 2021 it used 11 metrics from 8 sources:
GitHub __FORCETOC__ GitHub, Inc. is a provider of Internet hosting The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate ...

GitHub
,
Google Google LLC is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising, online advertising technologies, a search engine, cloud comp ...

Google
,
Twitter Twitter is an American microblogging Microblogging is an online broadcast medium that exists as a specific form of blogging A blog (a truncation In mathematics and computer science, truncation is limiting the number of numerical di ...

Twitter
,
Stack Overflow Stack Overflow is a Question-and-answer site, question and answer website for professional and enthusiast programmers. It is the flagship site of the Stack Exchange, Stack Exchange Network, created in 2008 by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. It fea ...

Stack Overflow
,
Reddit Reddit (, stylized as reddit) is an American social news A social news website is a website that features User (system), user-posted stories. Such stories are ranked based on popularity, as voted on by other users of the site or by website admi ...
,
Hacker News Hacker News (sometimes abbreviated as HN) is a social news website focusing on computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical ...

Hacker News
, Career Builder, and IEEE Xplore , IEEE Xplore Digital Library, according to which the top languages were Python, Java, C, C++, and JavaScript. The interactive ranking app allows adjustment of each metric's weight, and also filtering languages by "type" (Web, Mobile, Enterprise, Embedded).


References

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