JavaScript on the Rise

A person sitting at a table using a laptop

TIOBE’s Programming Community Index for Q1 2012 shows a strong rise in the popularity of the ubiquitous JavaScript programming language. It’s the first time since the index was established that JavaScript has surpassed both Perl and Python in popularity. Google’s own JavaScript alternative Dart in turn dropped to position 78 in the ranking, and Google’s Go programming language also dropped out of the top 50 decisively.

Naturally the TIOBE Programming Community index is not a ranking based on quality or technical capacities of programming languages but rather simply a reflection of their popularity online by trying to determine how many lines of code are written in each of the indexed languages. To do this, TIOBE rather simplistically gathers data from online sources such as Google, Bing, Baidu and other search engines and sites like Amazon and YouTube and ranks them based on the amount of job offerings and training courses available for each programming language which is supposed to reflect their demand and popularity. It’s not exhaustive or necessarily reflective of all possible real world factors on what makes a language popular and widely used but it’s still an interesting index for programmers and technologists to follow to get some ideas of a language’s evolution.

It’s nice to see JavaScript seems to be gaining traction and continuing to rise and resit even despite company’s like Google’s attempts to introduce their own open source programming languages geared towards the Web and aimed at competing with it. Dart and Go may have been well received at first by many but clearly they are not catching on or capturing any mind-share among businesses and developers as of yet.

Of course as has been the case for the last several years, the index reveals that Java and C are is still in top spots and by far the most popular and in demand programming languages in 2012. However C# (sharp) and C++ are still holding their own respectively in third and fourth positions, C# actually having overtaken C++ for the first time. Also important to note Apple’s Objective-C has even displaced PHP for the number fith spot due to the wide spread popularity and rise of Apple’s iOS platform pushed forth by all the iPhones and iPads floating around out there. Surprisingly Visual Basic is still in seventh position, but JavaScript is on the rise and looking to overtake it. Python and Perl round up the top ten programming languages so far in 2012.

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