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Popular Languages of 2009

DZone 's Guide to

Popular Languages of 2009

· Java Zone ·
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The TIOBE index for 2009 says that Google's new Go programming language experienced more growth in popularity than any other language in 2009.  The growth is quite remarkable given that the language became available late in the year.  Is it all just hype?  The Google brand certainly carries a lot of power and marketing capability with it.  Based on TIOBE's system, Go and Objective-C had the biggest gains in 2009 with Java taking a slight hit, but remaining at the top.  TIOBE calculates its index based on search engine hits.

Go - Because of it's remarkable growth, Go was named "TIOBE's Programming Language of the Year."  Go has been compared syntactically to Pascal, Python, and C.  Although Go is a new language with its own share of critics, many people are interested in its concurrency capabilities and fast compilation.  Erlang is another concurrent programming language that grew this year from 29 to 24.  One thing's for sure, Google's Go is getting a lot of attention.  

Objective-C - iPhone app development is obviously driving the new growth in Objective-C programming.  The language made a huge jump from being ranked 37th to the number 12 spot.  Objective-C was just 0.01% behind Go in growth this year, but Objective-C had the entire year to gain popularity and Go only had two months.  

Java - Java has remained at the top of TIOBE's index for the past decade with C taking the top rank for a short period in 2004 and 2005 (this might have been due to a Google cleanup).  C could take the top spot again if JVM languages continue to steal interest from pure Java.  The two languages are less than 2% away from each other.  C and Java have kept a pretty good lead (6% this year) over the third ranked language.

PHP - PHP was the only language in the top ten that made a significant jump.  It passed C++ and VB to take the number three spot for the first time.

Ruby - Finally made it to the top ten.  It took the place of Delphi.


Other notable data:

  • JavaFX script - New in 2009.  Made it to the 27th position already.  
  • Scala - Jumped from from 45 to 25 in 2009.  By comparison, it took Ruby 5 years to move 10 spaces.  
  • C# and ActionScript - Scored all time highs in 2009

Object-Oriented Languages still have the majority of the index share with 54.6% while Procedural Languages (41.5%) made a 1.4% jump thanks to Go.  Statically Typed Languages and Dynamically Typed Languages are about a 60/40 split in favor of Statically Typed.

The definition of the TIOBE index can be viewed here.

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