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Programming Language Popularity by SO and GitHub Cross-Ranking

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Curator's note:  Is this two-faceted method for determining language popularity a good metric.  The correlation definitely helps its case but I know that Stack Overflow volume doesn't always indicate popularity, but rather, confusion.  Also, RedMonk's charts are showing C# slightly ahead of Java on SO but on the tags page, you can see that C# has almost 60k more tags (almost 25% more) and the difference doesn't seem as pronounced.

Here are two ways of measuring programming language popularity:

  1. Rank by number of questions tagged with that language on Stack Overflow
  2. Rank by number of project on GitHub using that language

According to this article, these two measures are well correlated.

I’d be skeptical of either metric by itself. A large number of questions on a language could indicate that it’s poorly documented, for example, rather than popular. And GitHub projects may not representative. But the two measures give similar pictures of the programming language landscape, so together they have more credibility. On the other hand, both measures are probably biased in favor newer languages.

The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: February 2012

Source: http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2012/02/09/programming-langauge-popularity

Curator's Interesting stats:

  • Scala seems to be pulling ahead of Clojure and Groovy according to this chart.
  • CoffeeScript and Emacs Lisp seem to be easy-to-understand languages since they are high on github but with few SO questions.

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