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Web Application Framework Popularity Over Time

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I thought I'd do a quick comparison of web frameworks to see how popularity is trending nowadays per google trends. I realized this is has some serious drawbacks, but as a person who has been in the j2ee space for years, I find the trend very interesting.

The trend is clear, if you're an ace J2EE super guru, you are about in the same position as a yii developer. While you're experience might be transferrable, the days of java containers ruling the universe appear to be numbered. To do some other interesting comparisions, let's look at java specifically.

This roughly supports my observation that Struts is dying off, spring is holding stead, and gwt...while making a big splash a few years ago seems to be tapering off. These numbers are a little deceptive because back in 2005 a lot of the "up and coming" frameworks, languages, and tools didn't even exist. So let's take a look at just the upstarts.

I've included rails because it's relatively new, and didn't such a large downturn and slow slide into oblivion as struts even though they started in a relatively similar timeframe.

For an up to date view of current programming language trends (not just frameworks), take a look at the Tiobe Index. It's interesting that C has been the top language for 40 years and shows now sign of faltering, whereas something like COBOL peaked 20 years ago and has long been in decline.

Use this information as you will, but some comments I will make:

  • Popularity is important, frameworks and languages need a vibrant community
  • Search trends can lie... something with high search requests could just suck and therefore more people need to look things up
  • The days of the software monoglot being in high demand (think J2EE developers in 2004) are rapidly receding. On one hand, the market is growing so the aggregate job demand might be the same. But from a solution perspective, there are many many more options now than there were even 10 years ago

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