Python overtakes Java, JavaScript as most popular programming language for first time...

zakislam

Posts: 52   +1
What just happened? For the first time in more than 20 years, the Python programming language has overtaken Java, JavaScript, and C as the most popular language. The updated rankings for October revealed the achievement via Tiobe, an index that calculates the findings based on web searches.

Tiobe, a firm that specialize in assessing and tracking the quality of software, has tracked the popularity of programming languages for the past two decades. It uses queries on popular search engines and websites including Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia and YouTube to assemble its index. A total of 25 search engines and sites are examined in the process.

The index itself is not about the best programming language per se or the language in which the most lines of code have been written, but strictly the amount of searches for languages on search engines. So while some may not take the feat achieved by Python seriously based on the methodology used, it's still an important milestone given it's the first time in 20 years Python has topped the rankings.

"Python, which started as a simple scripting language, as an alternative to Perl, has become mature. Its ease of learning, its huge amount of libraries, and its widespread use in all kinds of domains, has made it the most popular programming language of today," said Tiobe CEO Paul Jansen.

As shown in Tiobe's 'Programming Language of the Year' list, awarded for having the highest rise in ratings in a year, Python has kept itself in the conversation among the other popular languages since 2007 by winning four times.

Python topping the index, however, wasn't necessarily because of an increase in searches. Instead, other languages falling in searches saw that an 11.27 percent share for Python was enough for it to take the lead. C fell 5.79 percent compared to October 2020 for an 11.16 percent share on the index, while Java fell 2.11 percent to 10.46 percent.

Other languages that rounded out the top 10 in the October index were C++, C#, Visual Basic, JavaScript, SQL, PHP, and Assembly Language.

A survey from 2020 based on 17,000 responses from developers showed how JavaScript continued to be the most used programming language. The report also revealed that Python added 2.2 million developers, predominantly due to the increase in both machine learning and data science.

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,364   +7,166
I often wonder how programmers pick their "favorite". I actually learned on COBAL and still do a little bit of it today. Aside from all the WYSWYG stuff, the old language can do just about it all. So, using myself as an example I wonder is Python more popular now because that's what most are learning on or is it really that much better?

Sort of like what computer you grew up with. The old IBM vs. Apple is still alive and well although there are a lot of converts to Linux too ... so which is better? Doubtful there will ever be one "best" answer, it's all a matter of preference .... but how you got that preference is something everyone should question if no better reason than checking your decision .....
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,907   +4,186
I always hated Java. Python is almost too easy but that's a good thing because you can spend more using a script and less time making it. If you need to write a script and you aren't super tech savvy, python lets you do that.
 

kimo1

Posts: 243   +450
Each language has it's cons and pros. And best uses. The biggest issue of learning a programming language is I would say is the god awful documentation. Some have it good, covering 95% of language capability, and some language's documentation looks like a garbage dump. And the devs then say "we have special classes for our language, just 999.99$". Oh sure. That's one way how they profit. And that's why you instead bomb the search engines to find solutions to your problems.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 6,032   +6,400
This rigged "victory" won't last. Python remains to be the slowest language, much slower than modern Javascript, for example. And while Javascript is ubiquitous, used by the entire web and server-side (NodeJS), Python is server-side only.
 
Last edited:

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,337   +2,624
This rigged "victory" won't last. Python remains to be the slowest language, much slower than modern Javascript, for example. And while Javascript is ubiquitous, used by the entire web and server-side (NodeJS), Python is server-side only.

If performance was always a more important aspect than ease of use, nobody would use Python.

Not that modern Javascript RTEs aren't very simple to use as well but once people get familiar with Python for either learning programing early on or for specialized tasks well catered to Python they might be reluctant to change.

So much so than more performance is basically sold in the form of cloud deployments just so operations can just throw more hardware are potentially inefficient code since believe it or not, it can still be cheaper than acquiring or cultivating much more talented and experienced coders, particularly if their coding is secondary to what they need to accomplish like overall implementations of CRMs or ERPs and so on.

So tl;dr I don't disagree Python is not the best out there, but there are many people that need to code than probably won't need the best out there anyway that's how it's getting popular if you ask me.
 

brucek

Posts: 942   +1,363
I often wonder how programmers pick their "favorite".
It's an unusual day when a programmer has a choice as to what language they'll be working in that day, either because of platform or legacy constraints.

JavaScript is going to be a very "popular" language for as long as it is the only language that is built into every web browser, no matter how many bad things people have to say about. Similarly, the languages which Apple & Google choose for their iOS and Android libraries are going to be very "popular" as long as people want to make apps for them.

I particularly don't like web searches as a proxy for top programming language. My ideal language would require fewer searches to use effectively, not more.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,615   +3,224
TechSpot Elite
I often wonder how programmers pick their "favorite". I actually learned on COBAL and still do a little bit of it today. Aside from all the WYSWYG stuff, the old language can do just about it all. So, using myself as an example I wonder is Python more popular now because that's what most are learning on or is it really that much better?

Sort of like what computer you grew up with. The old IBM vs. Apple is still alive and well although there are a lot of converts to Linux too ... so which is better? Doubtful there will ever be one "best" answer, it's all a matter of preference .... but how you got that preference is something everyone should question if no better reason than checking your decision .....
It's definitely primarily based on what you're used to, with a few exceptions.

Right now my main language is C# (99% of what I use these days). Powerful enough, and easy enough to use. Like it better than all the other languages I've used so far. The short list being java/script, some html, objective-c (horrible), C++...
 

brucek

Posts: 942   +1,363
@TechSpot: what is up with you auto-changing the language that sounds l like "JavahSchdmit" into lower case two words "java script"?
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 928   +821
Actually never had the need to program in Java. Doing research and running maths heavy simulations it was once Fortran, then C++ and later a mix of python, C and C++. Python is a great language to use IMO just wish it was a compiled language for speed, but it can be used to call C++ routines and classes via the Boost library. win win IMO.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 628   +546
Business: Java, C# depending on market

WEB/Web-based Apps: JavaScript,HTML, CSS (dont forget popular frameworks e.g React)

Gaming: C# (Unity), C++

Data science /A.I: Python

I'll throw in a few specific use-cases:

Drivers/Embedded: C/Ada

Ada more for the defense side of embedded, though the DoD has finally moved on from that requirement. Lots of jobs still require it though.

C is still fastest when you care about performance, so it's used a ton in drivers, and still more then C++ for embedded applications.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 628   +546
It's definitely primarily based on what you're used to, with a few exceptions.

Right now my main language is C# (99% of what I use these days). Powerful enough, and easy enough to use. Like it better than all the other languages I've used so far. The short list being java/script, some html, objective-c (horrible), C++...

C# is fine as long as you limit your application to the Windows Desktop, and don't really care that much about performance. It's much cleaner then C/C++ (I much prefer C#/Windows Forms to C++/MFC for GUI applications), but you have to be aware of it's limitations as a language.
 

kapital98

Posts: 384   +339
I often wonder how programmers pick their "favorite". I actually learned on COBAL and still do a little bit of it today. Aside from all the WYSWYG stuff, the old language can do just about it all. So, using myself as an example I wonder is Python more popular now because that's what most are learning on or is it really that much better?

Every person I know who's studied programming has studied Python at some point. Most people who self-study prior to getting a job learn on Python. It's what almost all the popular self-study material is aimed at.

*I have no idea how this actually translates to industry (I don't work as a programmer).
 
People abuse python way too much.. Scripting languages generally starts to fall short when your programs get larger than a 1000 lines of code. Python is no exception and yet people continue to use it for things that should not be used for.. Why though? The reason is because people don't want to be bothered to learn a real compiled language. They don't want to take the years required to be a good software engineer and instead are looking for the easy answer. It's a symptom of the problem that arises when we have an industry that recognizes coding boot camps and other such nonsense..
 
Ada is a very well designed language. It is used in many safety critical industries for embedded development. People give Ada a bad reputation because people are lazy. People don't want to be bothered to learn a real type safe language which so they think that languages like python are an alternative or they think that languages like C are an alternative. Truthfully there is no language that has better facilities for programming in the large than Ada. I work for a company that uses Aid extensively, not just for embedded applications but for many different products as well.. We pay well, have low turnover and have a very impressive client list. The popularity of a language does not speak for the goodness or profitability of a language. The metrics used by these scales are highly tipped to open-source realms, when in actuality, closed source is where a majority of industry rests.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 628   +546
Ada is a very well designed language. It is used in many safety critical industries for embedded development. People give Ada a bad reputation because people are lazy. People don't want to be bothered to learn a real type safe language which so they think that languages like python are an alternative or they think that languages like C are an alternative. Truthfully there is no language that has better facilities for programming in the large than Ada. I work for a company that uses Aid extensively, not just for embedded applications but for many different products as well.. We pay well, have low turnover and have a very impressive client list. The popularity of a language does not speak for the goodness or profitability of a language. The metrics used by these scales are highly tipped to open-source realms, when in actuality, closed source is where a majority of industry rests.
Speaking as someone who was forced to use Ada for an avionics gig: We universally hated it.

First off, let's talk the elephant in the room: for a language that was designed around embedded applications, it's a sin Ada didn't handle Bit Ordering well until Ada 2005. And given our development platform was Windows and our target was PPC, that was more then a major headache (we eventually gave up, defined everything both ways, and used a program define to tell the compiler which format to use).

Second, that type safety starts to become a major hinderance whenever you need to re-define some structure, which you see a lot in message-based systems. In C, just look at the message header and type-cast to whatever format the header specifies. Nope, in Ada you need to do a copy of the entire thing, eating away at performance (and in our system, we have *very* strict performance requirements). I've found consistently that as Ada scales up in size (especially as you go over 100k SLOCs) it's performance starts to wane compared against C; that type-safety comes with a lot of suboptimal processing.

And don't even get me started on the atrocity of GPS as an IDE/Compiler.

Ada tries and forces the developer to do things *exactly* the way Ada expects, and whenever you void those expectations things break in hilarious fashion. And it's got it's own class of *gotchas* just like C-derived languages that can punish the uninitiated, such as how exceptions that are not handled will elevate until they are either handled *or* cause your main executive to unexpectedly terminate.

I've worked with about 15 different languages in this point in my career; Ada is the one I'd most prefer to never have to touch again.
 

merikafyeah

Posts: 268   +218
C# is fine as long as you limit your application to the Windows Desktop, and don't really care that much about performance. It's much cleaner then C/C++ (I much prefer C#/Windows Forms to C++/MFC for GUI applications), but you have to be aware of it's limitations as a language.
C# compiled programs use a runtime just like Java. With .NET 6 out next month C# development can go full cross-platform, even to mobile. .NET 5 already has some cross-platform features but .NET 6 will really usher in the new paradigm for .NET cross-platform development.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 628   +546
C# compiled programs use a runtime just like Java. With .NET 6 out next month C# development can go full cross-platform, even to mobile. .NET 5 already has some cross-platform features but .NET 6 will really usher in the new paradigm for .NET cross-platform development.
Pretty sure .NET has been superseded at least once...
 

brucek

Posts: 942   +1,363
With .NET 6 out next month C# development can go full cross-platform, even to mobile. .NET 5 already has some cross-platform features but .NET 6 will really usher in the new paradigm for .NET cross-platform development.
Change the names and that's a promise I've been hearing since at least 1989. That, and the "business users will be able to just point and click at business flows and won't need programmers / SQL / whatever any longer".