Software Top Ten

By Edward Cone  |  Posted Tuesday, April 13, 2010 18:04 PM

by Tim Moran

Who doesn't like a good list? From Letterman's Top Ten to sports-team standings to the Forbes 400, ordered information speaks to us all. So why not software? I give you the TIOBE Programming Community Index for April 2010.

According to the site: "TIOBE is specialized in assessing and tracking the quality of software. We measure the quality of a software system by applying widely accepted coding standards to it."

For those of you keeping score, here's the headline: "C programming language back at number 1 position!"

Interestingly, C has hovered around or been on top for quite some time: ". . .the main reason for C's number 1 position is not C's uprise, but the decline of its competitor Java. Java has a long-term downward trend. It is losing ground to other languages running on the JVM. An example of such a language is JavaFX script that is now approaching the top 20."

Got that? The other languages in the top 10 are C++, PHP, (Visual) Basic, C#, Python, Perl, Delphi, and JavaScript. Going back 10 years, the list looked like this: Java, (Visual) Basic, Perl, C, C++, Delphi, JavaScript. Go Python!

Want to see what's at the very bottom? How about these clunkers: Groovy, Smalltalk, J, and C Shell.

The site makes it clear that the "TIOBE Programming Community index gives an indication of the popularity of programming languages. . .[but]. . . is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written." TIOBE suggests that the index is useful for checking "whether your programming skills are still up to date or to make a strategic decision about what programming language should be adopted when starting to build a new software system."

Nevertheless, C is a cool software letter, but J isn't? Plays on C don't cut it either--C Shell, indeed. And who can imagine a coder working with anything called Groovy. So, if you're about starting a new project based on Smalltalk, or are going back to school to learn Groovy, think twice. It's all C all the time.