JavaScript's popularity rankings vary widely

Indexes of programming languages say one thing, but GitHub's rankings tells a different story about JavaScript's popularity

By , InfoWorld |  Software, JavaScript

How popular is JavaScript? That depends on how you measure it.

This month's Tiobe Programming Community Index, which measures language popularity, has JavaScript ranked in only the 11th spot, showing up in just 1.37% of Internet searches gauged by the index. On the popular GitHub code-sharing site, however, JavaScript is the most popular language, accounting for 21% of code hosted on the site. This month's PYPL Popularity of Programming Language index has JavaScript ranked seventh, with a 7.3% share. 

[ Ten months after losing the top spot in Tiobe's index to C, Java regained the lead last month. | Stay up to date on Java by subscribing to InfoWorld's Enterprise Java newsletter. ]

At Tiobe, Managing Director Paul Jansen was dismissive of GitHub's JavaScript numbers. "People should be aware that GitHub is an open source software archive, thus containing lots of toy projects that can't be taken seriously," Jansen said. "I couldn't find the average GitHub project size that quickly, but I bet that 50% of the projects will have less than 10,000 lines of code."

Tiobe bases its index on the number of skilled engineers worldwide, as well as courses and third-party vendors pertaining to or interested in a particular language. Popular search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo along with sites such as Wikipedia and YouTube are used to calculate the ratings. PYPL measures language popularity by analyzing how often language tutorials are searched on Google.

In this month's Tiobe index, Ruby joins PHP and Python as interpreted programming languages outpacing Perl. Perl still shows up as the 10th most popular language, while Ruby ranked ninth and Python was slotted at eighth. "Is Perl on its way out of the top 10? Time will tell," Tiobe said.

Java remained in the top spot this month, showing up in 18.156% of searches, while C was second with 17.141%. The remainder of the top 10 features Objective-C (10.23%) ranking third, followed by C++ (9.115%), C# (6.597%), PHP (4.809%), and Visual Basic (4.607%). Python's ranking was 4.388%, with Ruby tallying 2.15% and Perl 1.959%.

Like Tiobe's index, PYPL ranked Java No. 1 with a 27.1% share. It was followed by PHP (14.4%), Python (9.6%), C# (9.5%), C++ (9.4%), and C (8.3%). Coming in eighth was Objective-C (6.1%), followed by Visual Basic (3.6%) and Ruby (2.7%.)

This article, "JavaScript's popularity rankings vary widely," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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