Yeah baby

Groovy makes debut entry into programming language top twenty

Lucy Carey
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Java compatible upstart makes its way into top of list of most searched for languages online for the first time.

Groovy
continues to slowly but surely grapple its way towards
becoming a mainstream programming language – reflected in the
latest TIOBE Index, where, for the first time, it’s just clawed its
way into the top twenty most frequently searched for languages on
the web.  
 

 

Currently standing at the 18th spot, admittedly,
the dynamic JVM language isn’t exactly setting ratings alight with
this entry, showing up in just  0.658% of the searches Tiobe
used to compile the index- a pittance when compared to number one
C, which came in at 17.246%. What is impressive is how big a leap
Groovy has made in the last year – jumping up 35 places in the
chart from number 53 in October 2012.

It’s hard to pin down one key reason propelling
the growth of Groovy. Part of it lies in how easy it is to learn
the language, as well as the sheer size of the ecosystem that has
grown up around it. It also simplifies a lot common Java scenarios,
including
complex
code with conditionals and error handling
. It’s
also very simple to combine Java programs with Groovy, due to the
total-compatibility of the two languages.

Java is holding fast
at number two, resoundingly beaten by 1.14% by C – something Tiobe
Managing Director Paul Jansen attributes to the ubiquity of the
language in the programming world, especially in the growing number
of small devices on the market.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the TIOBE
Programming Community Index is a

contentious
barometer of language adoption.
Monthly totals are calculated by ranking programming languages’
popularity by measuring the number of search engine results
including Google, Bing, Youtube and Wikipedia. It doesn’t take into
account figures that relate to quantitative use of code such as
number of lines written, nor is it an indicator of the


‘best’
programming language. The compilers of the
index claim that it is a good measure of the number of skilled
engineers, courses and jobs worldwide relating to a specific
language. At the very least, it’s certainly a measure of the
interest in a language – hence the reaso
n
little used languages like Factor
find their way onto the index.

Whilst Java rules Android – a factor that
massively boosts its index ranking – there are plenty of
increasingly popular competitors like Groovy nibbling into its
market share from elsewhere. It remains to be seen if Java 8 will
do anything to stop the rise of Java alternative. Flawed as the
TIOBE Index may be, this October’s figures serve to underline the
fact that Java’s competitors are gaining traction – and it’d take
something  pretty huge for Java to reverse this
trend.


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