Silver medallist

Java is still the #2 language in the world

Elliot Bentley

The latest rankings of language popularity have revealed that Java is more popular than ever, second only to JavaScript.

The September 2012 rankings, courtesy
of Stephen O’Grady


For the past year, Stephen O’Grady of RedMonk has compiled a
list of the world’s most popular programming languages, based on
their popularity on StackOverflow and GitHub.
First utilised
by analyst Drew Conway, O’Grady has since
updated the plot every six months.

Last night, he released the latest
compiled rankings
, and the results are pretty interesting. Far
from dead, Java is now the number two language in the world, second
only to JavaScript.

Another method of ranking languages, the Tiobe
– which is based on search engine results – also
currently places Java at number two, but behind C. O’Grady notes
that Java has actually risen two places in his rankings since

Drew Conway’s first analysis

Of the major JVM languages, Clojure has dropped out of the top 20
since February’s analysis, leaving just Scala and Groovy at places
12 and 20, respectively. Red Hat’s currently-incubating Ceylon,
meanwhile, has benefited from this round’s inclusion of more
languages and appears towards the bottom of the graph.

Interestingly, Google’s Go has seen decent growth despite its young
age. O’Grady writes:

Our rankings have Go jumping from #32 in 2010 to #30 today, a
number that sounds modest but means that in that time it has
improved more in popularity than Scala or Haskell and as much as
Java, at least from a rankings standpoint (obviously growth becomes
more difficult the more popular the language becomes).

While far from definitive, O’Grady’s rankings make interesting
reading, especially with two years’ data for comparison. By far the
most interesting conclusion is Java’s continued success – that it
seems that there’s still life left in the old dog.

Photo by Julie

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