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Java reclaims No.1 language spot thanks to Android

Chris Mayer

Ten months on from being deposed at the top by C, Java takes back first place in TIOBE index.

Amidst continued criticism over security, Java has regained its place at the top of the TIOBE Programming Community Index ten months after being deposed by C.

The monthly rankings are calculated by software company TIOBE using an undisclosed algorithm “based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors”. The authors of the rankings suggest that Java has gained the most market share across all languages over the past six months chiefly thanks to “the success of Android phones”.

In February, Java gained 1.34% to take its total popularity rating to 18.387%, with C second with 17.080%. The only other JVM language to make the top 50 is Scala, 35th with 0.327%. While this might not seem like much of an achievement, a year ago Scala was languishing in the 50-100 bracket: its progress up the charts suggesting that it is beginning to pick up steady traction. Groovy, Clojure and Dart are all still sitting outside the TIOBE Top 50, with not much between them.

The TIOBE index, while well-established, is not the only measure of programming languages’ popularity. Rival index PYPL, which analyses how often a language tutorial is searched for on Google, also puts Java at the top of the pack, though with a slight drop in popularity over the past month.

Stephen O’Grady of idiosyncratic analysts RedMonk also carries out a biannual, two-dimensional plot of language popularity on their popularity on StackOverflow and GitHub: in September, Java was said to be number two beaten only by JavaScript.

Long-term Tiobe Index  (TIOBE)

Looking at the long-term TIOBE trends, we should expect Java and C to trade off for some time yet, as both continue to slide. While we shouldn’t take too much from rankings such as these, it’s nice to see that Java isn’t disappearing as quickly as some like to preach.

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