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JavaScript wins TIOBE language of year award while Java hits ten-year low

Coman Hamilton
Cheering crowd via Shutterstock

The most popular language of 2014 was JavaScript, says the language index TIOBE. Meanwhile Java’s popularity hasn’t been this low since the dramatic arrival of Python in 2004.

It was a tight race in the end. With trendy newcomers Swift and R adding some excitement into the mix, the fight for the prize of TIOBE language of the year 2014 was undecided up to the end. But following Objective-C’s sudden drop in popularity, the award was finally claimed by JavaScript.

“The biggest mover of 2014”

In some circles it’s still considered the ugly duckling of IT. And yet there was no arguing with the fact that 2014 was a good year for JavaScript. The language charted the highest rate of growth over the last 12 months, followed by Perl and PL/SQL. Having jumped two places in the top 10 to number 7, JavaScript was declared “the biggest mover of 2014” (charting a 1.70% increase over the past 12 months).

And given that it’s the basis of a growing ecosystem of libraries and frameworks like jQuery, Bootstrap, Node,js and GWT, it’s certainly also a well-earned win for JavaScript. JavaScript has also made it into the category of Adopt in the new ThoughtWorks Technology Radar, in other words a high recommendation from analysts. Bridges between JavaScript and Java are also playing an increasingly important role, with major companies like Oracle and Red Hat investing in JS to JVM technologies like Avatar and Nodyn.

However, JavaScript’s success didn’t bring good tidings for all members of the JavaScript ecosystem. TypeScript and CoffeeScript both saw little improvement over the past twelve months, sitting further down the language ranking at positions 195 and 170 respectively.

Java hits a ten-year low

Early in 2014, Java’s steady second was threatened by the steady rise of Objective-C, only to be saved by the arrival of Objective-C alternative Swift. And although Java has held its own, there is an undeniably downward trajectory. Mid 2014 saw the lowest Java language rating since the sudden rise of Python in 2004 according TIOBE’s index (below). However, TIOBE speculates that 2015 will prove good for both Java and Swift as the mobile area continues to expand.

SEE ALSO: The most-debated Java topics in 2014

2014 was an exciting year for the second most popular language. The introduction of lambas in Java 8 gave Java part of its mojo back. News of planned Java 9 features coincided with a rise in Java’s popularity, however the current list of features has been received with little enthusiasm by much of the Java community.

tiobe 2014

© Tiobe

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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