Riding high

New TIOBE algorithm sees Java still on top

Natali Vlatko
Riding image via Shutterstock

The TIOBE Index has gone ahead and fixed its algorithm to make sure its results are more accurate, which has been a bugbear for many in the past. Java-heads will be happy to see that despite the improvement, Java still reigns supreme. Long live Java!

The September results of the TIOBE index debuts an improved algorithm to calculate the popularity of programming languages, with Java coming in at No. 1 on the sometimes controversial ranking. Java has continued to stay atop the index in recent months.

The new algorithm is said to produce more accurate results by removing statistical noise commonly referenced as outliers:

The previous algorithm focused on the number of outliers per search engine. If there were too many outliers for a search engine, that search engine would not qualify because of its “untrusty” results. Now individual outliers (statistical noise per language per search engine) are removed.

This now reduces the occurrence of spikes in the index, which in turn produces better results. However, its been noted that the language positions are “hardly affected”, yet Scala now finds itself close to the top 20, Google’s Go enters the top 50 again and Clojure looks set to break into the top 50 for the first time.

Java has recovered from its rating percentage slump in October 2014, where it clocked in at 13.5%. It also boasts the best improvement percentage in the top 20 and has seen a consistent improvement in ratings since its No. 2 ranking in March, 2014.


In comparison to the April results we reported on Objective-C has massively crashed in the rankings, going from fourth to tenth place. It also sports the biggest percentage drop in the top 20 with -8.11%. C has also had a noticeable decline, yet still dominates the C-family language in second place.

Outside the top 20, Scala, Dart and Lisp just about round off the top 30. Groovy sits comfortably at 34th, Go at 44th and Mozilla’s Rust squeezes in at position 50.

SEE ALSO: Java is back on top of the TIOBE Index

Requested changes for this update of the index include adding queries for other natural languages apart from English (starting with the Chinese search engine Baidu) and incorporating a list of all search term requests that have been rejected. This will be completed to minimise the number of recurring messages the team behind TIOBE receive about Rails, JQuery and JSP.

Natali Vlatko
An Australian who calls Berlin home, via a two year love affair with Singapore. Natali was an Editorial Assistant for (S&S Media Group).

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