We’ve been having some discussions at work recently, trying to determine what programming languages & frameworks to use on a new project we’ll be ramping up shortly. It’s always fun to have these discussions because there really is an amazing amount of choice available today. It also can be exhausting because everyone has their favorites, and people can tend to get wrapped up in what they want to do vs. what’s the right choice.
Me? I try to be somewhere in the middle, but it’s human nature to want to stay with what you know, and have your choices picked.
So it can be a bit of a balancing act trying to stay objective. It’s usually best to try and focus on the data where possible and not get into discussions about less concrete aspects. To that end, I’ve found the following sites pretty helpful in putting programming language popularity into perspective.
The first site on my list is TIOBE. I’d never heard of this site until recently. A good friend of mine, James, suggested it. It would seem to offer the most accurate analysis of where programming languages are with respect to one another. You can see how various programming languages stack up against each other and whether they’re rising or falling year over year.
The next site on my list is langpop. It takes a more traditional approach of looking at which languages are “popular”. This is a loaded word, but I like langpop’s approach of assessing popularity by looking at the following areas:
Yahoo Search results for “language programming”
Job postings on Craigslist – language programmer -“job wanted” site:craigslist.org
Freenode IRC – number of users per a given programming languages channel every few hours
Builtwith is another site that I find useful, but its focus isn’t just programming languages. It has a mix of languages, frameworks, widgets, and platforms, such as JQuery, Apache, Amazon CloudFront, etc. The interface doesn’t really allow you to compare specific solutions but it is helpful in seeing if a particular technology is trending up or down and also what types of penetration a technology has over another. There is a lot of data to mull over however, and it’s definitely worth a look.
While processing some updates on my Fedora 14 (x86_64) laptop the other day, Adobe Flash Player inexplicably stopped working. Looks like there’s a 64bit version of flash now available. Not sure when this happened, but I was using a 32bit version of flash, wrapped so that it would work with 64bit. For whatever reason the upgraded version of flash no longer worked, so I took the opportunity to back out the 32bit version, and switch to the 64bit one.