Objective-C Takes 2011 Popularity Crown

The popularity of the Apple iPhone and the iPad made Objective-C the “it” programming language of 2011, according to the Tiobe Programming Community Index for January.

This monthly index ranks the popularity of a programming language by looking at the number of people using it, teaching it and selling products using it. It also takes into account search results from Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. Its website also notes that it doesn’t necessarily denote the best programming language or the one that produced the most lines of code. (More doesn’t mean better.)

Use of Objective-C grew the most during the year, 3.91 percent, though it ranked No. 5 on the list. Also growing in use was C# (+2.55 percent, No. 3 ), followed by  C (+1.15 percent, No. 2) and JavaScript (+0.73 percent, No. 10). Java held the No. 1 spot, though its fortunes fell by 0.29 percent. Also losing ground were Python (-3.05 percent, No. 8) and PHP (-2.13 percent).

Despite widespread use of JavaScript, Tiobe CEO Paul Jansen told InfoWorld its lower ranking to some degree reflects that you can’t build whole applications with it — it’s used along with other languages.

The August release of  C++11  has given that language a second wind, blogger Dustin Marx notes.

The Tiobe index lists the top 50 languages and also their changes in use over the past five, 15 and even 25 years. While Tiobe doesn’t see a new language hitting the top 10 this year, it notes possible candidates include F#, Groovy, and R, which entered the top 20 this month.  The rise of the R language parallels the growth of Big Data and analytics of that data.

A separate InfoWorld article looks at 10 new languages that could shake things up this year, including Dart, F#, Ceylon and others.

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