They use a variety of data sources, some of which overlap with the SocioPLT’s, e.g., counting projects on GitHub. Some sources are different, e.g., using Google and Twitter to count occurrences of “X programming” for a language X. The site allows you to create your own rankings to weigh the various data sources differently, e.g., to focus only on GitHub projects or to increase the weight of Google Trends.
Comparing the IEEE top twenty with the SocioPLT top twenty shows some interesting differences.
|Visual Basic .NET||PERL|
The top six languages are the same in both lists, but the order of the six is different. (Recall that the top 6 made up 95% of projects in the SocioPLT code repository study, so if that’s still true, these remain significantly dominant.) Both lists have Java on top, but SocioPLT then has C++, PHP, C, Python, and C#, while IEEE has C, C++, Python, C#, PHP. Would be interesting if this difference represents a meaningful evolution of preference.
Some languages have entered the top twenty. Scala and Go, both relatively recent languages, are in. R, an old language, is apparently recently popular. Arduino’s appearance is confusing. This is a hardware micro-controller platform whose IDE accepts C and C++ code; perhaps here it is referring to the wiring language. If so, I’m very surprised that it’s so popular. Note that all of these languages remain in the top 20 even when only considering active Github projects.
Other languages have moved up or down. Python and Ruby are up, while Perl, PHP, and Visual Basic are down.
Other languages have gone (or been reclassified, e.g., Visual Basic .NET is perhaps combined with Visual Basic in the IEEE list, and JSP merged with Java). Tcl and Actionscript are well and gone (now number 41 and 39, respectively).
Looking further down the IEEE top 50, Haskell is the top functional language at number 25, though Scala is arguably functional, too, at number 17. Congratulations to Prolog, a logic language, which clocks in at number 29.