Python How is Python, the object oriented scripting language known for imposing indentation on developers, the "Programming Language of the Year for 2007"?
First of all, an explanation of where this crown came from and what it stands for.
TIOBE Software, the self-proclaimed "Coding Standards Company", publishes a monthly report on the state of programming languages known as the TIOBE Programming Community Index (known as TPCI for short).
This month TIOBE released a version of the index intended to "give an indication" of the popularity of programming languages for all of 2007. The ratings are based on the availability of skilled engineers, training courses, and third party vendors. The ratings are calculated using the most popular search engines, including YouTube.
While the index can be used to determine the relevancy of your programming skills or to inform the choice of platform for a new application, the index does not indicate the best programming language or the language with the highest line count.
Lastly, Python was not awarded "Programming Language of the Year" because it is the highest rated but because it had the largest increase in rating during 2007.
But enough about the rules, let's talk about the rankings.
If Python making the biggest leap in rating isn't interesting enough, a language known primarily around these parts as being the foundation for the Plone web content management system, let's look at some of the languages in the top twenty:
* Java sits at the top of the index despite previous reports of its unfortunate demise.
* The old workhorse, C, holds steady in the second position.
* Visual Basic (yes, that Visual Basic), resides in the third position while PHP makes a surprising entry at 4.
* Another old favorite, C++, rounds out the top five.
* 2007 marks the year that Python supplants Perl as the "glue language" at the system level. This trend should increase as Python 3 is scheduled to be released in 2008 and we still don't know when we will see Perl 6.
* Languages that lack automated garbage collection, e.g. C and C++, are quickly heading toward extinction.
* Aside from Python and Perl (which is fading fast), scripting languages appear to be a fad. New ones come on the scene and burn white-hot (think Ruby) and then are replaced by yet another (this year's big jumper being Lua).
What does 2008 hold for programming languages?
* C# will build on the success of 2007 and continue to challenge Java, with the two competitors eventually becoming #1 and #2
* ActionScript and Groovy will continue to climb and push for legitimacy
* Microsoft ending support for C++ will be the final nail in the coffin
What do you think? We know the developers out there have opinions on these rankings, please share them in the comments below.
For more information, including the ranking of the top 50 programming languages, please see the TIOBE Programming Community Index page.