C vs. JavaScript: Split decision on top programming language

C scores points based on search engines, but JavaScript gets the top spot when it comes to repositories on GitHub

When it comes to language popularity, C takes the top spot, based on an assessment that looks at search engines. But another survey, examining code repositories in GitHub, has JavaScript in the lead.

Language popularity as gauged by Tiobe's monthly index measuring searches has seen little change during the year. The top eight spots this month were held down by C, Java, Objective-C, C++, C#, PHP, Visual Basic, and Python -- the same rankings as in December 2012. Tiobe bases its rankings on how often languages are searched on in Google, Yahoo, and even Wikipedia; the number of skilled engineers, courses, and third-party vendors pertinent to each language is taken into account.

HubReports, though, has JavaScript, Ruby, Java, Python, and PHP as its top five languages, based on a review of code repositories in GitHub. In this appraisal, C comes in sixth. "It's all collected from the GitHub API on a daily basis, within an hour window," HubReports spokesman David Boyer said. "The statistics are based on counts returned by specially set searches and the list of languages are defined by the language detection system that GitHub built called linguist. The idea is straightforward enough, but it did take a lot of effort to put together."

Tiobe's top four biggest gainers for the year have been Transact-SQL (up 1.30 percentage points), Visual Basic (0.80 percent), JavaScript (0.53 percent), and F# (0.41 percent). The Tiobe Index has seen some variation throughout the year; Java took the top spot in August, for instance, only to relinquish it a month later. PHP jumped to the fifth spot in July, but is now ranked sixth again.

This article, "C vs. JavaScript: Split decision on top programming language," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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