Objective-C, which has been Apple's principal language for building applications for its popular iOS mobile devices, has not been faring so well in the index lately. "Objective-C lost more than 5 percent in one year's time and is now back at fourth position behind C++. Objective-C was in third place in the Tiobe index for more than 2.5 years," a report accompanying the index said. The language has fallen to a 6.024 percent rating after garnering an 11.34 rating the same time last year.
Jansen attributes Objective-C's decline to an obvious culprit -- Apple's June 2014 introduction of the Swift language -- and to the growing popularity of the rival Google Android platform. "The strange thing is that Swift is gaining traction but not as much as Objective-C is dropping," he said. "Some market share of Objective-C might also go to Java because Android is getting more popular than iOS."
Swift is ranked 27th on the Tiobe list, with a rating of 0.723 percent, but the rival PyPL Popularity of Programming Language index, which analyzes how often language tutorials are searched on in Google, has Swift garnering the highest increase in popularity for last year and was thus named PyPL's Programming Language of the Year 2014. Swift finished 12th in the PyPL index this month, with a 2.5 percent share.
Elsewhere in the February Tiobe index, C and Java remained in the top two spots but have experienced drop-offs in the past year. C's share, which was 18.34 percent a year ago, was 16.488 percent this month. Java, with a 17.315 rating at this time last year, has dropped to 15.345 percent. Tiobe, Jansen said, sees the dominance of only a small set of languages as a waning trend. "There are more players becoming popular."