R, TypeScript climb RedMonk language rankings

The top 10 programming languages remain JavaScript, Java, PHP, Python, and more

R, TypeScript climbing RedMonk language rankings
Credit: flickr/U.S. Army

The R and TypeScript languages are gathering steam in RedMonk's biannual programming language rankings, even as the leaders of this list stay the same.

The midyear edition of the rankings, in fact, has the same top 10 languages as earlier this year. JavaScript and Java finished first and second, followed by PHP, Python, C#, C++, Ruby, CSS, C, and Objective-C (C#, C++, and Ruby shared fifth place).

Aside from the top 10 languages, the R language, for statistical computing, continues to make moves in the index. "Out of all the back half of the top 20 languages, R has shown the most consistent upward movement over time," RedMonk analyst Stephen O'Grady said in his report accompanying the index.

Ranked 17th in 2012, R later advanced to 13th and stayed there until climbing to the 12th spot this time, dropping Perl to the 13th spot. "There's still an enormous amount of Perl in circulation, but the fact that the more specialized R has unseated the language once considered the glue of the Web says as much about Perl as it does about R. Which is irrelevant to R advocates, of course," said O'Grady.

TypeScript, Microsoft's superset of JavaScript and the foundational language for the Angular 2 JavaScript framework, moved from 31st last time to 26th place in the current index, tied with Erlang. "Outside of Go or Swift, the fastest-growing language we've observed in recent years is TypeScript," O'Grady said. "The question facing JavaScript is not whether it will grow, but whether it can crack the top 20 and overtake CoffeeScript and Lua.

RedMonk's rankings are based on an analysis of language discussions on Stack Overflow and language usage on GitHub. The top 10 in particular is fairly static and even within the top 20, movement is becoming more limited, O'Grady said. Languages ranking from 14th to 20th in the index (Shell ranked 11th) were: Scala, Go, Haskell, Swift, Matlab, Visual Basic and a tie between Groovy and Clojure for 20th place, with 21 languages actually making the top 20.

RedMonk's index differs from the monthly Tiobe and PyPL indexes, which gauge popularity based on formulas assessing searches in popular search engines. Java routinely finishes first in both those indexes. JavaScript was seventh in this month's Tiobe index and fifth in PyPL's.

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