Much of the continuing popularity of scripting languages can be attributed to flexible syntax, as well as reduction of the compile-run-debug cycle endemic to traditional compiled languages. In addition, a growing number of significant projects written in scripting languages can likely be credited with their increased acceptance. The
p-to-p file-sharing client BitTorrent, for example, was written in Python, as were projects from a variety of high-profile companies, including Google, Industrial Light & Magic, and NASA.
Among more traditional enterprise technologies, one important trend is the ascendancy of Microsoft's .Net platform over "classic" Windows APIs. This year, 53 percent of respondents cite .Net as their preferred development framework or API, knocking older Win32 technologies such as COM and DCOM out of the top spot to a level below both J2EE and Unix/Linux. Another 51 percent say they will increase usage of .Net in the next 12 months.
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Again, this should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Microsoft's developer strategy in recent years. The .Net Framework, with its emphasis on managed code via the CLR (Common Language Runtime), represents the state of the art of Windows development and a marked improvement over the old approach. As reported previously, programmers who have taken the plunge have generally given it favorable marks.
But support for C#, the flagship language of .Net, isn't unanimous. A purely object-oriented language designed to address perceived deficiencies of both Java and C++ and built from the ground up to run on the CLR, C# has often been characterized as Microsoft's "Java killer." Judging by our survey results, however, while C# is gaining traction, its success to date is modest.
Compared to last year, the number of respondents who report using C# in their projects increased 6 percent. Still, nearly twice as many survey participants say they are using Visual Basic than C#, which suggests that the majority of the growth in .Net adoption is coming from the installed Windows base, rather than defectors from the Java camps.
On the other hand, while Java remains our survey participants' top pick among programming languages, less than half of our respondents rank J2EE among their frameworks or APIs of choice. Presumably the rest of the Java developers prefer traditional APIs and non-J2EE servers, such as Apache Tomcat.
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