Apple's Swift is instant hit among top programming languages

Introduced last week, the language for OS X and iOS applications is quickly capturing developer interest

Apple's new Swift language, featuring modern-day development capabilities for building OS X and iOS applications, is likely to find swift, high placement in assessments of programming language popularity.

Both the Tiobe and PyPL indexes already have plans to accommodate Swift. "A preview shows that its first rating will probably in the top 20 by [the July Tiobe index]. Swift is a natural and long-awaited next step of Apple," this month's Tiobe index description said. The monthly index, which gauges language popularity via a formula assessing searches on languages on sites like Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube, has shown Swift's predecessor, the Objective-C language, ranking not far behind C and Java in language popularity in recent years.

Tiobe Managing Director Paul Janssen expands on Swift: "Objective-C is a small abstraction layer on top of C." He adds, "Swift is a modern programming language that has adopted all the goodies of other popular languages such as automated memory management, script-like syntax and type inference." But with Swift, Apple is trying to catch up with Java and C#, he said.

In the rival PyPL index, which looks at how often language tutorials are searched on in Google, a representative already has done a brief assessment on Swift. "Yes, it would come in ninth position, based on the first week of data since its announcement," said Pierre Carbonnelle, who oversees the index. "I'll update the PyPL index as necessary at the end of the month." With a 6.6 percent share, Objective-C ranks eighth on the PyPL index, which notes the language has been climbing in popularity.

HubReports, which assesses language usage on GitHub, has not yet factored in Swift into its formula, company representative David Boyer said. But he pointed to a repository search on GitHub that already shows 157 results featuring Swift.

In this month's Tiobe index, C places first, grabbing a 16.19 percent share, ahead of Java and Objective-C, which have 16.11 percent and 10.93 percent shares respectively. While Java and C are down slightly from the same time last year, Objective-C's share increased 0.58 percent from June 2013. Following Objective-C were C++, (6.43 percent), C# (3.94 percent), Visual Basic (3.74 percent), PHP (2.85 percent), Python (2.71 percent), JavaScript (2 percent), and Visual Basic.Net (1.91 percent).

This month's index PyPL index lists Java, with a 26.9 percent share, as its top language, followed by PHP (13.2 percent), C# (10.3 percent), Python (10.2 percent), C++ (8.4 percent), C (7.9 percent) and JavaScript (7.8 percent). Following Objective-C were Ruby (3.8 percent) and Visual Basic (3.3 percent).

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