JavaScript claws back into top 10 programming languages

Despite the buzz, JavaScript manages only a 10th place showing in Tiobe index, while C retains top spot

JavaScript, while perhaps the language with the most buzz these days, nonetheless continues to score relatively low in the Tiobe index of popular programming languages. But the popular Web development language crawled back into the top 10 in the index this month, after slipping in February.

JavaScript claws back into top 10 programming languages

Ranked 10th, JavaScript turns up in just 1.64 percent of Internet searches used to compile the survey. "It is still a bit of a miracle why this ubiquitous language is not yet part of the top 5," Tiobe said in a write-up on its index. "JavaScript is the glue of client-side Web page programming nowadays. But JavaScript is currently expanding its application domain. Node.js has made JavaScript a server-side programming language, and the amount of JavaScript-based games (mostly browser-based) is increasing."

The Tiobe Programming Community Index rankings are developed via an assessment of search engines like Google and Yahoo, as well as such sites as Wikipedia. The number of engineers worldwide, courses, and third-party vendors pertaining to a specific language are factored into the rankings.

"I can't find any plausible reason for the relatively low score of JavaScript," Tiobe Managing Director Paul Jansen said in an email on Monday. "The only thing I can think of is that JavaScript is actually never or hardly ever used as a standalone language. It is always the helper language of a system that is programmed in something else, [for example,] server-side Java or PHP and client-side a bit of JavaScript."

Still, JavaScript endures threats such as being regarded as a language in which it is easy to make mistakes, Tiobe said. This is why Google has developed Dart, currently ranked 80th in terms of popularity and a potential JavaScript successor. Meanwhile, other languages, such as CoffeeScript and TypeScript, were designed to generate JavaScript code instead of writing it manually.

In this month's rival PyPL Popularity of Programming Language Index, which analyzes how often tutorials are searched in Google, JavaScript ranks sixth, with an 8.2 percent share. Ahead of JavaScript in the PyPL index were Java (26.9 percent), PHP (14.3 percent), C# (10.4 percent), Python (10.2 percent) and C++ (9.4 percent).

The C language again took first place in the Tiobe index this month, turning up in 17.809 percent of searches, followed by Java (16.656 percent), Objective-C (10.356 percent), C++ (8.819 percent), PHP (5.987 percent), C# (5.783 percent), Visual Basic (4.348 percent), Python (4.183 percent), and Perl (2.273 percent).

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