Java tops C as most popular language in developer index

As Tiobe factors in more sites in its assessment, Java rises, while C and Objective-C drop in the rankings

Java has retaken the lead in this month's Tiobe index of the most popular programming languages, which now assesses more search engines to calculate the numbers.

The C language barely slipped to the second spot in the August rendition of the Tiobe Programming Community index. Java last held the lead in March. "C and Objective-C are the biggest victims of adding the 16 new search engines," with Objective-C dropping from third place last month to fourth place, Tiobe said. Winners are the Google Go language, which rose to the 26th ranking after being ranked 42nd; LabView, rising from 100 to 49; and Openedge ABL, moving from 129th to 57th.

Java tops C as most popular language in developer index

Tiobe gauges language popularity by assessing searches about languages made on popular sites like Google, Yahoo, Baidu, and Wikipedia. Specifically, Tiobe counts skilled engineers, courses, and third-party vendors pertinent to a language. Most of the new indexes are from the United States and China, with Japanese and Brazilian sites also added to the mix. Reddit and MyWeb are among the new sites being gauged.

Still, the new sites count for only a small portion when calculating the ratings. "Yes, we added more search engines to improve the validity of the index," Tiobe Managing Director Paul Jansen said. "Another related reason is to make sure that there are less fluctuations in rankings."

Tiobe's rankings have had their critics, including Andi Gutmans, CEO of PHP tools vendor Zend Technologies. And consistency among these indexes is now in question. Last month, Tiobe and the rival Pypl Popularity of Programming Language index both had decidedly different takes on the PHP language, with Tiobe saying it was making a comeback while Pypl said it was declining.

For the month of August, Java turned up in 15.978 percent of Tiobe's searches, barely ahead of C, at 15.974 percent. Rounding out the top five were C++ (9.371 percent), Objective-C (8.082 percent), and PHP (6.694 percent). Pypl, which assesses just the volume of language tutorials searched in Google, also had Java tops (a 27.2 percent share of the index). It was followed by PHP (14.3 percent), C# (9.8 percent), Python (also 9.8 percent), and C++ (9.1 percent).

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