Java remains most popular language -- thanks to Android

Apple's Objective-C and Google's Dart both show significant gains in popularity, Tiobe's survey shows

Although slipping slightly in usage from a year ago, Java has still held steady as the most popular programming language in Tiobe Software's monthly index on which languages are holding the most traction with developers.

Java was being used by 17.87 percent of developers, about the same as last month's 17.90 percent but down 0.63 percent from a year earlier. Tiobe had, based on trending, anticipated that the C language could displace Java atop the list this month, but that did not happen.

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Java's use in Android application development was cited as a plus for the language. Java is definitely growing in the mobile market, said Paul Jansen, Tiobe's executive director: "The Java-based Android platform is pretty popular among developers."

The C language held second place in the survey, used by 17.32 percent of developers, an increase of 0.61 percent from a year ago but down a bit from last month, when it had 17.70 percent of developers. Coming in third place was C++, used by 8.08 percent. Microsoft's C# was fourth, used by nearly 7.32 percent of developers, while PHP came in fifth at slightly less than 6.1 percent.

Apple's Objective-C, ranked sixth at 5.98 percent, is emerging as a candidate for Tiobe's "programming language of the year," Jansen said. The language with the highest increase in usage gets the honor, and Objective-C, which is used for building applications for Mac OS X and for the iPad's and iPhone's iOS, has seen an increase of 2.79 percent.

Moving up the charts quickly was Google's new Dart language, ranking 107 last month and already up to 63 in the November index.

Tiobe's index is based on the number of skilled engineers worldwide, as well as courses and third-party vendors. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo along with Wikipedia are assessed to calculate language popularity. The index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code were written.

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