Doing nicely now, Visual Basic’s popularity could take a hit

Microsoft's new strategy to end the co-evolution of C# and Visual Basic will make it even less respected by developers

Doing nicely now, Visual Basic’s popularity could take hit

Microsoft’s Visual Basic.Net and classic Visual Basic languages scored well in the Tiobe language popularity index this month, but that soon could change with the software giant’s plan to stop the co-evolution of C# and Visual Basic.

Visual Basic .Net, which uses Microsoft’s .Net Framework, placed sixth in this month’s index, with a rating of 4.072 percent, up 1.25 percentage points from February 2017, when the language placed eighth. The older Visual Basic language this month placed 12th with a rating of 2.177 percent, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from a year ago, when it was in 16th place.

But Microsoft’s new strategy means Visual Basic will fall behind in terms of featurez compared to new C# features. “Let's see whether Visual Basic can take this new punch and keep on surviving,” Tiobe said.

Although Visual Basic has been considered a language for newer programmers and rapid prototyping, it has a bad image among expert programmers, Tiobe maintains. This made it surprising that Visual Basic continued to score well in the index, which bases its ratings on a formula assessing searches on languages in popular search engines.

Elsewhere in this month’s index, Apple’s Swift language experienced a drop year over year, from 12th place last February to 16th place this February, with a rating of 1.794 percent. It was 0.33 percentage points higher the same time last year. Swift had been expected to keep rising in popularity as the successor to Objective-C for iOS mobile development. But Swift’s drop is again being attributed by Tiobe to a growing dominance of cross-platform mobile development frameworks.

Also with this month’s index, SQL debuts in the index as a proper language, with Tiobe declaring it has met the qualification of being Turing-complete. It also met Tiobe’s qualifications of having a Wikipedia entry stating that it is a programming language and registering more than 5,000 hits in a query pertaining to programming languages. SQL placed 11th, with a rating of 2.356 percent.

Tiobe’s Top 10 languages

The top ten languages in the February index were:

  1. Java, rated at 14.988 percent
  2. C, at 11.857 percent
  3. C++, at 5.726 percent
  4. Python, at 5.168 percent
  5. C#, at 4.453 percent
  6. Visual Basic .Net, at 4.072 percent
  7. PHP, at 3.42 percent
  8. JavaScript, at 3.165 percent
  9. Delphi/Object Pascal, at 2.589 percent
  10. Ruby, at 2.534 percent

Pypl’s Top 10 languages

In the alternative Pypl Popularity of Programming Language index, which assesses how often language tutorials are searched for in Google, the top ten this month were:

  1. Java, with a 22.55 percent share
  2. Python, at 21.3 percent
  3. PHP, at 8.53 percent
  4. JavaScript, at 8.49 percent
  5. C#, at 8.06 percent
  6. C, at 6.51 percent
  7. R, at 4.23 percent
  8. Objective-C, at 3.86 percent
  9. Swift, at 3.09 percent
  10. Matlab, at 2.34 percent

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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