Topped out? Swift, Go, and R vie for Tiobe Top 10

All three languages face limitations that could cap developer enthusiasm for the long term

Swift, Apple’s language for MacOS and iOS development, is challenging for a permanent position in the Top 10 of the Tiobe index of programming language popularity, but it has competition from Google’s Go language (Golang) and the R language. All three languages, however, face obstacles to their ascendance in the index.

The four-year-old Swift was in tenth place in the index in October 2018. Swift has ranked this high before but it never scaled above tenth place. The need to build Google Android applications as well has had developers instead using cross-platform frameworks, capping Swift's reach, software quality services vendor Tiobe said.

But R and Go also have issues that may keep them from going higher as well, Tiobe says:

  • R, which is used in machine learning and numerical analysis, is now getting serious competition from Python. R ranked as No. 14 this month.
  • It is unclear what makes No. 12 Go stand out compared to other languages.

Tiobe’s monthly index gauges popularity on a formula that examines searches on languages in popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Wikipedia. Also in this month’s index, Python, which scaled to new heights by ranking as No. 3 last month, slipped a spot to fourth place in the October index. But Tiobe Managing Director Paul Jansen still expects it to permanently supplant C++ eventually.

Tiobe Top 10 languages

Tiobe’s top 10 for October 2018 were:

  1. Java, with a rating of 17.801 percent
  2. C, at 15.736 percent
  3. C++, at 7.593 percent
  4. Python, at 7.156 percent
  5. Visual Basic.Net, at 5.884 percent
  6. C#, at 3.485 percent
  7. PHP, at 2.794 percent
  8. JavaScript, at 2.28 percent
  9. SQL, at 2.036 percent
  10. Swift, at 1.5 percent

Pypl Top 10 languages

In the rival Pypl Popularity of Programming Language index, which assesses popularity based on how often language tutorials are searched on in Google, October 2018’s top 10 were:

  1. Python, with a share of 24.72
  2. Java, at 22.01 percent
  3. JavaScript, at 8.04 percent
  4. C#, at 7.71 percent
  5. PHP, at 7.42 percent
  6. C/C++, at 6.32 percent
  7. R, at 4.11 percent
  8. Objective-C, at 3.29 percent
  9. Swift, at 2.69 percent
  10. Matlab, at 2.08 percent