Google programming languages failing to gain traction

By | March 20, 2012
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Want to give a shout out to Paul Krill for this great article.

Tiobe Programming Community Index reveals lack of usage of Go and Dart, while programming languages from Oracle, Microsoft, and Apple rank prominently

Oracle, Microsoft, and Apple all have a programming language ranked prominently in an industry index that monitors language use, but Google’s efforts have yet to yield results, according to an official with Tiobe, which publishes the monthly Tiobe Programming Community Index.

In the March index, released over the weekend, Google saw its Go language drop out of the top 50 while Google’s Dart language was ranked 78th. Oracle’s Java language ranked first, used by 17.1 percent of developers, while Microsoft’s C# came in at the third spot, used by 8.24 percent of developers. The Microsoft Visual Basic language was ranked 7th, used by 4.37 percent of developers. Objective-C, preferred by Apple and used for developing applications for the iPhone and iPad tablet, was ranked 5th, used by 7.38 percent of developers.

[ See Oracle’s two-year road map for Java, as well as an interview about Google Dart ]

Google, said Paul Jansen, Tiobe managing director, “tried very hard the last couple of years to get its own programming languages in the market. They did a lot of PR for it, but they failed for Go and it seems Dart is going to the same way, too. Google is known for its innovation and instant successes, so this is a bit of a disappointment.”

Also faring well in the March index was JavaScript, which jumped from the 10th spot in March 2011 to the 8th spot this month, used by 3.87 percent of developers. “Since websites depend more and more on JavaScript, it is expected that JavaScript’s popularity will rise further in the near future,” Tiobe said in its index. JavaScript had been used by just 1.87 percent of developers in the March 2011 index.

“JavaScript is used everywhere a little,” Jansen said. “Almost every Web page uses JavaScript, but only as one of the many technologies that are used to assemble a complete website. Hence, JavaScript will probably never rule the complete world because it only solves part of a problem, i.e. only client-side Web programming.”

The index gauges popularity by examining hits about a particular language on popular search engines. Despite being ranked first, Java dropped in usage from a year ago at the same time, when 19.71 percent of developers used it. Objective-C saw a dramatic rise from a year ago; it was used by just 3.5 percent of developers in March 2011.

Other languages in the top 10 included C, ranked second with 17.09 percent of developers using it; C++, ranked 4th (8.047 percent); PHP, 6th (5.55 percent); Python came in 9th (3.3 percent), and Perl 10th (2.7 percent). Python had been used by 5.7 percent of developers a year ago.

This story, “Google programming languages failing to gain traction,” was originally published at

Paul Krill is an editor at large at InfoWorld, focusing on coverage of application development (desktop and mobile) and core Web technologies such as HTML5, Java, and Flash.
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  • As far as I am concerned, I learned programming from school. Probably, universities has a great influence in promoting these languages. As to Google’s programming languages, it’s my first time to hear that! Lol.

  • Given the fact that it was “released over the weekend” not just too long ago, how do you suppose the usage going to be high?

    If there is a new programming language, you do not expect people to use it in production, right in that instant. Anyone who do that is simply nuts. Then again, what is the criteria to make this remark, as in – failing to gain traction?

    Programming languages are not the things that you can instantly use, like Facebook or Google+. You need to learn it, study the API, and start practicing in simpler use cases first. I don’t think any language that is released “over the weekend” is going to have such an amazing number of production use, like just the week after.

    Go maybe a dud, maybe a star. At this point though, its wayyyyy to early to tell.

    • The thing that was released over the weekend was the Tiobe Index, not the language. The language has been on the chart for months, and slowly going down.

      • Hmm, I think that we just hit a language barirer. Looking at your original post, you wrote: I’m having trouble deciding if I should start out with tutorials that covers the basics of J2ME programming, or maybe even the basics of Java programming? I’ve seen almost that exact same question asked many times in other places, and I’ve interpreted it as I’m trying to learn programming, where should I start? In fact, I’ve personally been asked that question more times than I can count. Given the lack of context, I read that as though you were looking to *learn* how to program.If there were other clues in your post that indicated otherwise, then I must have totally missed them. Sorry for that, and the resulting confusion. Doug

        • What is your goal for your programming? Where do you want to work? Those questions should help you decide.

  • Dmitry Sotnikov

    This blog post in Croatian translated and posted by the wonderful people from WebHostingGeeks