TIOBE Programming Community Index is an index that determines the popularity of Programming Languages using the Search Hits by popular Search Engines like Google, Yahoo Search and MSN Search.
In the January 2009 Index, Java language is still leading the charts but the most surprising entry in the index is C language which is ranked as the 2nd Most Popular language. You can see the full history of C language popularity by visiting this page for C language on TIOBE site.
The Index indicates that Java language is on top with 19.022% rating which surprised me. I was somehow assuming that .Net based languages will be leading the popularity charts. To make myself feel better about my understanding I added the popularity ratings of Visual Basic and C# i.e. 9.161% and 5.609%. This simple calculation yielded a somewhat good number i.e. 14.77%. The index page also states that it has excluded the ASP and ASP .Net from the list of programming languages as they use other programming languages like VB .Net and C# .Net. This could also be the reason that Visual Basic and C# have lower popularity ratings compared to the Java language.
The TIOBE Programming community index contains a link to the definition of the index. The TIOBE Index Definition page contains usefull information about the index as well as it contains some advise with reference to the adaptation of a Programming Language. I am quoting the part of the page that I think is the most important to read.
From a supportability point of view, it is strongly advised to stick to mainstream languages for industrial, mission-critical software systems. This is for three reasons:
- The pool of skilled engineers is much smaller for non-mainstream languages
- Tool vendors do not write and maintain tools for non-mainstream languages
- In general fewer libraries are available for non-mainstream languages
Visit the TIOBE Programming Index page and give it a read. You will not regret the time you spent on that page.