New tendentions with C popularity: returning to the roots?

Posted 2 Sep 2009 at 09:05 UTC by audriusa Share This

The look into Tiobe index may give quite a surprising results if we pay attention into that is happening during the latest year. Java seems no longer declining, Python and C# are also kind of stable but we clearly observe the growth of C language popularity. It is even not C++ but a plain C.

I wonder it this is just some transient event or the reliable shift.

One of the reasons for C to get popular are might be mobile devices. While other languages are possible there, heavy restriction of resources often leaves no better choice. Or maybe people decided to figure out seriously why programs and operating systems are not even thinking to get faster in such degree as hardware gets faster. It also may be that programs that can be rapidly written in Java or Python are already written and one of the ways to do this better is to rewrite one more time in C. I have seen many typically Java things like web services written in C in the previous FOSDEM. If the tendention is true, maybe Assembler will come next?

TIOBE is Absolute Brain-damage, posted 3 Sep 2009 at 05:26 UTC by shlomif » (Master)

TIOBE is absolute brain-damage. Measuring the "popularity" of languages based on how many times a Google search for "$lang programming" appears is easy to game, easy to get wrong and extremely not accurate. See:

In short, please don't rely on TIOBE for anything indicative. It's misleading at best.

More Google searches on C, then?, posted 3 Sep 2009 at 13:17 UTC by audriusa » (Journeyer)

Well, surely the developer may search web much less for the language (s)he uses daily that for something that is new for him. When I needed to use Perl and Python first, I was running web search each ten minutes because the languages were new for me, and I do not remember when I did last time the web based search on Java, the main language in the company where I work. Maybe the raise of C indicates emerging population of people that are not yet good in this language.

If the index would be based on paid advertising I would expect to see Visual Basic, C# and others similar on the top. C is one of the most supported languages in the Free world!

I see a bit of it, posted 8 Sep 2009 at 05:16 UTC by Zaitcev » (Master)

I'm working on a new (server-side) project in C, after a few years away from it. The basic library support is advanced quite a bit, in particular with Gobject. But I think the fundamentals haven't changed and in our case it's a false hope. We really should've used something like Python. Too late now.

Maybe all the kernel graduates push the reviewal of the interest in C as they disperse.

What the hell, Python is less popular than C#..., posted 23 Oct 2009 at 21:14 UTC by murajov » (Journeyer)

As for the subj, I think the current balance fully shows that making software is hard. C is popular cause it is simple ... but still somewhat legacy. Nothing personal, I use C too.

C is popular because it is interop glue, posted 10 Nov 2009 at 04:09 UTC by aminorex » (Journeyer)

If you need to run C++ class methods from a Java program, what do you use? C. If you need to invoke Python functions from a C# program, what do you use? C. If you want to invoke XPCOM from SBCL, what do you use? C.

C is by far the most interoperable language on the planet. As the number of popular languages and the value of their libraries increase, the frequency of the need to interoperate them increases by the square. Thus, C will, in the long run, dominate all other languages.

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