Apple’s Swift makes it into top 10 programming languages
RedMonk’s rankings are based on pull requests in GitHub, as well as an estimated count of how many times a language is tagged on developer knowledge-sharing site, Stack Overflow. They extract language rankings from GitHub and Stack Overflow, and combine them for a ranking that attempts to reflect both code (GitHub) and discussion (Stack Overflow) traction.
“The idea is not to offer a statistically valid representation of current usage, but rather to correlate language discussion and usage in an effort to extract insights into potential future adoption trends,” RedMonk said.
According to the data, Java, Python, PHP, and C# too continued to remain at the second, third, fourth and fifth places respectively this year.
“As always, the consistent performance of our Tier 1 languages — the top 10, more or less — is at once surprising and unsurprising,” RedMonk said. “The relatively static nature of the top 10 languages is interesting, certainly, in a technology landscape that is best characterized not by the high level of change but the increasing pace of same.
“Conversely, however, it’s important to note that the numbers measured are accretive, and as with financial metrics rates of growth are fastest when projects are new and harder and harder to come by over time. New language entrants are behind from the day they are released, in other words, which makes displacing the most popular languages a significant and uphill battle.”
However, the surprise element in the language ranking was Apple’s Swift, which moved to the tenth place in the rankings joining its predecessor, Objective C.
“Finally, the apprentice is now the master,” RedMonk who has been compiling quarterly rankings since 2011 said in regards to Swift. “Technically, this isn’t entirely accurate, as Swift merely tied the language it effectively replaced – Objective C – rather than passing it. Still, it’s difficult to view this run as anything but a changing of the guard.”
RedMonk said that Swift, Apple’s language which is primarily intended for Apple operating systems (iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS) has been growing at an “incredible rate”. It has managed to climb up 44 places in RedMonk’s language rankings in the latter half of 2017. It has also managed to reach the top 10 rankings in under four years at a record pace.
“Apple’s support for Objective C and the consequent opportunities it created via the iOS platform have kept the language in a high profile role almost as long as we’ve been doing these rankings. Even as Swift grew at an incredible rate, Objective C’s history kept it out in front of its replacement. Eventually, however, the trajectories had to intersect, and this quarter’s run is the first occasion in which this has happened.
“In a world in which it’s incredibly difficult to break into the Top 25 of language rankings, let alone the Top 10, Swift managed the chore in less than four years. It remains a growth phenomenon, even if its ability to penetrate the server side has not met expectations.”
Check out the top 20 programming languages below: