Reply to post: Re: OMFG

For real this time, get your butt off Python 2: No updates, no nothing after 1 January 2020

Crazy Operations Guy


Just because a programming language is popular, doesn't mean there is much written in it. A lot of studies of 'most popular' are done by just looking at common code repositories (Usually github or Sourceforge) and checking the extensions of the files (Some are even lazier than that and just look at project tags). Such studies rarely consider such factors as lines-of-code, activity, etc.

You may end up with situations where a repository has two JavaScript projects that might have a dozen lines each and only have been touched twice in the last decade, and only a handful of people in the world actually use it. But the you have a single project written in C that encompasses tens of millions of lines of code and is seeing contributions several times an hour, and its used by literally billions of systems around the clock. In that case, these studies would still show that JavaScript is the most popular language.

For every Linux Kernel, you have hundreds of trivial projects written in simple languages, many by CompSci students as a term project.

The problem remain as long as we human stay obsessed with tacking numbers onto things that can't be easily quantified. Like, do you count the popularity of a programming language by number total software projects that use it? Lines of code? Number of contributions? Download count? Installation count? Execution count? Number of cycles the code has used globally? Or do you go with something based on humans and ask everyone what their favorite language is? Which one they use most often? Or even some subjective factor like what language is most important to humanity?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020