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New Poll: Are Dynamic Languages in Decline or on the Rise?

Posted by editor on February 7, 2011 at 9:23 PM PST

This week's new poll was inspired by John Yeary's recent blog post "Dynamic Languages on the JVM... Growth or Demise". John begins his post by saying:

Like most of you I saw the TIOBE Index this week. Java still holds the top slot, but the press is grinding out our slow inevitable demise.

I looked at the TIOBE report myself a couple weeks ago, and noted with interest the trends among the top languages: a gradual decline in the Java, C, and C++ lines, with Python showing a rising trend.

One thing that comes to mind for me, though, is that the Y-axis in this plot is "Normalized fraction of total hits (%)". So, the plot is saying that out of all hits found in TIOBE's search, the percentages for Java, C, and C++ are slowly decreasing. But, the missing variable here is the total sample size. My guess is that, in the past 10 years, the total amount of global software development has increased immensely. If this is true, then a plot that showed the total amount of development in each language would likely show almost every language in the chart above to have a rising trend.

I'm pretty certain there's much more active Java development happening today globally than was the case 10 years ago. I mean, I'll be stunned if someone can prove to me that that's not the case. So, if that's true, what does it mean to say Java, and (getting back to John Yeary's discussion) dynamic languages in general, are in decline?

Well, I don't vote in polls, and I'm not trying to influence you either. I just found both the TIOBE Index and John's post quite interesting. So, I thought I'd talk about the genesis of this new poll.

Anyway, the specific question our new poll asks is: Are dynamic languages (Java, Ruby, Python, Scala, etc.) in decline or on the rise? What's your view? Voting will be open for the next week.

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