Microsoft's C# programming language earned the rank of the No. 1 programming language of 2012, the PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language index revealed.
According to the PYPL index, C# had the biggest growth in 2012, rising more than 2.3 percent, by far the biggest growth of any language over the past year, surpassing Java, PHP and C++.
Moreover, while the popular TIOBE Index looks at Objective-C as a language of the year candidate, the PYPL index goes with C#.
"The TIOBE Programming Community Index has it wrong: C# is the language of the year, not Objective-C," said a post on the PYPL Web page. "Indeed, according to the PYPL index, C# had the biggest growth in popularity this year: +2.3%. Over a five-year period, Python is the language whose popularity is growing the fastest; it is already the second most popular in the U.S."
The PYPL index is based on data from Google Trends, which measures search volume, and the results are based on the relative number of searches for programming tutorials in the given language. The PYPL index is created by analyzing how often language tutorials are searched on Google—the more a specific language tutorial is searched, the more popular the language is assumed to be. It is a leading indicator. And as the raw data comes from Google Trends, anyone can verify it, or make the analysis for their own country.
In December, TIOBE reported that Objective-C was on its way to repeat as its "language of the year." According to a statement on the TIOBE Website at the time, "There is only 1 month left before TIOBE will announce the programming language of the year 2012. Objective-C continues to rise. Other mobile phone application languages such as C, C++ and Java are rising, too, but not fast enough to compete seriously with Objective-C. In fact it seems that if you are not in the mobile phone market you are losing ground."
At the same time in December, Xamarin announced Xamarin.Mac, a new tool that enables developers to use C# to build self-contained Mac OS X apps suitable for publication in the Mac App Store. With the release of Xamarin.Mac, it is now possible to build apps in C# for more than 2.2 billion devices worldwide, comprising 1.2 billion Windows devices and, using Xamarin, 1 billion Android, iOS, and Mac devices.
For December, Objective-C, which is commonly used to build iOS and Mac OS apps, ranked No. 3 and C# ranked No. 5 on the TIOBE Index of the most popular programming languages. C was ranked first, Java second and C++ fourth in that list. For January 2012, the PYPL index ranked Java No. 1, PHP second, C# and C++ tied for third, and the C language was next at fifth.
Meanwhile, in a Jan. 2 blog post, Nat Friedman, CEO of Xamarin, listed several reasons why he believes C# is the best language for mobile development. "What accounts for the growth of C# in 2012?" Friedman asked. "Well, the launch of Windows 8 has probably played a role—C# remains the dominant language of third-party application development on Windows devices." He then went on to list eight reasons why C# is good for mobile development, including its reliability, ease of adoption, fast execution and portability, among others.