Java Drops From Top Programming Language Spot, C Rules

Java drops to the No. 2 most popular programming language as the C language takes over the top spot.

Is Java€™s run as the most popular programming language around over? Not likely, but according to the TIOBE Programming Community Index, Java no longer holds the top spot as the most popular programming language. The C language does.

Java has held its place atop the TIOBE index for the last 10 years€”except for a couple of dips€”but has been in decline lately and finally succumbed to C. However, the folks at TIOBE do not expect the shift to be permanent.

A description of the Java situation on the TIOBE site said:

"It took some time but Java's long-term downward trend line finally crosses C's stable (almost flat) popularity line. Although it is expected that Java will not decline much further due to the popularity of the Android platform, C is able to remain No. 1 for at least another couple of months. This can be concluded by looking at the extrapolation of moving averages for both languages."

Java has indeed seen a downward trend, perhaps not helped by the recent hoopla over the Flashback virus, which exploits a Java vulnerability. However, as TIOBE indicated, Android remains Java€™s ace in the hole.

While Java is No. 2 on the list, C++, Objective-C and C# round out the top five most popular languages in that order. And rounding out the top 10 are PHP, Visual Basic, Python, JavaScript and Perl, in that order.

Meanwhile, the TIOBE index showed that three new languages found their way onto the TIOBE top 20. PL/SQL rose to the 12th spot, up from 24thlast month. Visual Basic .NET rose to 14th from 35th and NXT-G, which is a language for programming Lego Mindstorms, rose to 20th from 52nd last month. In other interesting moves on the list, Visual FoxPro, Scala and Alice, a language for teaching kids to program, all cracked the TIOBE top 50, at 42nd, 45th and 48th, respectively. To make room for these top 50 newbies, Eiffel, PL/I and Tcl fell out of the TIOBE top 50.

The TIOBE Programming Community Index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers worldwide, courses and third-party vendors.