Study: Use of Ruby Language on the Rise

A study based on Black Duck Software's search engine data shows that the use of the Ruby language has grown significantly in the last four years. According to the data, Ruby usage is ahead of dynamic language alternatives such as PHP, Python and Perl, and just behind more entrenched languages such as Visual Basic, C/C++ and C#.

A recent study from Black Duck Software shows that usage of the Ruby programming language is on the rise.

Black Duck Software, which provides software to manage the use of open source code, on Oct. 14 released data from its search engine that show a dramatic increase in popularity of the Ruby programming language. Black Duck officials said tens of thousands of software developers use Black Duck's daily to find open source code and other downloadable code.

Indeed, Black Duck said Ruby is now the fourth most requested language on, after Java, C/C+ and C#. And the number of Ruby searches has increased by more than 20 times since 2004 and has surpassed alternatives, such as PHP, Python and Perl, according to data.

"Black Duck's search data confirms the tremendous growth that we are seeing within the community of Ruby developers," said Tom Copeland, system administrator of "It's great to see a leading code search site like index RubyForge because it represents another way to make the projects in our community available to tens of thousands of developers worldwide."

Moreover, Ruby, used in combination with the Ruby on Rails framework, is rapidly gaining momentum and will reach four million developers worldwide by 2013, according to Mark Driver, research vice president at Gartner. "Ruby will enjoy a higher concentration among corporate IT developers than typical, dynamic 'scripting' languages, such as PHP," Driver said.

Black Duck acquired in April, and since then has enhanced the code search service. Black Duck added more than 200 million lines of code to the search repository, increasing its size by more than 33 percent, company officials said. The expanded code base now includes more code from SourceForge, CPAN (the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) and the industry's leading site for Ruby projects,

Code search with represents an essential part of the hybrid model of software development, which enables development teams to reuse open source in combination with their own code and other externally sourced components, Black Duck officials said. In addition to code, features other resources, such as a developer forum and a monthly statistics page, which lists the top monthly search terms, top projects and a solutions map for 11 popular programming languages, the company said.

"Black Duck remains committed to providing as a free service for developers involved in hybrid development," said Bill McQuaide, executive vice president of products and services at Black Duck Software, in a statement. "An interesting byproduct of the popularity of is the insight we can gain from users and the searches they conduct. In addition, this data shows part of a larger story--how developers can use Black Duck's offerings to be more effective in using open source within the framework of sound code management practices."