Open-Source Usage Dips Abroad, Survey Says

PHP, Perl and Python are said to be losing adherents in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Meanwhile, Observers see increase in U.S. usage.

Evans Data Corp. has released results of a survey that show a decline in usage of three popular open source dynamic languages in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The survey of 400 developers in the EMEA region showed double-digit declines in the use of PHP, Perl and Python, the three languages that make up the "P" in the LAMP acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl/Python.

According to the Evans Data survey taken in the spring of this year, the number of EMEA developers using PHP dropped by more than 25 percent in the last year, and the number of developers who said they would not evaluate or use PHP for future development projects grew by nearly 40 percent in the same time period.

Meanwhile, Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Evans Data said Perl usage in EMEA has dropped by more than 20 percent, and the number of developers who said they have no plans to consider or use Perl grew by 20 percent. And Python usage also dropped 25 percent, and the number of developers who said they have no plans to consider Python grew by 17 percent, the survey said.

These findings do not seem to jibe with patterns in the U.S., where the interest in PHP, Perl and Python appear to be rising, based on the increasing number of companies cropping up and announcing support or services around the LAMP stack.

Cornelius Willis, vice president of SourceLabs Inc., a Seattle-based startup focused on providing services around the LAMP stack, said of the Evans Data survey results: "This doesnt match what we are seeing in our sampling of customers in either of these geographies."

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"According to a Netcraft [Ltd.] survey taken in December, one third of all Web sites worldwide were developed with PHP," said Anne Thomas Manes, an analyst with Burton Group Inc. "And everything Ive seen recently seems to indicate that P-language adoption is on the rise," she added, noting that Burton does not do quantitative research, "so my gut feel has no statistical relevance."

"PHP, Perl and Python use on a global basis peaked one to two years ago and has started to decline based on a number of factors," said John Andrews, Evans Datas chief operating officer, in a statement. "This decline is more exaggerated in EMEA and APAC (Asia Pacific) than in North America. One of the key factors to this loss of developer mindshare has been the inability of these languages to penetrate the enterprise space."

The Evans survey displayed other results related to open-source development, including that 61 percent of the respondents said although they have made use of open-source software for development, only 33 percent said they have contributed back to the open source community.

Meanwhile, the number of EMEA developers who said they plan to build 64-bit applications grew by more than 250 percent in the last six months, according to the survey.

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