As recent statistics show, Java 8 is helping to consolidate the popularity of the language in 2015, aided in part  by the new functional features it brings. Android’s market dominance is also going some way to drive a new generation to Java. But language compilation indexes are, as we’ve noted, tricky beasts, and naturally prone to enquiry. Another interesting way to check out what’s moving and shaking in the programming world is to take a dive into GitHub.

This week, a project based on the code repository has divulged some statistics showing how languages have waxed and waned in use on the site over the past decade, from 2008 when the ‘Hub first launched to its 10 million member strong present incarnation. Whilst it should be noted that this is in no way a definitive ranking, it certainly gives some interesting food for thought about how programming has changed in the past ten 10 years.

All rankings were calculated by a GitHub project known as Linguist, taking into account languages used in public and private repositories, and excluding any forks. According to GitHub, the top 10 languages on GitHub in 2015 are as follows:

  1. JavaScript
  2. Java
  3. Ruby
  4. PHP
  5. Python
  6. CSS
  7. C++
  8. C#
  9. C
  10. HTML

And, wouldn’t you know it, over that period of time, the biggest growing user group has been Java programmers. Again, GitHub attributes this growth to the might of Android, which has in turn generated a huge wave of demand for business and enterprise version control. Given that the graph has been created using data that reflects each language’s relative popularity, this could also have influenced results. For example, Ruby on Rails has been on the site since 2008, which could account for its early popularity.

GitHub language popularity

The proliferation of Java on the site also rises in accordance with wider trends, which saw Java slowly ascend in popularity following a dip around the time that Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems. As the company began to put their stamp on the platform, a gradual rise in uptake occurred as confidence was restored. However, as of yet, none of this has been enough to shake ‘language of the internet’ JavaScript from its top ranking, but it’ll be interesting to see how things play out as developers continue to discover the benefits of Java 8. 


Java Has Gobbled GitHub Mindshare Over Past 10 Years

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