Java/JavaScript, PHP, Python Top RedMonk List of Language Rankings

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RedMonk, a tech-industry analyst firm, has issued its latest programming-language rankings, and the list should come with no surprises to seasoned programmers and developers: Java/JavaScript, PHP, Python, C#, C++/Ruby, and CSS all top the list of most-used languages.

Any language “observable within both GitHub and Stack Overflow” can end up in RedMonk’s rankings, according to the firm’s blog posting. “No claims are made here that these rankings are representative of general usage more broadly. They are nothing more or less than an examination of the correlation between two populations we believe to be predictive of future use, hence their value.” RedMonk relies on GitHub and Stack Overflow due to their respective sizes and the public nature of their data; many of the rankings have remained consistent in RedMonk’s biannual reporting.

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“All numerical rankings should be taken with a grain of salt,” the posting also offered, as a caveat. “We rank by numbers here strictly for the sake of interest. In general, the numerical ranking is substantially less relevant than the language’s tier or grouping.”

As Paul Krill noted over at InfoWorld, another interesting aspect of the list is the low rankings for Go, a programming language developed by Google employees, and Swift, a language built by Apple that debuted with much fanfare at the company’s most recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The folks at RedMonk have no doubt that both those languages will eventually prove far more popular than they are today, although the same can’t be said for Dart, Google’s Web programming language, which hasn’t budged from 39th place in the past year.

Without further ado—but with all the above caveats in place—this is how RedMonk ranked today’s most popular languages:

1. Java / JavaScript
3. PHP
4. Python
5. C#
6. C++ / Ruby
8. CSS
9. C
10. Objective-C
11. Shell
12. Perl
13. R
14. Scala
15. Haskell
16. Matlab
17. Visual Basic
18. CoffeeScript
19. Clojure / Groovy

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Image: RedMonk


13 Responses to “Java/JavaScript, PHP, Python Top RedMonk List of Language Rankings”

June 26, 2014 at 6:42 am, Noivad said:

Erm, Java and Javascript are two completely separate languages, and should be listed separately. In fact, “JavaScript” is technically ECMAScript (a name no one uses because it sounds bad, but Netscape and Microsoft fought over the name — after MS “extended and embraced” its version, JScript). It was adopted from a unique feature of Netscape to become a standard client side (and server side) scripting language. It was initially named Mocha/LiveScript, but Netscape and Sun wanted to leverage the name recognition of “Java” of the hot buzz word language of the day that would put an end to having to write multiple versions for different platforms — or so they thought.

In any case there Java & Javascript are two different beasts, and should be treated as such.


June 26, 2014 at 7:26 am, Mas said:

totally agree with noivad’s comment. java and javascript are 2 totally different languages. java is primarily used on server side to implement services and data access layers. javascript is on front end used in conjunction with html and css, except that javascript has also being used to implement server (node.js). java is strongly typed, and rather verbose while javascript is loosely typed and geared more towards asynchronous processing.


June 26, 2014 at 9:26 am, Adil said:

I think the author means that Java and Javascript are tied for the first position. Like C++/Ruby is tied later on in the list.


July 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm, alex borsody said:

No I think the author just messed up why would he have it in the title Java/Javacript


December 03, 2014 at 9:44 pm, joe said:

i agree, i followed the link to the original article and at least they realize that Java and javascript are two entirely different things, but I don’t think the author of this post knew it!

July 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm, decibel.places said:

exactly what I thought when I saw Java / Javascript lumped together


June 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm, Steve said:

Given the obscurity of some of those languages, I was surprised that LSL (Linden Scripting Language) wasn’t listed. I don’t use git, but I’m told it’s there.


July 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm, BobC said:

What are the dimensions for the vertical and horizontal axes of the chart? Why aren’t they explained or even labelled?
It appears that the vertical axis is for quantity of use (with Java, JavaScript, etc) near the top, as would be expected from the article.
However, the horizontal axis needs explanation. For example, SQL appears high up (high use), but to the left of the mainline of languages. What does that connote?


August 16, 2014 at 7:29 pm, David said:

I’d also love to know what the X and Y axes are in this graph.


December 08, 2014 at 11:20 am, Brian Dunnette said:

Per RedMonk’s original post, X is number of GitHub projects using(?) that language, while Y is the number of posts tagged with that language on Stack Overflow… not sure why they removed that helpful info here!


July 22, 2014 at 12:07 pm, alex borsody said:

wow this is stupid how is Java/Javascript concatenated these are completely different languages the only similarity is in the name, Javascript was named similar to Java because of the popularity associated with it at the time. Javascript is a scripting language while Java gets compiled just different in every way.


August 28, 2014 at 6:03 am, Tamil Arasan said:

I am a Computer Science Student from India.
It is very useful for us.
Please clarify –
Different IT companies are used different IDEs to develope the
Applications for Java/Android/ iOS.
Ex: Eclipse, Android Studio, NetBeans, RAD Studio and etc…

It is same for Web Development.
Ex: ASP.NET, PHP, HTML 5/ and etc…

So, How face this critical problems.
Please guide me.

Tamil Arasan


December 04, 2014 at 1:48 pm, asdf said:

Label your [expletive] axes.


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