Java Loses No.1 Rank Amongst Programming Languages — A Matter Of Concern?

The TIOBE Programming index for April 2010 says that C is back at the No 1 position and the main reason is said to be the decline of Java which is showing a long-term downward trend. I am sure this will get reported as evidence of the end of Java being near. However while a  downward trend for the Java language might be visible, I do not think there’s any downward trend for the Java platform as a whole.

Java today is transitioning from being just a popular language to being the ubiquitous Java platform used by several different languages for the Java Virtual Machine. The language might have taken a back seat, but the platform continues to be very popular & is doing very well. This can be seen from the rise of the other JVM languages on the index. JavaFX script is a surprise entry at 22 while the more talked of languages for the Java platform; Scala is at 27 & Groovy is at 44.

So I think Java continues to be the most popular programming platform and I do not see that changing in the near future. What will change is that even beginner level Java developers will have to understand the platform and not just the language. Companies, colleges & universities will need to modify their processes / curriculum accordingly.

What do you think? Do you think that the Java platform is alive & well & will continue to thrive or do you think Java as a whole is showing a downward trend? Does the loss of Java’s numero uno position amongst programming languages matter?

Harshad Oak

Harshad Oak is the founder of Rightrix Solutions & IndicThreads. He is the author of 3 books and several articles on Java technology. For his contributions to technology and the community, he has been recognized as an Oracle ACE Director and a Sun Java Champion. Contact - harshad aT rightrix doT com & @HarshadOak

6 thoughts on “Java Loses No.1 Rank Amongst Programming Languages — A Matter Of Concern?

  • July 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    java is only relevant due the dot com boom. and most servers are still java leading to misleading numbers of java developers.

  • April 7, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    I personally use Java for desktop software development, but the stagnation that has been experienced in the past year concerning Desktop Java development is what I believe has affected the index, since it is based mostly of search engine queries for each of the listed languages.

    With fewer and fewer developments being made towards Swing each week and all efforts being pushed to JavaFX, while all the truck loads of previous Swing bugs remain, it is natural to see the progression of Java developers move from Java and its Swing framework to other desktop suitable languages such as SWT or C#.

    Also, on the web front, JavaEE continues to have a entry barrier for the new generation of developers so many switch to simpler languages such PHP to get rapid freelance projects out the door. Hence, the people using Java on the whole are declining in favour of other web technologies and desktop languages.

    If Oracle does not bring about some rapid and very interesting developments in the Java language soon, we will see it join the ranks of Delphi and other almost dead desktop languages.

  • April 7, 2010 at 7:08 am

    The decline of the Java language however will have some impact the the Java platform as well in the long run.

    Developers using other JVM languages like Jython, JRuby, etc. are as passionate / close to Ruby & Python as they are to Java . So a JRuby developer is far more likely to go for a pure Ruby deployment in the future than someone using the Java language.

    However this effect might be compensated for by traditional Python, Ruby, or even .NET developers adopting the Java platform via Jython, JRuby, Scala or other Java platform languages

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