TIOBE Index for February 2018

TIOBE Index for February 2018

February Headline: The last gasp attempt of Visual Basic to score?

If you look closely at this month's publication, Visual Basic.NET and classic Visual Basic are doing great. This is really surprising. About 2 years ago we stated in an interview about the TIOBE index that it was a matter of some years before Visual Basic would have disappeared. Visual Basic is considered the programming language for newbies in the field of programming and rapid prototyping. That's why it has a bad image among expert programmers. Despite all this, Visual Basic seems to survive. Last week Mads Torgersen of Microsoft announced that they will stop with the co-evolution strategy of C# and Visual Basic. This means that Visual Basic will fall behind if compared to new C# features. Let's see whether Visual Basic can take this new punch and keep on surviving.

IMPORTANT NOTE. SQL has been added again to the TIOBE index since February 2018. The reason for this is that SQL appears to be Turing complete. As a consequence, there is no recent history for the language and thus it might seem the SQL language is rising very fast. This is not the case.

The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors. Popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings. It is important to note that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written.

The index can be used to check whether your programming skills are still up to date or to make a strategic decision about what programming language should be adopted when starting to build a new software system. The definition of the TIOBE index can be found here.

Feb 2018Feb 2017ChangeProgramming LanguageRatingsChange
68changeVisual Basic .NET4.072%+1.25%
Delphi/Object Pascal2.589%+0.11%
1216changeVisual Basic2.177%+0.30%
1513changeAssembly language1.833%-0.27%

Ratings (%)JavaCC++PythonC#Visual Basic .NETPHPJavaScriptDelphi/Object PascalRuby200220042006200820102012201420162018051015202530Sunday, Apr 7, 2013 C++: 9.714%TIOBE Programming Community IndexSource: www.tiobe.com

Other programming languages

The complete top 50 of programming languages is listed below. This overview is published unofficially, because it could be the case that we missed a language. If you have the impression there is a programming language lacking, please notify us at tpci@tiobe.com. Please also check the overview of all programming languages that we monitor.

PositionProgramming LanguageRatings
39Ladder Logic0.299%
41OpenEdge ABL0.249%

The Next 50 Programming Languages

The following list of languages denotes #51 to #100. Since the differences are relatively small, the programming languages are only listed (in alphabetical order).

  • (Visual) FoxPro, 4th Dimension/4D, ActionScript, Alice, Applescript, Arc, ATLAS, Awk, BBC BASIC, bc, Bourne shell, C shell, CL (OS/400), Common Lisp, Crystal, Elixir, Elm, Forth, Icon, Io, J, J#, Korn shell, LiveCode, Maple, ML, MOO, MQL4, NATURAL, NXT-G, OCaml, OpenCL, Oz, PL/I, PostScript, PowerShell, Programming Without Coding Technology, Pure Data, Q, Racket, REXX, RPG (OS/400), S, Simulink, SPARK, Stata, Tcl, VBScript, Verilog, VHDL

This Month's Changes in the Index

This month the following changes have been made to the definition of the index:

  • After some discussion with Eberhard Tscheuschner we had to admit that SQL is Turing complete because of its Common Table Expressions feature. In 2004 we decided the opposite, but now SQL is back and started at position 11.

  • Joek van Montfort suggested to add Snap! as a programming language to the TIOBE index. Snap! meets all requirements and has been added. It is currently at position 166.

  • Some people observed the unexpected rise of the programming language Crystal. Dominik Picheta sorted out why this happened: programming crystals is a popular occult hobby nowadays. We rechecked all Crystal programming pages and 39% of them turned out to be not related to the programming language. This has been adjusted in the definition. As a consequence Crystal dropped from position 62 to 91.

  • There are lots of mails that still need to be processed. As soon as there is more time available your mail will be answered. Please be patient.

Very Long Term History

To see the bigger picture, please find below the positions of the top 10 programming languages of many years back. Please note that these are averagepositions for a period of 12 months.

Programming Language2018201320082003199819931988
Visual Basic .NET613-----

Programming Language Hall of Fame

The hall of fame listing all "Programming Language of the Year" award winners is shown below. The award is given to the programming language that has the highest rise in ratings in a year. 

2017medal C
2016medal Go
2015medal Java
2014medal JavaScript
2013medal Transact-SQL
2012medal Objective-C
2011medal Objective-C
2010medal Python
2009medal Go
2008medal C
2007medal Python
2006medal Ruby
2005medal Java
2004medal PHP
2003medal C++

Bugs & Change Requests

This is the top 5 of most requested changes and bugs. If you have any suggestions how to improve the index don't hesitate to send an e-mail to tpci@tiobe.com.

  1. Apart from " programming", also other queries such as "programming with ", " development" and " coding" should be tried out.

  2. Add queries for other natural languages (apart from English). The idea is to start with the Chinese search engine Baidu. This has been implemented partially and will be completed the next few months.

  3. Add a list of all search term requests that have been rejected. This is to minimize the number of recurring mails about Rails, JQuery, JSP, etc.

  4. Start a TIOBE index for databases, software configuration management systems and application frameworks.

  5. Some search engines allow to query pages that have been added last year. The TIOBE index should only track those recently added pages.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Q: Am I allowed to show the TIOBE index in my weblog/presentation/publication?

    A: Yes, the only condition is to refer to its original source "www.tiobe.com".

  • Q: How may I nominate a new language to be added to the TIOBE index?

    A: If a language meets the criteria of being listed (i.e. it is Turing complete and has an own Wikipedia entry that indicates that it concerns a programming language) and it is sufficiently popular (more than 5,000 hits for +" programming" for Google), then please write an e-mail to tpci@tiobe.com.

  • Q: I would like to have the complete data set of the TIOBE index. Is this possible?

    A: We spent a lot of effort to obtain all the data and keep the TIOBE index up to date. In order to compensate a bit for this, we ask a fee of 5,000 US$ for the complete data set. The data set runs from June 2001 till today. It started with 25 languages back in 2001, and now measures more than 150 languages once a month. The data are available in comma separated format. Please contact sales@tiobe.com for more information.

  • Q: Why is the maximum taken to calculate the ranking for a grouping, why not the sum?

    A: Well, you can do it either way and both are wrong. If you take the sum, then you get the intersection twice. If you take the max, then you miss the difference. Which one to choose? Suppose somebody comes up with a new search term that is 10% of the original. If you take the max, nothing changes. If you take the sum then the ratings will rise 10%. So taking the sum will be an incentive for some to come up with all kinds of obscure terms for a language. That's why we decided to take the max.

    The proper way to solve this is is of course to take the sum and subtract the intersection. This will give rise to an explosion of extra queries that must be performed. Suppose a language has a grouping of 15 terms, then you have to perform 32,768 queries (all combinations of intersections). So this seems not possible either... If somebody has a solution for this, please let us know.

  • Q: What happened to Java in April 2004? Did you change your methodology?

    A: No, we did not change our methodology at that time. Google changed its methodology. They performed a general sweep action to get rid of all kinds of web sites that had been pushed up. As a consequence, there was a huge drop for languages such as Java and C++. In order to minimize such fluctuations in the future, we added two more search engines (MSN and Yahoo) a few months after this incident.

  • Q: Why is YouTube used as a search engine for the TIOBE index?

    A: First of all, YouTube counts for less than 10% of all ratings, so it has hardly any influence on the index. YouTube has been added as an experiment. It qualified for the TIOBE index because of its high ranking on Alexa. YouTube is a young platform (so an indicator for popularity) and there are quite some lectures, presentations, programming tips and language introductions available on YouTube.