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TIOBE Index for May 2016

May Headline: Ruby equals best position ever

Ruby is currently at position 8 in the TIOBE index. This is equal to the highest position it reached in December 2008. This second peak is quite the opposite of the first one. In 2006 the Ruby evangelists were shouting the language to the top. There was no room for self reflection or discussion: Ruby and its programming environment Rails were about to conquer the world. And they succeeded in this to some extent. Ruby became the language for fancy start up companies with their tight time to market schedules. It was even awarded "Programming Language of 2006" until its popularity peaked at the end of 2008. Then scalability appeared to be a problem. Performance dropped significantly if much data needed to be processed. In the beginning of 2010 one of those fancy start ups, Twitter, started to replace Ruby by Java for this same reason. The Ruby evangelists vanished to other cool new languages and Ruby seemed to be on its way out. But not really. After being out the limelight for quite some years, Ruby's popularity started to grow again at the beginning of 2015. This time it seems to be a more sustainable growth based on actual usage of the language instead of shouting.

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.

May 2016 May 2015 Change Programming Language Ratings Change
11Java20.956%+4.09%
22C13.223%-3.62%
33C++6.698%-1.18%
45changeC#4.481%-0.78%
56changePython3.789%+0.06%
69changePHP2.992%+0.27%
77JavaScript2.340%-0.79%
815changeRuby2.338%+1.07%
911changePerl2.326%+0.51%
108changeVisual Basic .NET2.325%-0.64%
1113changeDelphi/Object Pascal2.008%+0.71%
1222changeAssembly language1.883%+1.12%
1310changeVisual Basic1.828%-0.07%
144changeObjective-C1.597%-3.80%
1518changeSwift1.593%+0.48%
1612changeR1.334%-0.11%
1738changeGroovy1.288%+0.90%
1814changeMATLAB1.287%+0.00%
1917changePL/SQL1.208%+0.08%
2030changeD0.975%+0.39%


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
21SAS0.958%
22Scratch0.929%
23COBOL0.879%
24ABAP0.858%
25Scheme0.790%
26Transact-SQL0.745%
27Dart0.744%
28Fortran0.703%
29Lisp0.630%
30Lua0.593%
31Ada0.552%
32Scala0.550%
33OpenEdge ABL0.467%
34Logo0.432%
35Prolog0.406%
36F#0.391%
37RPG (OS/400)0.375%
38LabVIEW0.340%
39Haskell0.287%
40Alice0.286%
41Erlang0.265%
42Go0.254%
43Apex0.245%
44Q0.240%
45Bash0.236%
46PureBasic0.233%
47Rust0.231%
48Ladder Logic0.219%
49Awk0.213%
50VBScript0.190%

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, ABC, ActionScript, APL, Avenue, BBC BASIC, bc, Bourne shell, C shell, cg, CL (OS/400), Clojure, Common Lisp, cT, Elixir, EXEC, Forth, Hack, Icon, IDL, Inform, Io, J, Julia, Korn shell, Mathematica, Mercury, ML, Moto, MQL4, MS-DOS batch, NATURAL, NXT-G, OCaml, OpenCL, Oz, PL/I, PostScript, PowerShell, Programming Without Coding Technology, Pure Data, Smalltalk, SPARK, Stata, Tcl, thinBasic, Verilog, VHDL, Z shell


This Month's Changes in the Index

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

  • Richard Feldman pointed out that the "ELM" programming language should be written like "Elm". We have changed this in the TIOBE index definition.
  • 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 the positions of the top 10 programming languages of many years back. Please note that these are average positions for a period of 12 months.

Programming Language2016201120062001199619911986
Java111325--
C2221111
C++3332227
C#45612---
Python5672618--
PHP64410---
Visual Basic .NET7188-----
JavaScript898931--
Perl98543--
Ruby10102431---
Lisp27121316632
Ada28161519743

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.

YearWinner
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 "<language> programming", also other queries such as "programming with <language>", "<language> development" and "<language> 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 +"<language> 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 availabe 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.