Monday, May 12, 2008

What is your favorite language?

We all have our favorite language, but for most people it's almost religious to discuss which language is the best. I realized I don't know what language people really prefer, simply because I've never discussed it!

Having a look at TIOBE Programming Community Index for May 2008 got me thinking. You will see Java in top, followed by C and then (Visual) Basic. I couldn't get this, until I read the following:
Observe that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written.

Of course, Java produces a lots of lines of code, and C has been around for a long long time. Visual Basic I can't say why is rated third, but I guess every newbie programmer develops in VB, and also, you have all those macros! I guess those makes up for a few lines?! :)

C# is only at 8'th place, but I hope that's because you don't need to write as much code in it as you do with other languages... which probably isn't true because you DO write a lots of code in it. With C# 3.0 you can use synthetic sugar to write less code, but not that much ;) I really think the reason C# is not being that highly ranked is because it hasn't been around for that long. People are still experimenting with it, and those companies that has been around for a while can't see the reason for replacing Java with C#. But, in the future, when everyone is jumping off Java, C# will grow in popularity!

Anyway, I added a vote to this blog (in the left sidebar), so go ahead and vote on your favorite language. And, if you want, post a comment on this post, arguing for why you think your language is the best!

6 comments:

sganslandt said...

You really should make an array of polls, one for each task that could benefit from a specific kind of language. Obviously prolog is kind of domain-specific, perl is the favourite when it comes to cooking up quick and dirty shell scripts, python if you need to experiment on more intricate home brewed data structures , C if it is of importance that every line of code does exactly what it should and no more etc... But why anyone would choose Visual Basic, I can not understand either : )...

Gustaf Nilsson Kotte said...

I've never tried written in VB, but since Erik Meijer and Brian Beckman is some of the Brains (!!) behind it, I'm sure I will try it out pretty soon (after F#, Ruby, Erlang, Groovy and Clojure...)

http://research.microsoft.com/~emeijer/Papers/VisualBasic9OOPSLA2007.pdf

Christian Genne said...

Yes, every language has it's strengths, and you are right, it would be more correct to have an array of polls. But I would like to see what languages people prefer THE MOST. Even if your favorite language depends on the task, you somehow always have one favorite, don't you? For me it's C#, even though I love C++, Haskell and Java as well!

sganslandt said...

After long and hard consideration... The answer is still no. I guess the kind of projects you work on at the moment decides which your favorite tool is. But, if the question would be reformulated as something like "Which language could the world not do without?" or "If all programming languages but one would be eliminated from the face of..." then maybe, C or Pascal because they have had the greatest impact on the world of computer programming up till now?

No, still they are all Turing-complete and you could always write a compiler for your own personal flavor so the answer is, you don't have to choose. Hurray! Stupid question not having an unambiguous answer : ).

Anders Josefsson said...

Read the quote from the TIOBE Index site again :| It is not about lines either, but how many developers there are for a given language (at least they try to make us believe that).

Christian Genne said...

sganslandt: I could have let you vote for several languages instead of only one, but then everyone would have voted on more or less the same languages. I would like you (the voters) to think hard about what language you really prefer. What language makes you go "this is cool"? It's a subjective question, so simply go with your guts!

anders: Yeah you are right, I totally missed that. Somehow I mixed up the or with but in "Observe that the TIOBE index is not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written".

What's more interesting is seeing how the usage of each language is changing over time. C#, for example, seems to be increasing quite fast :)

http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/paperinfo/tpci/C_.html