13 September, 2021 - 11:19am
Each month, TIOBE releases an index detailing the top programming languages and these regular updates highlight granular shifts in this ever-evolving landscape. As TechRepublic previously reported, last month's index showcased "booming" AI and data mining programming languages and TIOBE's latest September roundup features a competitive logjam at the top, as a longtime challenger comes for the crown.
The tight three-language horserace between C, Python and Java remains close in TIOBE's September index. Overall, C tops the latest rankings with an 11.83% rating, representing a year-over-year decrease of 4.12%. Despite this marked decline, C was still able to edge out runner-up Python with the No. 2 touting an 11.67% and a year-over-year increase of 1.20%.
"Python has never been so close to the number 1 position of the TIOBE index. It only needs to bridge 0.16% to surpass C. This might happen any time now," said Paul Jansen, CEO TIOBE Software, in a blog post about the latest index. "If Python becomes number 1, a new milestone has been reached in the TIOBE index. Only 2 other languages have ever been leading the pack so far, i.e. C and Java. Let's see what happens next month."
Over the last year, Classic Visual Basic has surged 0.77% (11 spots) and now holds the No. 11 position with a 1.52% rating just ahead of No. 12 Groovy (1.46%). It's important to note that Groovy's rating has increased 0.48% over the last year; one of the largest year-over-year surges in the top 20 after Python, C#, Visual Basic, Classic Visual Basic and Fortran. (More on Fortran's ascent in a bit.)
In order, Ruby, Go and Swift hold positions 13 through 15, similar to the same positions these languages held in September 2020. In the latest index, No. 16 MATLAB carries a 1.02% rating, just enough to outlast surging Fortran in the 17th position; year-over-year Fortran has leap-frogged 20 spots with a 0.65% rating increase over this time period. No. 18 R and No. 19 Perl have both recorded marked year-over-year declines, dropping 9 and 6 positions, respectively. Delphi/Object Pascal rounds out the top 20 with a 0.77% rating, up 9 positions and 0.24% since last September.
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R. Dallon Adams is a journalist originally from Louisville, Kentucky. His previous work includes a wide spectrum of beats and formats ranging from tech-savvy urban planning initiatives to hands-on gadget reviews.