Traditional development trends has ensured that the C and C++ programming languages remain popular even decades after their creation. Despite being created in the same year as C++, Objective-C was never as popular. That all changed with the advent of the iPhone, but things are starting to slow down.
The TIOBE Programming Community Index, an index that charts the popularity of programming languages, has found that Objective-C’s popularity has stopped growing after its meteoric rise from rank 42 in 2008 to rank 4 in 2012.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the popularity of Objective-C will start to dramatically decrease. The popularity of iOS devices and Apple’s insistence that Objective-C be the only language used in iOS development ensures that the language will have a long life ahead of it.
We can always make a few assumptions based on these findings though. One is that iOS development isn’t growing as fast as it used to. Developers building apps for iOS will continue to do so, but this stall in growth seems to indicate that new developers are not flocking to the platform.
It could all change at a moment’s notice, however, especially if Apple does release a cheaper iPhone for emerging markets this year. The development communities in China, India and elsewhere could help catapult Objective-C to even greater heights as these teams scramble to get apps on the Apple App Store.
As for the other languages, the top eight languages didn’t see a rise or decline in popularity compared to last year. C remains the most popular with Java and C++ taking up second and third place respectively. As you already read, Objective-C is at the number four spot, and C# rounds out the top five.
Here’s the full chart showing the top 20 programming languages this month:
You can check out the rest of the stats including a list of the top 50 programming languages in the world over at the TIOBE Programming Community Index page.