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Objective-C plummets in popularity, impacted by rise of Swift

Objective-C plummets in popularity, impacted by rise of Swift

Longtime staple of development for Apple platforms slides out of the top 20 in Tiobe Index of programming language popularity

Credit: Dreamstime

Objective-C, which has been a staple of software development for Apple platforms, slumped in this month’s Tiobe Index of programming language popularity, falling out of the top 20 for the first time since late-2009.

Objective-C ranked 23rd in Tiobe’s April index with a rating of 0.67 per cent. It had entered the top 20 in October 2009 and earned Tiobe’s language of the year honours (given to the language with the most growth in popularity) in 2011 and 2012. Objective-C placed 20th in last month’s index, with a rating of 0.91 per cent.

Tiobe, a software quality services vendor, said that Objective-C’s slip out of the top 20 took longer than expected, and cited the rise of Apple’s Swift, a more modern language for MacOS and iOS development that debuted in June 2014, as a factor in Objective-C’s downfall. Swift ranked 15th in the April index, with a rating of 1.19 per cent.

Tiobe’s monthly index is based on a formula that assesses searches on languages in popular search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Specifically, the index strives to measure the number of skilled engineers worldwide, training courses, and third-party vendors pertinent to each language.

The Tiobe Index top 10 for April 2021, which was published April 4:

  1. C, with a rating of 14.32 per cent
  2. Java, 11.23 per cent
  3. Python, 11.03 per cent
  4. C++, 7.14 per cent
  5. C#, 4.91 per cent
  6. Visual Basic, 4.55 per cent
  7. JavaScript, 2.44 per cent
  8. Assembly, 2.32 per cent
  9. PHP, 1.84 per cent
  10. SQL, 1.83 per cent

In the alternative Pypl Popularity of Programming Language index, which assesses popularity based on how often language tutorials are searched in Google, Objective-C fared better in April, coming in eighth place with a share of 2.77 per cent. Swift was in 10th place with a share of 1.85 per cent.

The Pypl index top 10 for April 2021:

  1. Python, 29.5 per cent share
  2. Java, 17.51 per cent
  3. JavaScript, 8.19 per cent
  4. C#, 7.05 per cent
  5. C/C++, 6.73 per cent
  6. PHP, 6.23 per cent
  7. R, 3.86 per cent
  8. Objective-C, 2.77 per cent
  9. TypeScript, 1.87 per cent
  10. Swift, 1.85 per cent

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