Demonstrating continued momentum for Apple's iOS platform for mobile devices, the Objective-C language used to develop applications for iOS showed the most growth in popularity in 2011 as a programming language, according to monthly assessment of languages.
Market share for Objective-C for this month is nearly 6.92 percent; it had been slightly more than 3 percent in January 2011, according to the Tiobe Programming Community index for January, which was released over the weekend.
"The major cause of this is the continuing success of the iPhone and the iPad, which both are mainly implemented in Objective-C," Tiobe said in its bulletin. Objective-C was given Tiobe's programming language award for 2011, determined by the language gaining the most market share for the year. The language had been a close runner-up for two years.
While still the top programming language overall, Java dropped from 17.77 percent in January 2011 to 17.48 percent this month. Java was used by 17.56 percent of developers last month, according to Tiobe. Python, with 6.27 market share a year ago, saw its share diminish to 3.22 percent for January 2012. PHP saw its share drop from 7.84 percent a year ago to 5.7 percent, while Visual Basic dropped from a 5.9 percent share to 4.5 percent.
While Tiobe doubts a new language will hit the top 10 in 2012, it does cite possible candidates, including F#, Groovy and R. "For instance, the R language entered the top 20 this month for the first time. This language for statisticians is becoming the major programming language in its field," Tiobe said.
Tiobe's index is based on an assessment of the number of skilled engineers worldwide, courses and third party vendors pertaining to particular languages, with popular websites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia and Amazon used to calculate the ratings.