Table of Contents for Programming Languages: a survey

Favorite programming languages

my favorite languages

Python is my favorite language to use for writing normal programs.

Haskell is my favorite language for inspiration of how programming languages can and will be improved; but not for actually getting stuff done.

Perl is my favorite language for one-, two-, and three-liner text manipulation from the command line.

Octave is my favorite language for quickly plotting a mathematical function (but for a serious numerical project I prefer Python).

HyperCard? is my favorite language for simple programs with a UI.

BASIC was the first language I really learned.

Logo was the first language I learned, I didn't realize it was a programming language at the time.

My recommended languages

Here I recommend languages to learn, not necessarily to use (what's the difference? When learning languages, you really want the simplest, best expemlar of a language style. When using languages, you really want to use a popular language because it will have more libraries and more questions answered on the Web).

note: and what for concurrency? clojure? erlang?


everyone else's favorite languages

summary (subjective)

Up to this point, the list of languages which were either moderately used and very liked or most used and not disliked are: Python, C, Javascript, Clojure, Scheme/Racket, Lua, Haskell, Go, C#. Other languages which were most used but disliked include Java, PHP (note that PHP is extremely disliked). Other languages which were highly used but neutral or disliked were Ruby, C++, Objective-C.

This list doesn't include 'new' languages or languages which are not yet used a ton but which seem to be 'trending'.

Based on the above, i might suggest definitely learning both Python and C, and probably Javascript, and after that, prioritizing learning those languages which are either moderately used and very liked or most used but not extremely disliked, that is, the following 10 languages:


out of the last 7, the ones that are the most different from the Python, C, and Javascript are Haskell and the two Lisps (Clojure and Scheme/Racket), so i might suggest the following course of study:



To provide some more color on this curriculum:

(todo: clear up the question marks below)



other languages which i almost put on the above list are:

by source

 1 	1 		C 	17.246% 	-2.58% 	  A
 2 	2 		Java 	16.107% 	-1.09% 	  A
 3 	3 		Objective-C 	8.992% 	-0.49% 	  A
 4 	4 		C++ 	8.664% 	-0.60% 	  A
 5 	6 		PHP 	6.094% 	+0.43% 	  A
 6 	5 		C# 	5.718% 	-0.81% 	  A
 7 	7 		(Visual) Basic 	4.819% 	-0.30% 	  A
 8 	8 		Python 	3.107% 	-0.79% 	  A
 9 	23 		Transact-SQL 	2.621% 	+2.13% 	  A
 10 	11 		JavaScript 	2.038% 	+0.78% 	  A
 11 	18 		Visual Basic .NET 	1.933% 	+1.33% 	  A
 12 	9 		Perl 	1.607% 	-0.52% 	  A
 13 	10 		Ruby 	1.246% 	-0.56% 	  A
 14 	14 		Pascal 	0.753% 	-0.09% 	  A
 15 	17 		PL/SQL 	0.730% 	+0.10% 	  A
 16 	13 		Lisp 	0.725% 	-0.22% 	  A
 17 	12 		Delphi/Object Pascal 	0.701% 	-0.40% 	  A

Programming Languages sorted by Wilson Score Interval, 2012:

	Here are the HN polled programming language favorite [1] and disliked [2] scores sorted by the Wilson Score Interval [3] at 85% confidence:
    Language       Ups  Downs  85% Confidence
    --------      ----  -----  --------------
    Python        2881    115    0.980
    Clojure        424     21    0.974
    C              912     54    0.971
    Haskell        488     31    0.968
    Lua            140     10    0.961
    Lisp           298     32    0.948
    Erlang         152     18    0.941
    Ruby          1607    220    0.937
    C#             758    104    0.937
    Scheme         177     25    0.932
    OCaml           76     10    0.932
    Smalltalk       62     10    0.918
    Scala          222     40    0.918
    Other          182     37    0.908
    D               50     13    0.880
    JavaScript    1310    415    0.871

Githut: most popular languages on Github: the top 12 are:

(some comments on flaws in that dataset: )

random commenter's opinion of what the 'major languages' are:

Words used on language-specific forums (subreddits):



"There are many, many types of assembly languages. The current most popular are ARM, MIPS, and x86" [4]

(that was written in 2010)


list of most popular languages, and some high-profile software written in each of them



Empirical Analysis of Programming Language Adoption by Leo A. Meyerovich, Ariel Rabkin

" ...intrinsic features have only secondary importance in adop- tion. Open source libraries, existing code, and experience strongly influence developers when selecting a language for a project. Language features such as performance, reliability, and simple semantics do not. ...when considering intrinsic aspects of languages, developers priori- tize expressivity over correctness. They perceive static types as more valuable for properties such as the former rather than for correctness checking. "



most loved:

Rust 79.1% Swift 72.1% F# 70.7% Scala 69.4% Go 68.7% Clojure 66.7% React 66.0% Haskell 64.7% Python 62.5% C# 62.0% Node.js 59.6%