Apple’s Swift breaks into top 20 in dev language survey; bad news for Microsoft’s Visual Basic

“A new programming language survey shows Apple’s Swift breaking into the top 20 for the first time, while the future of Microsoft’s Visual Basic (VB) in the top rankings is now ‘unclear,'” Tim Anderson reports for The Register. “The Redmonk consultancy published a six-monthly analysis based on Github usage and Stack Overflow discussions.”

“JavaScript is top by a narrow margin, followed by Java, PHP, Python, C#, C++ and Ruby (the last three are ranked fifth),” Anderson reports. “Apple’s Swift (which the company said will be open source by the end of the year) has risen from 22 to 18, making the top 20 for the first time.”

Anderson reports, “VB’s English-like syntax and avoidance of curly braces and semi-colons make it approachable for beginners, but the roots of its decline go back to 2000 when Microsoft announced both C# and the .NET Framework.”

Read more in the full article here.

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  1. Visual Basic?!?! Microsoft programmers don’t even use that language. It’s a decent language and it gets compiled down to the same IL ( ByteCode ) as C# does, but C# is vastly more popular.

    Swift, by the way, is remarkably similar to C#. It’s refreshing to have an Apple Language that is as enjoyable to write code in as C#.

      1. There are some die hards who still cling to the old VB version 6.

        When it comes to modern versions based on the .net framework its hard to say that one language is ‘better’ then the other when they all support the same class library and framework.

          1. It’s certainly a different beast and until you understand the way the underlying framework handles object lifetime and garbage collection its very easy to make a pig of an app that is slow.

            Try some time. That is a .net application done right.

      2. Many can mean a lot of things. MANY MORE would say C# is better than VB, as well. Really, it doesn’t matter as both languages are compiled down to the same efficient IL anyway. was kept around because of all the VB6 app programmers ( like Obj-C will be around for the older app devs ) except that VB lived for a LONG time because it wasn’t any less efficient and compiled down to the same IL code.

        I wonder if we’ll see a Swift.Net which compiles down to IL as well. There is already Python and Ruby.

        VB is what objective-C will be a few years from now. I suspect Obj-C will die much faster than VB as unlike VB v. C#, the difference will not be JUST syntax, but rather speed and efficiency as well.

        1. You can not really compare VB to Objective C since the latter is archaic cryptic mess while VB is very simple and transparently understandable language (much more so than C#, for example).

          1. Well, VB.Net builds on VB6, which is quite an old language. Although I would say that VB.Net is a more readable language for those new to programming, C# is far more pervasive and VB.Net’s verbosity gets in the way quite quickly.

            Objective-C is just horrible and I always didn’t understand why Apple devs defended it. Probably the same developers that like developing in pure C because of the control it gives you… to hang yourself. Developing in C is like constructing a skyscraper without harnesses or driving a car down the highway without a windshield.

            1. I was never left with the impression that builds on vb6. In fact that was the big complaint when first shipped, beyond some syntax there was little of vb6 left. It’s why some of the MVPs for vb6 started calling the new version “visual Fred”

            2. In essence, there is nothing you can not do in VB that you can in C#, except for it is simpler in the former as it has better syntax (and there are modes to deal with verbosity, if you wish).

              Objective-C is fully featured highly advanced language, however, its syntax is horrible, I hate the nonsense it forces programmers to use. Swift, of course, is infinitely better language than this.

  2. I know quite a few VB6 developers that moved on to use Xojo (used to be called REAL Studio). It’s cross platform for Mac, Windows, and Linux and created desktop, console, web apps, and now iOS and compiles into native code.

    1. You know VB6 developers that are still developing in VB6? Or do you mean VB.Net?

      Xamarin puts out a good product, i hear, for cross-platform development.

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