Most Popular Programming Languages 1965-2019

I find this absolutely fascinating. I’ve programmed in Fortran, Pascal, Basic, Assembler, C, C++, Javascript and Python lived long enough to see quite the fashion for most of these languages come and go on a relatively short timescale. Perhaps it provides a salutary lesson for those who think their current Python codes will always be useful?


5 Responses to “Most Popular Programming Languages 1965-2019”

  1. That was very entertaining. I took my first programming class in 1970. Fortran, of course.

  2. My first program was in (Pegasus?) autocode in about 1966 on an English Electric DEUCE – so called because it was the second computer they had built. MTBF was about 5 minutes. There was a walkway down the middle so the valves could be changed.
    Algol68 (with the RSRE Malvern compiler) was the most satisfying language I ever used – even better than PDP8 assembler.

  3. John Peacock Says:

    Looking at this history makes me happy that I resisted passing temptations of trying to get fully proficient in C and Java. But I am spending increasing time writing Python. This is not driven by the language as such (although it does have enough similarity to Fortran that I don’t spend all my time being irritated by the syntax) – but it’s the extensive free powerful packages that make the difference. My gateway drug was HealPy, as there seemed no other free way to manipulate Healpix maps (although I did get as far as writing Fortran that could deal with the coordinate system and read/write Healpix maps). The Python libraries have the usual deficiencies of encouraging people to use black boxes with insufficient understanding, but I suppose the older generation has no right to be critical: I’ve written innumerable lines of Fortran that use an FFT subroutine, but I’ve never understood in full detail how it works. And I have zero understanding of how Fortran compilers can turn my equations into machine code. Anyway, as the set of free applications grows, it will make it harder for a new language to supplant Python, so my guess is that its new dominance will last longer than some of the short-lived champions of years gone by.

    • telescoper Says:

      I still have an almost irresistible urge to put e.g. an endif or enddo where there only needs to be an indent…

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