Friday, April 05, 2013

C# changes places with Objective C

Every now and again I like to take stock of the Tiobe index that shows the relative popularity of programming languages. In a perhaps not too surprising turnaround this year C# falls to fifth place where Objective C rises to third place. A complete reversal of the situation with respect to figures a year ago.

C# has generally been a riser on the index for the last decade but the continued popularity of the Apple iDevice range and the shift from desktop to tablet based computing has greatly changed the programming landscape.

My personal view despite its popularity is that Objective C is a less expressive and more cumbersome language than C# but as I've said before, it's all just ones and zeros really so the most important thing to remember is that the algorithms are what count.

I program happily in both languages and appreciate the C like style of both of them. It is evident from the results however that the popularity of the programming language is greatly influenced by the platform upon which it runs and Microsoft has had a fairly disastrous year with the lacklustre release of Windows 8 and that awful decision to cripple the ARM based version of the operating system by restricting it to only running applications sanctioned by the Microsoft store and produced through their developer program. This, to be honest, was a trick that Only Steve Jobs had the cajones to pull off and Microsoft should have recognized that.

The massive success of the Apple IOS platform and the plethora of applications that are available for it now will make Objective C an even stronger choice for young up and coming programmers in the future. However, there is a catch inasmuch as Objective C only faces that one platform whereas C# is becoming more popular as a cross platform tool. I have been using C# very happily on Android and IOS platforms thanks to Xamarin's most cool MonoTouch and MonoDroid tools and the leverage of my .Net skills is still good on those.

For the future? I predict that next year we will see a significant rise in the popularity of Python due in no small part to the auspices of the Raspberry Pi. The part it will play in the popular computing market is almost assured and I am very sorry to say that unless Microsoft does something very clever indeed, C# will show more of a fall this coming year.

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