Programming languages: This old favourite is gaining popularity again

A two decades-old coding favourite is the fastest growing in popularity in an index of programming languages.

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Microsoft's C# has always been popular language thanks to .NET developers, but this year it has seen something of a surge in popularity.

Tiobe Software CEO Paul Jansen says C# is "by far the most likely candidate" to be named its programming language of the year, given to the language that's seen the highest increased in ratings in a given year. 

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C# was designed by Microsoft's Anders Hejlsberg and released in 2000. Microsoft in November released C# version 10 alongside .NET 6 for Linux, macOS and Windows, as well as Visual Studio 2022, its first 64-bit version of Visual Studio. The .NET release also natively supports Apple Arm64 Silicon and Windows Arm64.

SEE: Programming languages: Why this former favourite is sliding down the rankings 

C# is currently the fifth most popular language in Tiobe's rankings, which are based on queries that engineers and developers make in popular search engines and websites. It reached its highest ranking – number three – back in 2012, but interest seems to be growing again. 

"It is interesting to note that C# has never won the "TIOBE index programming language of the year award" during its 21 years of existence, although it has been in the top 10 for the past 2 decades," said Jansen.  

Currently the most popular language on the Tiobe index remains Python, followed by C, Java, and C++. Rounding out the top 10 are Visual Basic, JavaScript, Assembly language, SQL, and Swift. 

Last month, Jansen pointed out the slow but steady decline of PHP as a popular language. It was in 10th position in November and is in 12th spot in December.  

PHP contributors, including IDE maker JetBrains, announced the creation of the PHP Foundation last month, which is a collective bid to ensure the scripting language's future. It was created in response to the departure of one contributor who almost solely maintained core components of PHP. 

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