A boom in machine-learning applications continues to drive up the popularity of 27-year-old Python, so much that it could soon outrank 33-year-old C++ on TIOBE's programming language index.
Python's rise on the new TIOBE index results for August lines up with past results from Stack Overflow, a site that helps programmers solve coding questions, which last year found that growth in Python-tagged questions may have made it the fastest-growing language.
But on TIOBE's index, Python has never reached third spot. It has risen from fifth to fourth place since August 2017 with a current rating of 6.992 percent, just behind C++'s 7.471 percent rating.
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TIOBE analysts believe that Python's running on large embedded systems will likely see it take third spot at some point soon, and even overtake Java, its current top-placed language.
They also note that Hack, Groovy, and Julia entered the top 50 while the Microsoft-maintained TypeScript dropped out of the top 50.
TIOBE bases its programming language popularity index on a range of search-engine queries, mostly from Google's various international sites, but also Wikipedia, Bing, Baidu, Amazon, and YouTube.
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In other words, the rankings don't necessarily reflect the quality of a language or how many lines of code have been written in it.
But the company argues its list is a good way for programmers to check whether their skills are up to date and which languages should be used when building a new system.
As ZDNet's David Gewirtz argues based on his multi-index analysis, there are three clusters of languages. The top one includes Java, C, Python, and C++. None of them is specific to a programming platform and developers should familiarize themselves with these.
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