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Objective-C popularity driven upward by iOS development

updated 11:00 pm EDT, Thu July 5, 2012

C++, Java falling; C continues dominance

Apple's preferred language for iOS and OS X development, Objective-C, is now more popular than C++, according to the TIOBE index. The growth in the language's popularity points to the enormous rise in iOS programming in recent years. The TIOBE index is based on the number of skilled programers world-wide, courses, and vendor applications, and is derived from search engine results.

Objective-C was developed the same year C++ was created. Over time, C++ development was primarily used in high-performance systems. Objective-C was relegated to niche status almost immediately, until 1988 when Steve Jobs licensed it for use in the NeXTSTEP OS. Even with tacit Jobs approval upon his return to Apple, bringing NeXT with him, Objective-C retained only a one percent marketshare, until iOS development started driving the utilization numbers up.

C itself continues to dominate the market as it has done since 1987 at 18.3 percent. Java holds the number two position at 16.1 percent, but fell from 19.2 percent from a year ago. Objective-C comes in third at 9.3 percent, a climb from 5.18 percent. Other notable languages are Microsoft's C variant, called C# or C-Sharp, climbing to 6.67 percent, and Visual Basic .NET doubling its usage to 0.92 percent. [via TIOBE]

by MacNN Staff



  1. woodsmanlw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Now theres a surprise, not!

    So the arcane and syntactically clumsy C++ is losing popularity? Aren't we all so surprised.

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    C# felt...!

    Seems C# was much higher just 6 months ago, so it actually Dropped to 6.67%.. Right?
    The year-over-year 'climb' is so small, it's hard to notice..

  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's the way of the (server side) future...


  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What I'm wondering:

    It's 2012. Why do graphs like this still have to look like it's 1989?

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm proficient in the top 3 languages! Hire me!

    Oh, wait, I have a job, and I don't want to do programming for a least programming 40 hours a week...

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