RedMonk rankings show growth in TypeScript, creeping Rust

Developers are a remarkably consistent bunch the latest language rankings from RedMonk suggest, with the top ten virtually unchanged since its last outing earlier this year.

Almost, we say, with Microsoft’s TypeScript creeping into the number 10 spot, moving up two spots in total. There was also a little Rust-coloured excitement further down the pipe. The ranking is based on GitHub and StackOverflow data.

“This quarter, as mentioned above, the JavaScript superset capped off one of the more remarkable growth stories we have ever seen in these rankings, placing in the top ten for the first time after surging to #12 last quarter,” the analyst house’s Stephen O’Grady wrote.

This was at the expense of Swift and Objective-C, and RedMonk suggested it was likely these two languages’ competition with each other contributed to TypeScript’s creeping into the top 10.

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Well, that, and “ The ubiquity of JavaScript coupled with the optional safety offered by TypeScript has proven to be a winning combination, and vaulted it directly into rare territory. 

“It will be interesting to see if it can sustain this rank, or if like Swift before it, this is a temporary gain. Either way, TypeScript is a language that many are betting on moving forward.”

As for the Top 10, JavaScript, Java and PHP kept the top four, with C++ drawing level with C# in the number 5 spot. CSS, Ruby and C rounded out the top 9, in the same order as the last survey.

Things were fairly unchanged down the rest of the top 20, bar the jiggering around of TypeScript, Swift and Objective-C, and R leapfrogging Go to take 15th place. RedMonk said “Go’s lack of versatility – perceived or otherwise – has limited its upside. “

RedMonk also noted Rust’s inching up two spots to take up residence just outside the top 20. “For a systems language to continue its upward trajectory in this fashion suggests that some combination of the design, the language’s community and market demand is combining to have it outperform its natural expectations.”

And it might just be about to gain an even bigger community.

Microsoft’s Gavin Thomas, Principal Security Engineering Manager, at MSRC, pondered in a blog this week whether “the developers could have all the memory security guarantees of languages like .NET C# combined with all the efficiencies of C++.”

He then answered his own question with, “Maybe we can: One of the most promising newer systems programming languages that satisfy those requirements is the Rust programming language originally invented by Mozilla.”

He then went on to announce  “in a new blog series we will highlight Microsoft’s exploration of safer system programming languages, starting with Rust.”

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