Programming languages: the first four are gaining momentum, but the challengers remain
The Rust programming language is gaining popularity among developers, according to the latest update to the language index from software quality firm Tiobe.
Rust rose to 20th position in October, up from 26th this time a year ago. This is the second time it has made Tiobe’s top 20 after peaking at #18 in September 2020, a few months after reaching version 1.0.
Paul Jansen, CEO of Tiobe Software, sees Rust as a “small threat” to C and C++ – the two languages that some developers think Rust should replace for new projects due to its better handling of memory safety.
Despite growing popularity, Rust remains well behind C and C++, which are even more entrenched in the top five languages than they were last year. As Jensen notes, the top four, which include Python, Java, C, and C++, now hold a 55% share, up from 40% last year.
“This is an indication that there isn’t much room for competition at the moment. Java’s main competitor, C#, is losing ground, while Python’s competitors, R and Ruby, are stabilizing more or less,” writes Jensen.
“However, for C and C++, a small threat looms on the horizon: the Rust programming language. Rust has re-entered the top 20 again with a record market share of 0.70%. Rust is all about performance and type safety. One of the reasons for Rust’s growing popularity is that Google started programming low-level parts of Android in the Rust language.”
The Android Open Source Project began using Rust for new Android code in 2021. Linux kernel developers are also putting in place the elements to allow Rust to be a second language to C in the kernel.
Although Rust has a small, esteemed share of developers, Rust was crowned the “most loved” language in Stack Overflow’s latest annual developer surveys. Another language that has seen growing popularity according to Tiobe is Objective-C.