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Kevin Schroeder's Blog: What to make of TIOBE's PHP results

Note: This article was originally published at PHPDeveloper on 4 March 2011.
PHPDeveloper

Kevin Schroeder has some of his own thoughts on the recent results of the TIOBE index ranking the popularity of programming languages. PHP has slopped down two spots, replaced by Python and C++. He looks at the data TIOBE has to back it up and can't seem to find a reason why.

I decided to take a look and see what was going on behind the scenes by reading on the index definition to see if I could understand what happened. After reading through the definition I still don't know what happened, or even why it happened.

He goes through how the index data is created - search results from the top 6 hits in Alexa for each language result - and how he, basically, found nothing out of the ordinary. He points out that, because of inconsistencies like this, the TIOBE index shouldn't be regarded as much more than a loose guide. Since it's based on hard-coded search strings, it'll never be a true judge of "popularity" overall.