Swift, Apple's successor language to Objective-C, has made great strides in the latest biannual RedMonk Programming Language Rankings, moving up to a tie for 11th spot, after having been slotted in 17th place in the mid-year 2016 rankings.
Released last Friday, the rankings also have Microsoft's TypeScript, Google's Go, and Mozilla Rust making progress. The rankings are based on a recently re-tweaked formula that assesses code usage in GitHub and language discussions in Stack Overflow.
Swift placed 11th in the current rankings, tied with Scala and Shell and just behind Objective-C, which came in tenth place. "Swift has reached a Top 15 ranking faster than any other language we have tracked since we've been performing these rankings," RedMonk Principal Analyst Stephen O'Grady said. "Its strong performance from a GitHub perspective suggests that the wider, multi-platform approach taken by the language is paying benefits."
But despite Swift's climb, RedMonk still sees the language entering "something of a trough of disillusionment," from a market standpoint, with hype giving way to skepticism in many quarters. Still, Swift remains a "language to watch," O'Grady said. Swift's good fortunes in the RedMonk rankings follows similar placement in another language popularity ranking, the Tiobe index, where it placed tenth in this month's index.
Go, which benefited from the updated ranking model, jumped four spots in the GitHub portion of the ranking system. Overall, it tied for 15th place with Perl, the same spot where it was in the June 2016 rankings, but it was leapfrogged by Swift. "To some extent, this isn't a surprise, as Go had neither the built-in draw of iOS mobile app development nor is it generally positioned as a front- and back-end language as Swift increasingly is," O'Grady said. But 15th place still was impressive for an infrastructure runtime, said O'Grady.
Rust, meanwhile, jumped from 47th place to 26th. "This comes two quarters after the language not only stalled, but actually gave up ground in our last rankings," O'Grady said, noting that Rust perhaps is becoming the mainstream language that many had expected it to be. Also faring well in the latest rankings was Microsoft's PowerShell, which broke into the top 20 in the 18th spot, equaling TypeScript's improvement in the Github portion of the rankings. "While we can't prove causation, it is interesting to note that this dramatic improvement from PowerShell comes one quarter after it was released as open source software," O'Grady pointed out.