Objective-C, the programming language replaced by Apple’s Swift for iOS and macOS app development, has finally dropped out of the 20 most popular languages, according to the April 2021 edition of the Tiobe Programming Community Index.
While it’s been seven years since Apple released Swift, Objective-C remains on Tiobe’s top 20 list of the world’s most popular languages. Objective-C was third on the index in 2014 when Swift arrived.
Tiobe offers software quality analysis for corporate customers and bases its ranking on the percentage of total searches for each language according to several popular search engines.
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Over the past year, Objective-C has slowly but surely fallen on that list. Tiobe theorized that Objective-C remained popular in part because Swift adoption declined as mobile app developers turned to languages that could be used to build apps across multiple platforms.
Swift has meanwhile fallen to 1
Another notable change is that Fortran reappears in the index in 20th place, up from 34th place a year ago. Fortran, which came from IBM in the 1950s, is still popular in scientific computing. The highest ranking on Tiobe’s index was 10th in 2002.
“This dinosaur is back in the top 20 after more than ten years. Fortran was the first commercial programming language ever, and is becoming popular thanks to the huge need for (scientific) number crunching. Welcome back Fortran,” says Tiobe.
Groovy, a language running the Java virtual machine (JVM), also returned to the top 20 this month, rising from 48th position in April to its current 17th position. But it was in 10th position in January 2021, according to Tiobe.
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The top 20 were rounded off: Classic Visual Basic, Delphi / Object Pascal, Ruby, Go, Swift, R, Groovy, Perl, MATLAB and Fortran.