I was lately interested in how popular the major JVM languages are in comparison, so I did some quick tests.
I compared Java, Scala, Groovy, Clojure and JRuby. I included both JRuby and Ruby in my queries, because JRuby isn’t really a distinct language.
Quite obvious, eh? I searched for “x language” where x is one of the languages and wrote down the number of results. I’m fully aware that this isn’t a very good test.
I thought Java would come out on top, surprised me.
The good old programming language popularity index.
I thought Scala would do way better than Groovy.
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Scala, Clojure and Groovy are pretty close here.
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Java and Ruby are quite popular, the others less so.
Unsurprisingly, Java is by far the most popular language. So if alternative JVM languages are the future, the future doesn’t seem to be quite here yet.
The second place goes to Ruby. Ruby, not JRuby – it’s hard to figure out what percentage of the Ruby community is using JRuby.
Scala, Groovy and Clojure are similar in popularity. Sometimes Scala is on top, sometimes Groovy. Nonetheless, I’m actually most impressed by Clojure. It did pretty well, considering that it’s radically different to Java/Groovy/Scala and only 5 years old. (Groovy and Scala are both 9 years old, Java and Ruby both 18.)
Bottom line: When considering which JVM language (other than Java) to use, popularity can’t really be a factor. That’s good.