[Python-ideas] Modern language design survey for "assign and compare" statements

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Sat May 19 21:43:34 EDT 2018

On Sat, May 19, 2018 at 04:28:10PM -0700, Mike Miller wrote:
> On 2018-05-19 06:41, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> >Details follow below.
> Thanks for this, had some more time to read it more closely.  Correct me if 
> I'm probably wrong, but most of these are not used by many.  Except perhaps:

According to the latest survey on TIOBE (May 2018), *none* of the 
languages either of us surveyed are used by more than a small niche.

I realise that the TIOBE ranking is not the only available ranking, nor 
is their methodology necessarily the best, but if other people want to 
look at other language surveys they are free to do so.

According to TIOBE, the rankings of your five languages are:

Go       #14 (up two places) 0.970%
Swift    #19 (down six places) 0.907%
Dart     #26 0.859%
Kotlin   #49 0.292%
Rust     #51-100 (percentages too small to differentiate)

So even the most popular of your languages are still very niche. Go and 
Swift have a lot of industry "buzz" about them, but that's not 
translating to jobs or Google searches yet.

The thirteen languages I surveyed are in a similar position: the highest 
ranked of them is Julia at #46. (I don't think TIOBE distinguishes 
between Perl at #18 and Perl 6.) Almost by definition, any new language 
is going to only be used by a small subset of programmers.

> My focus was on "industry standard" languages however,

I'm sorry, but no it wasn't. If we want *industry standard* languages, 
none of them are going to be *new*, and we need to look at those at the 
top of the TIOBE rankings:

VB .Net
Delphi/Object Pascal

Go and Swift are backed by large comporations and may some day be 
"industry standard", but they aren't yet.

[Aside: it is sobering to realise that according to at least one 
objective ranking, "ancient and obsolete" Pascal is still more popular 
than "cool" new languages like Go and Swift.]

I've somewhat arbitrarily cut the list off at "languages ranked above 1% 
on TIOBE", but we have to cut the list of somewhere. And of course in 
certain specific industries the standard languages may be very 
different, e.g. there are still tens of millions of lines of COBOL code 
being maintained in the banking industry.

Out of those industry standard languages (as ranked by TIOBE, other 
methodology may result in other rankings) we find:

8/12 have some form of assignment expressions;
(Java, C, C++, C#, PHP, Javascript, Ruby, R)

4/12 do not (Python, VB .Net, SQL, Delphi).


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