Lager'd Statistics on language migration

Alex Martelli aleaxit at
Mon Sep 6 09:24:03 CEST 2004

Paddy McCarthy <paddy3118 at> wrote:

> Frustrated at being prevented from using Python at work I went 
> gunning for Perl.
> Time to roll out some useless Google statistics to make me feel 
> better
> Google Phrase                         count
> -------------                         -----
> "prefer perl to python"                       26
> "prefers perl to python"               0
> "python to perl migration"             0
> ==                                    ==
> Perl over Python Total:                       26
> "prefer python to perl"                        51
> "prefers python to perl"              154
> "perl to python migration"            785
> ==                                    ===
> Python over Perl Total:                       980
> These statistics have meaning. (It took my mind off this can
> of UK Amstel for a start).

Cool!  So, I double checked:

"prefer python to ruby"         21
"prefers python to ruby"                0
"ruby to python migration"              0

"prefer ruby to python"         260
"prefers ruby to python"                0
"python to ruby migration"              0

Judging on the "prefer" only, Ruby > Python > Perl.  Check:

"prefer ruby to perl"                   5
"prefer perl to ruby"                   0

Still OK, I guess.  So, my working hypothesis would be: people tend to
post about preferring a newer / less widespread language over an older /
more widespread one, more frequently than they post about the reverse
preference.  Why people compare Python with either Ruby or Perl MUCH
more often than Perl and Ruby with each other, I dunno...


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