What can the Internet tell us
Ok, we have decided to have Cambria, or somebody, create a web program for us. Keep in mind that we are talking of a program, not a static website of the sort where you might put up a simple webpage to advertise your consulting business (www..cambria.com for example). By a web program we mean a website that does something, interacts with the user, stores data in a database and does anything a desktop program might to.
A sensible start on your research would be to consult the internet. The results you will get depend heavily upon the way you structure your query. So if you ask for “popular web development languages” and click around you will probably find this table.2
WHAT'S THE MOST POPULAR LANGUAGE?
The different columns are simply different ways to do the comparisons. Tiobe for example measures popularity based upon Google searches for the languages. Others reflect job openings and the like. See the reference for more about this. Confusing to say the least – even to a programmer. The author, recognizing that this does not give much guidance goes on to aggregate data from all but the third column to create the following interesting chart:
But what are people really using these days. Let’s look at it another way and ask the web how the major high traffic sites are programmed. You will find this table.3
Less confusing for sure and now we are really getting somewhere. Notice the important distinction between “Front-end (Client-side)” and “Back-end (Server-side)”.
“Client-side” means what is presented to the user’s monitor screen. It is the kind of thing that a web designer would create and in fact accounts for the majority of static informational websites in the world. We are now back to the “simple webpage to advertise your consulting business” mentioned above and if this is all you are trying to do the Server-side languages are not even needed.
Most of us are not in Google’s or Facebook’s class so let’s ask the question that really matters to potential Cambria Clients and asking how all the other web programs are created. That is what are the most used Server-side programs. Asking this question after wading through the internet you may find the next two tables . This data was based upon surveys and the result might surprise you.4
The following server-side programming languages: Miva Script, Lasso, Lua, Smalltalk, Scala, Tcl, C++, Haskell, Lisp and Ada are used by less than 0.1% of the websites.
That is as far as the internet will take us I think and although the dominance of PHP is surprising, and perhaps exaggerated in its extent, the whole picture is not really out of line with our experience. A more balanced estimate of popularity might be to do a Google filetype search on php and aspx. Doing this we get
By this measure PHP is only twice as popular as ASP.Net rather than 83.5/13.2 or about 6 times as popular and is more in line with Cambria’s experience.
What Web Programming languages do Cambria Clients request
Cambria does not specialize in a particular industry and throughout our existence we have simply responded with a “Yes we can do it” when asked to do a particular job. This is how our company developed from the dBase and Delphi (Turbo Pascal) company in the early 1980s to the multidisciplinary company we are today. Here is how the custom programming tools for web programs rank at Cambria”:
Most popular Back-End programming
languages at Cambria
#2 ASP Classic
You should not be too surprised at the popularity of ASP Classic. A Google filetype search shows it to be half as popular as ASP.Net for existing websites. All of our ASP Classic work is maintenance of existing programs.
Over the last ten years there has never been a day when we did not have ongoing projects in all of these specialties. Over the years we have done a few Java, and ColdFusion projects and not Python, Ruby or Erlang projects – although we would love to get a Python request. It is easy to learn and has some features that can be very useful in particular applications.
1 Cambria Client Roger Williams. The program you use every day is an “executable”. It is created from “source code” written by the programmer. If you own it, anyone can modify the program. If not, you are at the mercy of the vendor. Make sure you own it.