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#1 aidenkael  Icon User is offline

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Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 31 October 2017 - 11:45 AM

From the evil empire that is Stackoverflow:
What are the Most Disliked Programming Languages?

TLDR;

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The most disliked languages, by a fairly large margin, are Perl, Delphi, and VBA. They’re followed by PHP, Objective-C, Coffeescript, and Ruby. On our team we’re certainly happy to see that R is the least disliked programming language, relative to the number of people who liked it.


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Generally there is a relationship between a tag’s growth and how often it’s disliked. Almost everything disliked by more than 3% of stories mentioning it is shrinking in Stack Overflow traffic (except for the quite polarizing VBA, which is steady or slightly growing). And the least-disliked tags— R, Rust, Typescript and Kotlin— are all among the fast-growing tags (Typescript and Kotlin growing so quickly they had to be truncated in the plot).


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This highlights some of the “rivalries” underlying the software ecosystem: Linux and OSX vs Windows, Git vs SVN, vim vs emacs and (unsurprisingly to me) R vs SAS. Most of these pairs don’t represent “opposite” technologies, but instead reflect two approaches to similar problems. Many of them suggest a progression from a formerly popular technology to a more modern one (SVN replaced by Git, XML replaced by JSON, VB replaced by C#). This makes sense in terms of what people would list on a resume; it’s common for developers to specify that they’d rather not work with something they consider outdated.


Awesome article about the most liked/disliked languages, language/tech rivalries, and some other stuff!

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Replies To: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 31 October 2017 - 12:34 PM

How is R "the least disliked"? Not by me, boy howdy.

I'd actually take Perl over PHP or R any day, and count myself reasonably content.

Not sure who's got the hates for Ruby, either. I mean, it suffers from a high concentration of amateurs writing it, but the language itself is pretty jake.
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#3 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 01 November 2017 - 07:44 AM

Obviously projecting here, but:

1. A data scientist I know routinely describes R as "barbaric". A useful tool, but perhaps not a well-designed language.

2. For Ruby, I think the point about amateurs is right. To take it further, I also think that Ruby at this point is associated with boring CRUD work. I don't want to work with it professionally because there's no way that work is anything but a monolithic Rails app.

3. I suspect that some disdain for Java comes from similar feelings - people have encountered some garbage, soul-sucking, enterprise bullshit in Java, and don't ever want to do that again. However, I think it's a very solid language for building "cloud systems", as it were.

4. I think Kotlin is super hyped right now. I haven't decided if I think that's a good thing or not. I'm mostly pleased, because I see Kotlin as a modern evolution of Java that maintains the practical bent but improves on some rough edges. I just don't like hype.

5. I'm sad to see Javascript's popularity, but that is inevitable, I think, for two reasons: First, there's an overwhelming number of people who are convinced the current direction of web dev is exactly what is needed rather than a continued disregard for any lessons of the past and for learning any other language that may be a better fit in non-browser domains. Second, most people looking for work will say they'd like to work in Javascript because nearly every job posting includes it.

5. I'm glad to see Typescript is popular - if I have to use a transpiler for a dynamic language, I may as well get something out of it.

6. I think Rust's "like" is well-deserved... if it actually fits in your domain, I'd highly recommend taking a look. I'd love to get something like the "ownership" semantics alone in a somewhat higher-level language.
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 01 November 2017 - 08:08 AM

I would guess that Javascript's popularity is based, in part, on the heavy emphasis on that language in webdev-centric "boot camps". It's seen as the easy way in to web development, doesn't require all that difficult CS stuff, so it's what people get taught. Then you get a positive feedback loop where the people coming out of those boot camps think that their experience is representative and that js is really where it's at.
This could in the long run be a harmful trend for the industry as a whole.
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#5 ndc85430  Icon User is offline

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 01 November 2017 - 08:27 AM

I have some experience with R and didn't mind it that much. Perhaps that's because most of my data experience was gained with IDL...
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#6 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 01 November 2017 - 02:04 PM

I question the methodology. First, you have a Q&A site. This is a weird kind of self selection where the only thing your cumulative data can really show is how often people ask about a language. It might reasonably indicate how often it's used. Maybe. Best case.

Delphi or COBOL are in a similar space. The regular users of these languages tend to be disgustingly, perhaps cultishly, positive. However, if you're some poor bastard who gets handed such a dinosaur to maintain, and have questions for the internet, chances are you'll be less than thrilled.

Liked or disliked only matters if the programmer honestly uses the beast. I have a knee jerk negative reaction to things like R or Objective-C, but I don't really use them, so who cares? I enjoyed Delphi, but now feel sorry for anyone still using it. PHP, Python, F#, C#, Perl, C, C++, Javascript, TypeScript, SQL, those critters I use and my option on those should have more weight than a programming voyeur.

In another graph, SQL hits rock bottom. This isn't surprising. This declarative language is used by most programmers under duress and they don't seem over fond of it. It's a simple language, relation algebra given substance. Once you get it, you probably aren't asking a lot of questions.
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 01 November 2017 - 02:46 PM

Well, I guess it depends who your audience is. I don't imagine the SO folks thought this was a serious study, sounds like it was more of a bit of fun to me. (though, now you mention it, yeah, I guess data guys tend to think that everything they gather is usable data that you can draw conclusions from. hm.)
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#8 aidenkael  Icon User is offline

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 02 November 2017 - 07:50 AM

View Postxclite, on 01 November 2017 - 09:44 AM, said:

Obviously projecting here, but:

1. A data scientist I know routinely describes R as "barbaric". A useful tool, but perhaps not a well-designed language.

........

6. I think Rust's "like" is well-deserved... if it actually fits in your domain, I'd highly recommend taking a look. I'd love to get something like the "ownership" semantics alone in a somewhat higher-level language.


100% this. My sister is in a doctoral program at U of Michigan where they had her learn R (which means, I learned R and taught her), and I would imagine real data scientists hate it.

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 01 November 2017 - 10:08 AM, said:

I would guess that Javascript's popularity is based, in part, on the heavy emphasis on that language in webdev-centric "boot camps". It's seen as the easy way in to web development, doesn't require all that difficult CS stuff, so it's what people get taught. Then you get a positive feedback loop where the people coming out of those boot camps think that their experience is representative and that js is really where it's at.
This could in the long run be a harmful trend for the industry as a whole.


I developed a bootcamp through my employeer, and was one of the only CS people involved. It was created by myself and a bunch of marketing people. I fought tooth and nail to get simple things that I would expect any professional to know included (stuff like databases). Conversely, I had to fight to limit the amount of JS taught.

View Postbaavgai, on 01 November 2017 - 04:04 PM, said:

I question the methodology. First, you have a Q&A site. This is a weird kind of self selection where the only thing your cumulative data can really show is how often people ask about a language. It might reasonably indicate how often it's used. Maybe. Best case.

Delphi or COBOL are in a similar space. The regular users of these languages tend to be disgustingly, perhaps cultishly, positive. However, if you're some poor bastard who gets handed such a dinosaur to maintain, and have questions for the internet, chances are you'll be less than thrilled.

Liked or disliked only matters if the programmer honestly uses the beast. I have a knee jerk negative reaction to things like R or Objective-C, but I don't really use them, so who cares? I enjoyed Delphi, but now feel sorry for anyone still using it. PHP, Python, F#, C#, Perl, C, C++, Javascript, TypeScript, SQL, those critters I use and my option on those should have more weight than a programming voyeur.

In another graph, SQL hits rock bottom. This isn't surprising. This declarative language is used by most programmers under duress and they don't seem over fond of it. It's a simple language, relation algebra given substance. Once you get it, you probably aren't asking a lot of questions.


This is a great point. I am hoping it is taken as a fun case study of SO users, but I'm sure someone(probably a college data science student) is going to take it farther than that :P
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#9 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 02 November 2017 - 03:58 PM

In general I find most of Stackoverflow's "analyses" to be like that: "We have some data, here's what we think!" It's interesting but certainly not something I found any hard truths on. For example, remember that developers who use spaces get paid more than those using tabs.
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#10 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 03 November 2017 - 04:53 AM

Thinking on how I might set up a liked / disliked survey...

Questions that I think would yield more crunchable results:
About the person responding:
  • Type of programmer: Student, Professional, Enthusiast
  • Years programming.
  • Number of languages worked in.
  • General competency rating. ( Choose scale, something like novice, proficient, etc. )


Given that, you can then ask of a given language:
  • Language name.
  • Experience with language (months, project size, etc.)
  • Satisfaction with language: 0(a new level of hell) to 10(die happy if only used this)
  • More nuanced questions about particulars: Syntax, general use, specific use, easy of workflow, deployment, etc.


I don't want to bash novices, we've all been newbies, but a first time programmer doesn't yet have a lot of context for rating a language, as they're still trying to learn the programming part. Of course, it's still interesting to know how a first timer feels about the language they've been saddled with: that alone is interesting. But for a like/dislike analysis, someone who has programmed since punch cards, used everything from COBOL to Kotlin, probably has a better handle on language satisfaction.

In general, first impressions aren't good for languages. It might look good or horrid on first exposure, but until you're used it for a while you really have no idea. So, time used is vitally important.
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#11 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Most Liked/ Disliked languages

Posted 30 November 2017 - 11:58 AM

I disagree about the Ruby thing (sorry I'm late to the party). With the exception of startups using Rails, I mostly see Ruby itself associated with Cucumber and automated testing.
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