Over on Developer.com, Brad Jones has summarized the TIOBE Programming Community (TPC) Index for October 2004. This is a measure of how many web pages and newsgroup postings mentioned a programming language name in conjunction with the word programming. So if I say “For serious programming, C++ is way better than Java” then that is a hit for both C++ and Java. These hits are going to include people's resumes, job postings, ads for courses, how-to pages, book pages, and so on. It gives a rough indication of popularity that people are talking about a language. After all, I rarely compare C++ to Fortran or to PL/I. I certainly can't remember the last time MATLAB (to pick a name from the table) came up in conversation. Job seekers trim their resumes all the time to include only the “relevant” languages they know.
There's a table of results, and a sorting of languages into “A languages” and “B languages” but I was really intrigued by the graph. A first glance reveals a fairly steep Java fall this year. But the C++ line is more interesting because it falls too, though not as steeply or as far, and then climbs back up again starting in March of this year. Is this people talking about C++/CLI? I think it is.