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Mike Kreuzer

Ripley: reddit programming languages index

March 31, 2016

Introducing Ripley: reddit programming languages index - the index ranks programming language subreddits by number of subscribers. Ripley, from RPLI.

I know, because the world desperately needs another programming language index! Some of the results are interesting though, and I've had some time laid up with a broken arm, and it was all I could do to not go spare with the pain.

Python and JavaScript it turns out are well out in front, with some other tiers of languages developing down through the top twenty after that. Haskell was surprisingly high at number 8. The closeness of Rust & Swift was notable, those languages being so very similar. The relatively poor performance of the JavaScript competitors (CoffeeScript, Dart, Elm, TypeScript) was unexpected too. So it's interesting to see where Ripley diverges from other sources.

Elixir only just squeaked into the top twenty with a tie, it was 21st when I ran the numbers yesterday, but I'd expect that climb to continue, and what's more it shows there's at least some short term movement - so it seems worth tracking those changes over time. I suspect the turbulence will mostly be at the bottom end of the league, but it'll be interesting to see if that turns out to be true. If, or more likely when Elixir passes Erlang there may be some choice reactions as well.

As a quick try out of the language I wrote the scraper that gathers the subscription numbers in Go. My first result was a hail of errors so I wrote a version in Ruby (in many fewer lines of code) and that worked fine… so was Go broken somehow, had I done something stupid… the problem I realised was the Go program was much, much faster than the Ruby version & I was running into rate limits on reddit. The current Go code kills Go's speed advantage with a timer, a less simplistic solution would read & play nicely with the headers reddit returns. So that, or maybe a non-Go version will be the next step.