Ruby declared mainstream

by Curt Hibbs

The Ruby programming language just made the A-list on the TIOBE Programming Community Index, and Ruby is now listed as a mainstream programming language. For the past three or four years Ruby has consistently placed in the high 20's in this index, but is now placed as the 13th most popular programming language!

I double-checked this by looking at the download statistics for the One-Click Ruby Installer for Windows. The results are remarkably consistent with the TIOBE index. In October of 2005, the One-Click installer averaged about 3,000 downloads a month. Today, it is approaching 6,000 downloads a month.

BTW, if you follow the link to the download stats you will see a six-month spike in downloads that jumps up to 14,000 a month. I believe that this is an error in the RubyForge statistical data, so just pretend like that hump isn't there.


Jeremy Jones
2006-10-11 07:01:41
I had seen this index the other day and really wasn't surprised at all. I'm very happy to see Perl, Python, Ruby, and Lisp/Scheme in the top 20. I'd love to see an inversion in the current corporate programming paradigm such that languages like these are dominant and C# and Java are struggling for attention. I know that I personally prefer to code in Python over anything else, and would definitely prefer Ruby or Perl over C# or Java. This is an encouraging sign. I hope we can take this as a positive portent.
Mark Aufflick
2006-10-11 22:04:28
Without delving into exactly how the TIOBE stats are produced, any method that ranks Logo above Smalltalk, tcl/tk, Objective-C and Haskell is of somewhat limited value!
Bob Aman
2006-10-12 00:43:44
You're short a decimal place. It says 140,000, not 14,000. That said, I see humps like that in a lot of the various Ruby projects. I highly doubt it's an error, more likely a Digging/Slashdotting/etc.
2006-10-12 05:18:30
Here is the explanation of how the ranking happens: (basically, using search engines). It's more or less a popularity contest, so a language higher on the list is more "mainstream". The Great Computer Language Shootout is more about comparing the pros/cons of a language in various situations.
2006-10-12 05:23:10
Grrrrr. Looks like you can't link to the definition page directly. Framesets can be aggravating.

2006-10-12 12:41:07
Reedo wrote "It's more or less a popularity contest"
Well it's more or less a gossip contest - how much chatter is there about a language.

2006-10-12 14:57:04
C (and C++) and Visual Basic still beat Ruby. I'ld say they've proven an old idea to be true: popularity is no guarantee of quality.

(Now for the real challenge: is that a dig at C, C++, Visual Basic, or Ruby? :)

2006-10-12 15:26:54
Bummer eh?
Curt Hibbs
2006-10-12 18:50:32
Time is probably the best test. Both Cobol and C have weathered this test rather well, although neither are my personal favorites.
2008-01-26 17:53:47
The official Ruby logo is available to download under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license now. Available formats are Illustrator/SVG/PDF/PNG.
2008-02-22 20:42:35
@ Reedo
Thank you Reedo for TIOBE Programming Community Index for February 2008 with full explanation.
Best regards