Felix Dahlke is a software developer particularly interested in games and open source. He writes most of his code in JavaScript, C++ and Python. Felix is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 16 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

JVM (and Ruby) Language Popularity - Google, Tiobe, SO, GitHub

  • submit to reddit

Curator's Note:  For even more data on this JVM race, you can see the poll that was conducted in the Javalobby community, and the coder general blog, which had a lot of participation from the HN crowd. 

I was lately interested in how popular the major JVM languages are in comparison, so I did some quick tests.

I compared Java, Scala, Groovy, Clojure and JRuby. I included both JRuby and Ruby in my queries, because JRuby isn’t really a distinct language.

The Tests


Quite obvious, eh? I searched for “x language” where x is one of the languages and wrote down the number of results. I’m fully aware that this isn’t a very good test.


I thought Java would come out on top, surprised me.


The good old programming language popularity index.

JRubyNot listed

I thought Scala would do way better than Groovy.


The most popular project hosting service.

JRubyNot listed

Scala, Clojure and Groovy are pretty close here.


Probably the most important Q/A site for programmers.


Java and Ruby are quite popular, the others less so.


Unsurprisingly, Java is by far the most popular language. So if alternative JVM languages are the future, the future doesn’t seem to be quite here yet.

The second place goes to Ruby. Ruby, not JRuby – it’s hard to figure out what percentage of the Ruby community is using JRuby.

Scala, Groovy and Clojure are similar in popularity. Sometimes Scala is on top, sometimes Groovy. Nonetheless, I’m actually most impressed by Clojure. It did pretty well, considering that it’s radically different to Java/Groovy/Scala and only 5 years old. (Groovy and Scala are both 9 years old, Java and Ruby both 18.)

Bottom line: When considering which JVM language (other than Java) to use, popularity can’t really be a factor. That’s good.

Published at DZone with permission of Felix Dahlke, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Lance Semmens replied on Wed, 2012/03/14 - 3:36am

The word ruby has more hits than the word java in a google search and you are surprised?


Charles Oliver ... replied on Wed, 2012/03/14 - 6:55pm

He stated clearly that he searched for "ruby language", not just "ruby".

"I searched for “x language” where x is one of the languages" 

Otengi Miloskov replied on Fri, 2012/03/23 - 3:42am

Actually im typing right now in google "ruby language" and "java language"

Java language gives me 435, 000,000

Ruby language gives me 95, 900,000

Here Java is number 1 also in Google, Im not sure why the author got only the 46,200,000 and me Im getting for java 435, 000, 000

Of course Java is the number 1 popular language in all the world and all the IT history and whatever. And I make an a living with Java since 1998. Java is everything and everywhere, what else we can say about it.

By the way Python language gives me  80,100,000 it is very close to Ruby. Maybe Ruby because Rails is little more popular that lets say Django but Python and Ruby are almost in the same row.

Also you missed PHP with 268,000,000 thats a second place and in third place should be C++ with 106,000,000.

When I searched about javascript on Google well it gaves me 655,000,000 thats the number one programming language or the next big thing? with Node.js and jQuery and all the goodies.





Jaffa Wify replied on Fri, 2013/06/21 - 2:39am

 GitHub has an automatic transfer tool you can use to move your open-source software project from SVN, so that if you have team members, they'll be able to download and work on the latest project builds just as they did when it was hosted on SVN. Thank you.
funeral home services peterborough ontario

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.