Sergio and the sigil

And the winner is... VB.NET ?!

Posted by Sergio on 2008-05-18

Every time I see an updated version of the TIOBE index it strikes me differently. Sometimes I'm surprised to see some programming languages in the TOP 20 that I didn't even know existed (happens all the time,) sometimes it's the realization of the languages on the rise like Ruby and Lua in recent years.

Take a look at this month's list.

1 Java 20.176%
2 C 15.292%
3 (Visual) Basic 10.782%
4 PHP 10.637%
5 C++ 10.484%
6 Perl 5.869%
7 Python 4.613%
8 C# 3.963%
9 Ruby 2.851%
10 Delphi 2.641%
11 JavaScript 2.411%
12 D 1.314%
13 SAS 0.738%
14 PL/SQL 0.625%
15 Pascal 0.498%
16 Lisp/Scheme 0.449%
17 Ada 0.431%
18 COBOL 0.411%
19 Lua 0.393%
20 FoxPro/xBase 0.385%

This month, although not new, what hit me was the state of the .Net languages. I'm definitely a C# guy. You'd have to tempt me with serious money to get me doing VB.Net again (IronRuby, on the other hand, would be a different story ;)

Although I'm not exactly surprised to see the .Net languages being dwarfed by other heavy hitters like Java and C, which enjoy a little more platform-independence, it's always an humbling effect seeing VB that far ahead of C#.

The interesting thing with this index is how it is built. It serves as a good thermometer to what kind of support you can expect to find on the Internet for that language. That's why it surprises me in relation to Visual Basic in particular.

I understand the index lumps together VB.NET, VB6, plain Basic, etc, but the non-Net versions of VB have been considered legacy for so long now that I tend to think VB.NET is indeed what is pushing Visual Basic to the top.

Maybe it's just because "Visual Basic" or "VB" as much easier search terms than "C#", "CSharp", "C-sharp", etc.

I've been reading about .Net online for almost 8 years now and C# has always seemed more prevalent than VB.NET in article, samples, documentation, and Open Source projects.

What about you? Anything interesting in this list? Is VB really the bomb?