Why Is C Programming Language Continuously Going Down?


Short Bytes: C has ruled the programming world for a long period, becoming the base of many operating systems and programs. However, over the course of past one year, its popularity has fallen, probably, due to lack of any corporate sponsor and increase in the usage of newer languages.

C is a general-purpose programming language that was developed by Dennis M. Ritchie in 1972 at the Bell Telephone Laboratories. It was then used to develop the Unix. Since then, it has laid the foundation of many other operating systems and popular computer programs.

If we take a look at its popularity, it keeps sharing the top spot with Java. TIOBE Index is a respectable measure of the popularity of programming languages. Ever since its inception in 2001, TIOBE Index has repeatedly featured C.

However, over the course of past one year, this dinosaur in the coding world is weakening. Compared to December 2015, the rating of C has fallen by 7.73%. Notably, in the past decade, C was in the range of 15%-20%. Today, its rating dropped under 10%.

So, what’s the reason? Why is C beginning to slow down?

C hasn’t been a language that’s used to write programs or develop websites. Also, over the years, it hasn’t evolved much. Lack of a corporate sponsor can also be listed as one of the reasons why C is slowing down. The way Microsoft supports C++ and C#, Google, indirectly, supports Java, and Apple nurtures Swift and Objective-C, there’s isn’t any big well-wisher of C.

Why? Lack of corporate sponsorship & popularity of newer languages

Above all, the increasing popularity of other programming languages looks like the main reason behind C’s downfall. Many programming languages like .NET, Objective-C, Swift, Go, R, and Groovy have witnessed good raise over the past one year.

Top 20 Programming Languages — December 2016

Dec 2016 Dec 2015 Change Programming Language Ratings Change
1 1 Java 17.856% -3.12%
2 2 C 8.726% -7.73%
3 3 C++ 5.335% -0.61%
4 4 Python 4.239% -0.19%
5 7 change Visual Basic .NET 3.302% +0.91%
6 5 change C# 3.171% -0.94%
7 6 change PHP 2.919% +0.13%
8 8 JavaScript 2.862% +0.50%
9 11 change Assembly language 2.539% +0.61%
10 9 change Perl 2.338% +0.13%
11 15 change Objective-C 2.325% +0.97%
12 10 change Ruby 2.147% +0.09%
13 14 change Swift 2.134% +0.73%
14 12 change Visual Basic 1.967% +0.31%
15 13 change Delphi/Object Pascal 1.950% +0.31%
16 50 change Go 1.939% +1.74%
17 18 change R 1.826% +0.70%
18 16 change MATLAB 1.818% +0.65%
19 24 change Groovy 1.786% +1.01%
20 19 change PL/SQL 1.495% +0.39%

What do you think? Why is C continuously going down? Share your views in the comments section below.

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Adarsh Verma

Adarsh Verma

Fossbytes co-founder and an aspiring entrepreneur who keeps a close eye on open source, tech giants, and security. Get in touch with him by sending an email — [email protected]
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