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TIOBE Index News (April 2024): PHP’s Decline in Popularity

TIOBE Software CEO Paul Jansen noted in his post about the April 2024 rankings that PHP’s ranking on the TIOBE Programming Index plummeted from 12th in March 2024 to 17th in April 2024. C++ continues to lead Java and consolidates its position in the top three programming languages. TIOBE Programming Community Index (Figure A) shows programming language trends based on search engine volume.

Year-over-year trends in the TIOBE Index.
Figure A. Year-over-year trends in the TIOBE Index.Image: TIOBE Software

“The glory days of programming language PHP appear to be over”

“Today, PHP still has a strong presence in the world of small and medium-sized websites, and is the language behind the most popular web content management system WordPress. So, PHP is definitely not going away, but its glory days seem to be over.” Jansen wrote about the TIOBE index.

Since the inception of the TIOBE index in 2001, PHP has faced fierce competition in the website building field from web development frameworks built on JavaScript, Ruby or Python such as Rails, Django and React. PHP has experienced a long list of security vulnerabilities that may have dealt a blow to its popularity.

However, development in the world of programming languages ​​is sometimes best seen in decades rather than months.

“I don’t think PHP will fall further that quickly,” Jansen said in an email to TechRepublic. “I expect it to stay in the top 20 for at least another year.”

PHP was the ninth most popular programming language in the index in April 2023.

Other changes in the TIOBE index in April

Another notable recent change in the index is the return of the ancient language Fortran. Fortran, first used in 1958, rose from 20th place in April 2023 to 10th place in April 2024. Jansen said he may do more analysis on Fortran’s popularity ahead of next month’s TIOBE index.

For more changes to April’s TIOBE Index, see TechRepublic’s top 10 most popular programming languages.

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