Post Processing: Watch Your Language, Jaron Lanier Fixes The Internet

Watch the rise and fall of your favorite programming languages, set to music: Popular Programming Languages 1965-2019.   The lead changed multiple times and the YouTube video ended with the top 3 languages being Python, Java, and Javascript.  Okay, C# came in 3rd if you don't consider Javascript a real programming language.

This was the work of a first year PhD student who mined data from GitHub repositories and historic national surveys.  It's not far from the TIOBE index I wrote about in a previous Post Processing which ranked the top 3 languages as Java, C, and Python.

There is yet another language survey done by Stack Overflow.  It polled its membership, and nearly 90,000 developers responded.  While 90,000 is a healthy sample size, keep in mind those polled still represent a closed environment.

Top 3 loved languages: Rust, Python, TypeScript.
Top 3 dreaded languages: VBA, Objective-C, Assembly
Top 3 languages programmers want to learn: Python, Javascript, Go

These results are very different from the YouTube video and the TIOBE Index, but it's noteworthy that Python makes an appearance in all 3 polls.

I first wrote about Jaron Lanier while reviewing Programmers At Work.  More wide-eyed and hopeful then, he now writes about how the internet is darker place.  He is featured in a recent NYT Opinion video explaining how the modern internet advertising model exploits our fear and anger.  He answers the question of what is data, how we're being short changed about our data, and describes data as the new oil.

The big mistake was at the turn of the century, when consumers wanted everything -- music, news, software -- for free and/or supported by advertising.  Lanier proposes an alternative where we are paid for our data, and we pay for services that are currently free.  A technical and legal infrastructure to support micro-payments would need to be built out, but on this point, Lanier is optimistic.  I like his ideas.


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