Programming language popularity: Python tightens its grip at the top

Python sits firmly in top place in the newest annual ranking of popular programming languages by IEEE Spectrum.

The ranking and others like it are meant to help developers understand the popularity of languages in a world where no one really knows what programmers are using on their laptops.

IEEE Spectrum has placed Python in first spot since 2017, and last year it was just ahead of C++. The top language is given a score of 100, and all languages with lower scores are scaled in relation to it. C++ last year scored 99.7, followed by Java at 97.5, and C with 96.7.

Today, in the IEEE Spectrum’s sixth annual ranking, Python’s 100 is a long way ahead of runner-up Java’s 96.3 score, while C is in third place with 94.4. C++ has slipped to fourth with 87.5, while in fifth is specialist statistical computing language R with a score of 81.5.

The magazine for engineering members of IEEE, the world’s biggest engineering and applied-science organization, attributes Python’s popularity to the vast number of specialized libraries it has, especially for developers building artificial-intelligence applications.

It singles out the Keras library, because it provides an interface to the Google-developed TensorFlow, and the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit (CNTK), as well as Theano deep-learning Python library…