By watching search engine traffic, the TIOBE Programming Community Index has been tracking the most talked-about languages since the summer of 2001.
The August 2011 chart shows the big three, Java, C and C++, holding on, with Objective C and Lua on the up, probably because of the iPhone. F# leads the stealthy rise of functional programming. Running down the chart, the first language I’ve never heard of is number 17, RPG (OS/400), and down into the 40s they’re obscure (ABAP, OpenEdge ABL) as often as they’re famous (COBOL, Prolog). But down in the very small print, in the list of places 51 to 100, here’s one that I recognise: Inform.
Just to calibrate this, the natural language winners are Mandarin, Spanish and English, while typical languages down at the same sort of chart position as Inform include Belarusian, Norwegian, Kazakh, Xhosa, Neapolitan, and Tatar-Bashkir. World hegemony may be some way off, but it’s good to be part of a vibrant culture.