JavaScript, TypeScript both among top 5 programming languages for first time – Latest News


Bengaluru: JavaScript and its superset TypeScript both figure among the top five programming languages in GitHub’s 2020 report on the community of developers and their work, a reflection of the growing demand for web development as companies and organisations digitise.

While JavaScript has been No. 1 for several years, TypeScript – an enhanced version of JavaScript – moved three notches up from 2019 to displace PHP as the fourth most popular language in GitHub’s annual report called State of the Octoverse. TypeScript moved from 7th to 4th rank. TypeScript was at No. 10 in 2017.

“With the rising demand for web and mobile application development, more core developers in Java, C++ and PHP are trying to learn JavaScript. For them, learning JS would mean unlearning several principles core to software development in their traditional languages. TypeScript finds its significance here, with the shorter learning curve. While coding, TypeScript provides the stability of Java-like languages, and it can be transpiled (compiled and transcribed) into JavaScript for the end use,” says N C Patro, one of the co-founders of JavaScript MeetUp Bangalore. He adds that the popularity of Angular, a TypeScript-based open-source web application framework from Google, could be another reason for the language’s growing popularity.

JavaScript has become the de facto language of web development. Its supersets like TypeScript and CoffeeScript contain all its features, but have been expanded or enhanced to include other features as well.

TOI last month reported that developer analyst firm SlashData’s Q3 2020 report found 12.4 million developers globally use JavaScript (including TypeScript and CoffeeScript), way ahead of Python at No. 2 with 9 million. About 5 million of JavaScript users were added in just the last three years.

In GitHub too, Python was at No. 2, a position it wrested last year from Java, which continues to rank No. 3 this year.

GitHub, one of the world’s biggest software development platforms, says 35% more repositories were created this year, compared to the last. A repository is a central file storage location, and more repositories mean more code created. This could be for new projects, dependencies (programs that other programs need to run), etc.

Open source projects too saw a significant rise (25%) in the number of contributions. Open source contributions peaked during the weekends. “The pandemic has presented some welcome opportunities for open source software development. Our analysis shows that developers “walk away” from their work on holidays and weekends, while open source projects see activity spike during those times. This suggests that open source is viewed differently from other work and may be an outlet, providing a great opportunity for people to learn, grow, be creative, and engage with the community,” says Nicole Forsgren, VP of Research and Strategy, GitHub.

India continues to be one of the top 10 fastest growing regions based on users, and is in the top five highest open source growth regions based on new repositories created, says Forsgren. “As we look at open source projects with the most contributions in India, we’re seeing patterns that signal types of users. For example, with google/it-cert-automation-practice this is likely tied to folks entering the job market. We also see a number of data science focused projects like flutter/flutter, tensorflow/tensorflow, and tensorflow/models,” says Forsgren.

The report finds that there was 46.3% year-on-year growth in developer productivity in India, and 103.1% growth in total active students on GitHub.

“GitHub is collaborating with key universities in India, providing them access to tech tools, training faculty members, and helping grow developer communities on campus. Over the last year alone, both the government and private sector have led several tech innovation campaigns and hackathons, aimed at finding solutions to some key challenges. The Lost Votes Campaign driven by Times of India Group is one such example, where thousands of developers are participating to build a tech solution to solve India’s lost votes problem. Indian student developers are one of the most active in the world and their participation in those initiatives is very high,” says Maneesh Sharma, country manager, GitHub India.

On security, the report says that most vulnerabilities come from mistakes in coding, and not from malicious attacks. While malicious attacks are more likely to get attention in security circles, 83% of the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) that GitHub sends alerts for, are due to mistakes rather than malicious intent.


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