Someone suggested the clever idea of counting IRC channel users as a metric to use for langpop.com, so I went ahead and gathered that data. Since this is the first month, there are a few glitches (I missed #fortran – sorry guys), and a thing or two to iron out, but I thought I’d go ahead and publish the new results. IRC counts towards the “discussion” portion of the stats, rather than the main part. Like everything else, it has its biases – I used the Freenode network, which is definitely more about free software than other places might be. One number that really jumps out is just how popular the Haskell channel is – it’s right up there with all the most popular languages. It will be interesting to see if, over several years, all the “talk” about Haskell starts to translate into people using it for fun and for their jobs.
I welcome comments on this post, but there’s also a Google group I’ve set up for discussion of the results, data sources, languages, and so on:
Another idea I’m kicking around is to create a separate page for “up and coming” languages, stuff like Scala, Clojure, F#… that kind of thing. It might have to use different metrics, because the newer languages often don’t show up on many of the ones I use for the languages we currently have.