The decline of Perl

It used to be that my preference for Perl was considered niche; now it seems to be considered outdated. Google trends shows how Perl has declined over the past 7 or so years:


perl-python-ruby.png

8 Comments

The search results Google Trends adds show that the graph is useless in comparing the programming languages:

Python:

Python eats Australian family dog
23-foot python found basking in sun
Officials: Escaped pet python strangled Fla. child
Monty Python Reunion! Monty Python Reunion! Monty Python Reunion!
Monty Python reunite on 40th anniversary
Python found in Neb. hotel's potty was lost pet

Ruby:

Purported JFK plot by Oswald and Ruby is ‘like a bad B movie’
Berlusconi: Gov't will last despite Ruby scandal
Silvio Berlusconi in probe over teenage dancer Ruby
Ruby the Heartstealer: Berlusconi's undoing?
"Silvio & Ruby" on auction at Milan art dealer
Ruby the Heart Stealer dreams of acting in Woody Allen film

Perl:

Intro to Perl on Windows
Google App Engine sort of getting Perl support
Why Corporates Hate Perl
Perl Training Classes in San Francisco, San Jose
Perl Creator Hints at Imminent Perl 6 Release

As Mithaldu pointed out, this is a flawed metric. Instead, if you look at the number of distributions uploaded to CPAN recently, Perl doesn't look so bad. Take a look at a recent post of mine.

I don't understand this graph. How comes that both Python and Ruby seem to be flat in the 7 years and even slightly decreasing?

OTOH I don't think there are more Pythons eating dogs now than there were 7 years ago so while the graph might be flawed but it is probably flawed during the whole time period.

OT3H I don't understand what was the purpose of this blog entry. @NeilB, are you a Python or Ruby fan who found out how to post on blogs.perl.org and this is how you try to take revenge for Perl still stealing your job? Or are you a Perl programmer who is looking for some encouragement facing such Python programmers?

It's the same issue i explained here: http://blogs.perl.org/users/ben_bullock/2011/07/google-trends-1.html#comment-27940

The values are relative to the whole google search volume, so things are a bit skewed. If the line is straight that just means the searches for that line grew at the same rate the whole of google search volume grew.

It's the same issue i explained here:
You didn't "explain" it, you imagined something, then started writing about what you'd imagined as if it was certain to be true. You have presented no evidence at all for what you are saying, just assumed something and then gone on inventing lots of fake numbers and ridiculous graphs on the basis of your imagination. If you have actual proof that the numbers of Perl searches have gone up then you need to present that factual proof, not some hocus-pocus. What's more you're clearly just grandstanding for the sake of the imagined audience, since you haven't responded to the comments I made.

It's rich to ask for "actual proof" when the graph you posted has no explanation of the units for the Y axis.

Chart. Junk.

Ben, there is no point in spreading this discussion out over multiple blog entries. I've replied to you here:

http://blogs.perl.org/users/ben_bullock/2011/07/google-trends-1.html#comment-28137

It's rich to ask for "actual proof" when the graph you posted has no explanation of the units for the Y axis.
The Y axis is Google's "Search volume index" from Google trends. There's an explanation here: http://www.google.com/intl/en/trends/about.html#7


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About Neil Bowers

user-pic Perl hacker since 1992.