Thank you for your response, Dan. It is quite reasonable on the face of it.

However, my perspective is that, in the case of JavaScript, conventional wisdom needs to be challenged. In all of these developer surveys, we need to investigate the story behind the story. JavaScript is not like other languages, such as Java, C#, and Python. The “popularity” of a language must be properly contextualized. Do people choose to program in JavaScript because it’s a great language to use, or is the choice foisted upon them by default? In the web space, you don’t really have a choice; JavaScript is the one and only native language of the web browser.

Contrast this with other languages in other problem domains. In the server space, for example, you have lots of choice. Java, C#, PHP, Python, and Ruby are immensely popular. I’m sure you’ll throw up that old chestnut about Node.js, but the IT community is starting to wake up to the truth about Node. The recent rise of the Go language also stands in the way of further growth for Node, because performance and scalability issues are now pressing. The Node model has real limitations.

Redmonk’s analysis is based on Github statistics, which show that JavaScript has more lines of code committed than any other language (over 4 billion!). What does this imply? Well, it certainly doesn’t imply that the language is popular. Unlike languages such as Java and Python (which have over 2 billion lines of code committed each), JavaScript is perhaps the most reviled language on the planet. You have only to look at the vast disparity in complaints on the web. Remember what I said about “the story behind the story?” This reviled language manages to overwhelm Github because people don’t have choice. There is no one who can reasonably disagree with this.

You are quite correct about one thing, though. My JavaScript Non Grata publication underpins a philanthropic campaign to warn the IT community of the dangers of using a fundamentally dysfunctional programming language. I do not assume this task lightly. Nor do I get anything out of it. It’s an important civic duty, one that I would not care to perform were it not for the fact that this dangerous language is metastasizing into nearly every corner of IT. So, yes, my conclusion to the StackOverflow survey should be predictable.

As part of my warning, I present a constructive plan: JavaScript: The Next Generation. So I don’t only tear down things.

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