shutterstock_316477958 Java is the most popular programming language in the world, according to the latest TIOBE Index, with C, C++, C#, and Python rounding out the top five (in descending order). TIOBE, which updates its rankings once a month, bases its index on search-engine data; featured languages must have an entry on Wikipedia, be Turing complete, and at least 10,000 hits for +“<language> programming” on Google. “Java and C appear to be the 2 big languages at the moment,” read the note accompanying TIOBE’s data. “The gap between these 2 and the rest of the pack is now more than 10 [percent].” In an interesting twist, the TIOBE Index’s methodology ranks JavaScript in seventh place, just ahead of Visual Basic .NET and Ruby. That’s in contrast to GitHub and other online resources that rank the language much higher. However, pretty much every index and analytics platform out there places Java near—if not in—first place. There’s also little mystery as to why JavaScript, Java, C, PHP, C#, and C++ occupy the top slots in pretty much every ranking. These languages are ubiquitous, used by developers around the world to build everything from complex games and productivity apps to Web pages. That ubiquity makes it difficult for smaller languages—even up-and-coming ones such as Swift—to break into the top spots, even as they leap up the mid-tier ranks. Speaking of Swift, the next-generation programming language now stands at 15th place on the TIOBE Index, nearly on the verge of overcoming Objective-C, its predecessor, which occupies the 14th slot. Last year, Objective-C ranked third; it remains to be seen whether Swift will climb that high, although the popularity of the iOS and Mac OS X platforms (the primary targets of apps built in Swift and Objective-C) bodes well for its chances.