As 2013 ended several articles were published covering the year in Perl:
chromatic published the The Year in Perl 2013 Retrospective, a list of events in the life of the Perl programming language, and the people around it.
Neil Bowers published the The CPAN Report 2013 showing graphs and providing explanation about the activity on CPAN.
The Popularity of Perl
There are many ways to measure the popularity of a programming language. We are going to look at 4 measurements here:
The Perl Weekly website itself does not get a lot of visitors. What is interesting there is the number of subscribers. It grew from 4156 on 1 January 2013 to 5103 on 31 December 2013. It's Google+ page was circled by 4,066 people on 1 January 2014. (I don't seem to have the number from the beginning og 2013.)
These numbers are, of course, more indicative to the popularity of the Perl Weekly, than that of Perl.
Looking at the data during 2013 for the 4 major dynamic programming languages, this is what we get:
% PHP 93 50.8 Python 42 22.9 Ruby 38 20.7 Perl 11 6.0 TOTAL: 184
% PHP 90 49.7 Python 44 24.3 Ruby 37 20.4 Perl 10 5.5 TOTAL: 181
The first column is a number indicating the number of searches relative to all the searches in the world. As also explaind in an earlier article, it is natural that this is shrinking, even if the language is growing. What interests us more, is the relative weight of these 4 languages among themselves. This is what we see in the second column. The percentage of searches for the specific terms out of all the searches for any of these 4 terms.
While the changes are quite small and can be assigned to measurement errors, it still seems to be important to note that among these 4 languages the relative weight of Python grew, while the other 3 shrunk.
There was also a recent post comparing programming languages using the * tutorial phrase. It declared Python as the language of the year. Perl was not in the top 10 in the chart.
In that case the numbers look like this:
The most accurate measurements we have, are the reports created by Google Analytics. A few weeks ago I got access to the data of MetaCPAN as well, so this time I can show both that, and the data of the Perl Maven site.
search.cpan.orgsearch.cpan.org monthly visitors count in 2013:
blogs.perl.orgblogs.perl.org monthly visitors count in 2013:
Some explanation about the blogs.perl.org numbers.
MetaCPANMetaCPAN monthly visitors count for 2013:
Perl Maven monthly visitors count for 2013:
For earlier reports and an explanation of the hole in the graph of the Perl Maven site, check out the article from 1 August 2013, three month after switching domain names.
Annual growth rate
Number of visits in December 2012 and December 2013:
December 2012 December 2013 Annual change blogs.perl.org n/a 44,195 perlmaven.com 17,815 84,810 376.1% metacpan.org 82,138 137,474 67.4% search.cpan.org 742,564 700,382 -5.7% CPAN total 824,702 837,856 1.6% CPAN total is metacpan.org+search.cpan.org blogs.perl.org enabled Google Analytics only in April 2013.
Data from perl.org and perl.com
I don't have access to the Google Analytics of the other perl.org sites, but I got some data from Ask Bjørn Hansen, one of the owners and admins of perl.org. (Beginning of February 2014).
The rest of the sites have less than 50k visitors a month.
At a glance then except for learn.perl.org traffic has been pretty much flat for 4-5 years.
learn.perl.org has been growing from ~12k/month to 40k visits a month over the last 4 years, though likely that's related to the redesign a few years ago.
Published on 2014-01-07 by Gabor Szabo