Python Beats Java To No. 2 Spot On GitHub

The Python programming language has leapfrogged Java in popularity to become the second most widely used language on open source code-sharing site GitHub.

Python is now second only to JavaScript, which has maintained its position at the top of the list since 2014, the Microsoft-owned site said in new metrics.

The rankings, which are measured based on the number of repository contributors, appear in GitHub’s latest State of the Octoverse report, covering 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019.

Python’s wide use is fuelled in part by its popularity for data science and artificial intelligence tasks.


The language also featured in the top 10 fastest-growing languages, at no. 8, growing 151 percent.

GitHub said Google’s Dart was the fastest growing programming language for the year, up more than five times at 532 percent, followed by Mozilla’s Rust at 235 percent.

Google’s Kotlin language, which the company officially supports for Android development, was last year’s fastest-growing on GitHub and this year it took fourth place, growing 182 percent.

HashiCorp’s HCL configuration language took third place and Microsoft-supported TypeScript was fifth, rounding out the top five.

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code was the platform’s biggest project, with some 19,100 contributors, followed by Microsoft Azure documentation, Google’s Flutter toolkit for building mobile apps and First Contributions, a project that helps new developers collaborating on GitHub.

All had more than 10,000 contributors.



GitHub said 30 percent of all the open source projects hosted on the platform were created in the past year, with Microsoft’s ASP.NET Core being the fastest-growing with contributor numbers up by 346 percent.

Flutter’s contributor base grew by 279 percent, followed by Azure DevOps documentation at 264 percent.

Each project had contributors from an average of 41 countries and regions, with 80 percent of contributors overall being from outside the US, led by China, India and Germany.

The number of contributors from Nigeria grew the most, with an increase of 59 percent, followed by Iran at 44 percent, Kenya at 44 percent and Indonesia at 42 percent.

On the security side, GitHub said this year it helped developers fix more than 7.6 million dependencies, with the Dependabot service, which launched in May, helping to deliver more than 209,000 automated fixes.

Microsoft purchased San Francisco-based GitHub for $7.5 million (£5.8m) in June of last year, and was already the biggest contributor to open source projects on the platform before the acquisition.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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