Lua is more popular than JavaScript

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“More and more, Lua is proving itself a great language for mobile development, and Corona SDK has been a key ingredient in this movement.”

— Roberto Ierusalimschy, creator of the Lua Language.

In TIOBE’s June 2011 rankings, Lua is now the 10th most popular programming language, leaping ahead of JavaScript:

TIOBE credits Lua’s growing popularity in mobile apps while traditional web scripting languages are having a “hard time.” They also reiterate something all of us already knew about Lua: “its small footprint and fast performance.”

Take a closer look at the rankings and you’ll see that Lua’s got some serious momentum right now. In fact, it moved up the rankings 10 times as quickly as JavaScript over the past year. Given all the hype around HTML5, you’d think JavaScript would see more movement.

Reminds me of the childhood story about a hare who toots his own horn and a tortoise that ends up winning the race…


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This entry has 3 replies

  1. Joe says:

    Big difference between popularity and usage.

    All TIOBE does is use search engines to search for language terms. Not a good indication of real world usage. Might be a good indication of which languages people are having the most trouble with and are posting articles and forums about.

  2. Walter says:

    Sure, all rankings are a little artificial. It’s great to be popular and it’s great to see lots of usage, but the real question is does it deliver?

    That was one of the big problems with Flash. It was popular and used a lot, but the technology has struggled to deliver in the mobile space.

    Lua, on the other hand, has a proven track record of delivering. We’ve seen this not only in desktop-class apps like Photoshop Lightroom and World of Warcraft, but also in a ton of mobile apps like Angry Birds and Tap Tap Revenge.

    So if anything, my point was that Lua is finally getting credit where it’s due.

  3. Mat says:

    Lua is a fantastic scripting language and its a pity that the client side web experience isn’t driven by Lua instead of JavaScript. However for porting between platforms JavaScript is probably still the best choice (especially considering the rise of HTML5).