Actionscript’s popularity in contrast to other languages

I’m a sucker for statistics, so it’s with delight that I point out that the Programming Language Popularity page has been updated, and it now includes Actionscript on the list of languages covered by its graphics.

What’s not so delightful though is to see Actionscript isn’t exactly popular when compared to most other popular languages of today. I guess we probably tend to be influenced for the world around us, so since I eat, breath, and drink Actionscript all day, I was a little bit disheartened to see it’s not as popular as I thought it was.

Of course this makes no difference in real work – the demand for Actionscript professionals is already pretty massive, and it continues to increase, at least around me – but it does paint an interesting picture on how the platform does on several different fronts such as publishing, job seeking, and open source project hosting.

  • I think is not as popular because of security related limitations.

  • wow – AS is between Cobol and ‘Haskell’ in popularity. WTF is haskell?

  • One thing to keep in mind on items like this is that Actionscript has more than one “name” in the areas shown there. Those only searched for “actionscript”, and neglected to include “air”, “flash”, “flex”, “as”, “as2”, and “as3”.

  • As I mentioned in an email about Actionscript, where it gets hurt is that 1) it doesn’t do too well in the web search results, 2) doesn’t do well in the Amazon results, 3) doesn’t exist on Freshmeat or Google Code. It only does well on the Craigslist search.

    You could ask the Google and Freshmeat guys to add ActionScript, for instance here:

    http://groups.google.com/group/Google-Code-Search?hl=en

    Ciao,
    Dave

  • Zeh

    Mike: I agree, specially with “flash” and stuff like “as2″/”as3”, but that also applies to many other languages. Javascript is using “javascript”, but not “js”, or “ajax” or “html”. Java is using “java” but not “applet”. And so on and so forth. So I think in the end the thing’s a *bit* evened out.

    But really, I don’t see this ‘popularity’ results as being negative. It’s just a straight comparison of how widespread the name of the language we use is, not an indicative of how good a platform is, or how well it pays, or how fun it is, or anything like that. Maybe just an indication that we still have a long way ahead of us. 🙂

  • I think that Actionscript is just starting its rise. AS3 is an entirely new language really built off of ES4. With the ES3 vs ES4 battle going on it is blaringly obvious that developers are taking a very strong liking to ES4 which ActionScript3 is based off of. Silverlight is ES3 based, so it the entire web right now but it is truly a new excellent revision of Javascript deemed Javascript2. ES4 has some bloat that AS3 removed such as getters/setters which was needed (why add bloat as things are going more functional/daynamic). Languages in general are going more like ES4 but also dynamic like javascript was where everything is an object. Javascript latest versions are really functional in many aspects. Anyways, it is on the rise, I hope that ES4 is based on the code Adobe gave to Mozilla (Gee why is Microsoft worried again?).

    Exciting times on the front line of the Javascript2 and Vector Wars.

    >wow – AS is between Cobol and ‘Haskell’ in popularity. WTF is haskell?

    Apparently you don’t’ visit programming.reddit.com often. It is an academic functional language, functional is now academic after Java and OO sold out and went corporate.

  • This results seems to be correct according the “Programming” part of developers.. Most of academic programmers don’t even consider actionscript a programming language (my university fellows says so).. In my Computer Science course I think that I’m the only one that really plays hard with AS ..
    The poll result is the same I see in UFRGS – Brazil CS course.. most people do C/C++ and Java .. OCaml/Haskell are functional languages for new paradigm study or to open our mind to different types of programming as this languages are reaaaaly strange compared to that ones that follow the Von Newmann style, it’s nice because it makes our brains work another way and it helps a lot in a lot of problems (most in the recursive ones) I suggest that at least one time in your lives you touch this kind of languages…
    My opinion is that even AS is really a complete language with conditionals/loops/nice OO and all necessary features a language shoudl have.. It lacks speed (Java is faster yet) and it’s most of web-based (you can do the .exe projectors but it’s not much common) and some Hardware accellerated features also should be added. But as it’s said in future (AS10 or Adobe AIR new features) it’ll sure gain really good space in the Programmers Hearts =D

  • Owen

    Regarding the comment about using different search terms, I did a quick test. If you enter “Flash programming”, you get about 36 times more hits from Google than using “Actionscript programming” (72m to 2m). The difference between as2, as3 and actionscript as search terms is neglible.

    It is also worth noting that the Flash Player is the most installed browser plugin – more people are able to view Flash content than Java content.