Most popular programming languages 1965-2019 (visualised)

Chris wendlec at
Fri Oct 11 12:00:38 UTC 2019

On Friday, 11 October 2019 at 11:23:34 UTC, IGotD- wrote:
> This is actually an urban legend. The applications that needed 
> most of performance in the 1980s were mostly written C (Borland 
> C was really popular during the 80s) with a few optimized parts 
> done in assembler. Very few programs were done in pure 
> assembler. There wasn't any need to write everything in 
> assembler except certain optimized loops.
> It is simple check this as you can just search your old DOS 
> .exe file for Borland for example and you will be surprised how 
> many DOS programs used C during the 80s.
> I suspect as previously mentioned that this survey is based on 
> large companies. Ada has a suspiciously large cut during the 
> 80s. Also what is based on? Per worker, per product, per 
> company? Ada was probably big during the 80s because it was the 
> height of the cold war but still a bit too high I think.

Big corporations still widely used Assembly in the 80ies (the 
suicide rates where highest among assembly programmers - no 
joke). Some people thought that C wasn't that different so why 
bother? However, it soon became clear that a. if the Assembly 
programmer left (or killed himself), nobody else could make sense 
of the program and b. although C was 10% slower, squeezing out 
the last 10% wasn't worth it (law of diminishing returns). I have 
it on good authority that the civil service still uses assembler 
in certain areas (revenue). I wonder why?

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