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December 17, 2010

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Thanks for posting. Always interesting to look at.

As a rubyist and schemer, I would love if this were true. But, the conclusions are almost preordained because of the data sources chosen.

Although to be fair, I know SAS has a lot of white papers and discussion boards within its own website. Given that it's a proprietary software, there's no reason to think that it will have the same traffic on StackOverflow. Back when I used SAS on a daily basis a google search for SUGI plus my question usually brought up dozens of excellent papers.

But anyways: Go R and #rstats !!!

This is an interesting post, given that it comes from people who are in the statistics space. Both Github and Twitter are very well respected but neither can be reasonably (let alone quantitatively) represent the population in order to derive the ranking you discuss.

Both cases have very significant bias because of several well know factors. For instance Twitter is a big Ruby shop, so it is not surprising that Ruby is over-represented on twitter (nothing against Ruby, it's one of my favorites). It is also (duh!) a big Web show, introducing bias to any web related languages such as JavaScript or PHP.

Similarly github (of which I am a very happy user) represents a very particular slice of the programming community with its own set of biases.

Finally, one of the longest running rankings of programming language popularity is the TIOBE index (http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html), which posts very different rankings than what you post here for similar periods.

This post, instead of being an interesting post dealing with data collection methodology, disambiguation, and about trying to figure out the bias in your sample, takes instead the easy route of making pretty pictures and ignoring the real substance. This is something I would expect of the general press, but not from an R centric company.

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