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Hack – a new threat to PHP? – latests trends in the programming languages

12 Apr 2017

Hack – a new threat to PHP? – latests trends in the programming languages

facebook-notifyTIOBE has published a new Index of popularity of programming languages. This month’s juxtaposition has brought us a surprise. For the first time since its creation, Hack entered the top 50 list. What does that mean for the IT industry?

The Index

TIOBE is a prestigious software company from the Netherlands. Starting from 2001, TIOBE has been publishing a monthly Programming Community Index, which aims to assess the popularity of the programing languages.

The results are based on the popular searches from 25 search engines worldwide, from Google and Wikipedia to Chinese Baidu. The algorithm also takes into account the number of courses and materials available for each language, as well as the number of programmers able to use it.  

The Index can find an application in predicting the future of the programming industry. Observing the changes can be a good indicator for a career development of a programmer. At the same time, companies can reduce the risk of strategic decisions in the IT field by taking into account the trends highlighted by TIOBE.

The full version of April’s Index can be seen here.


Hack is a dialect of PHP created by Facebook in 2014. It is held as an open-source project for HHVM and it was thoroughly tested by the company on their own website.

The main purpose of its release was enabling faster and more enjoyable coding, at the same time reducing the number of possible bugs. Its main advantages over PHP are speed and scalability. It is also considered to be much safer. The main idea behind Hack can be explained with its slogan – “Programming productivity without breaking things”.

More information about Hack can be found on its main website –

A new PHP’s successor?

Although Hack seems to be a good alternative to PHP, its popularity did not peak until now. The reason may be its deployability. According to TIOBE, Hack is usually not available on hosted web servers by default. “Otherwise”, the software company states. “it could certainly become PHP’s successor”.

Appearing on the list of the top 50 programming languages, however, may be the first sign of change. Now everything depends on whether Hack will be able to keep its position over the next months.

The overall ranking

Apart from this years’ ranking, the Index contains the results from the year before. Comparing to April 2016, it can be seen that the leaders remain unchanged. The ranking is lead by Java, followed by C, C++, C#, Python and PHP.

Only on the 7th place a change can be observed – it is the Visual Basic .NET moving up from 3 places down. At the same time, it has replaced JavaScript, which is now at the 8th position.

There are only two significant advancements in the top 20, that is – Go and Scratch, moving up from the 44th to the 18th place and from the 24th to the 19th place accordingly.

Hack, although appearing in the ranking for the first time, is placed on the 47th position, followed by Awk, Clojure and VHDL.

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