It was bound to happen anyway, but Swift is supplanting Objective C as the de facto language for iOS development a lot faster than anyone expected.
In TIOBE’s latest index — which measures the popularity of programming languages — Objective C saw a sharp decline year-over-year. October 2014 saw Objective C as the third most popular language.
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This year, it’s #14 on the list. Just behind it is Swift, which went from #19 to #15 in the same timeframe.
Swift’s rise isn’t the story — Objective C’s decline is. TIOBE reports it’s slumped 8.68 percent, the largest swing (positive or negative) of any language on the list.
That decline wasn’t a two-way street between Swift and Objective C, either. While Objective C fell hard, Swift only gained 0.52 percent on the chart. Other languages, like chart-topping Java, seem to have picked up some momentum as Objective C trailed off.
Over time, we should expect Swift to capture a prominent place on the list, especially as it goes open source.