However, if you are a customer of a (smaller) bank or credit union there's a good chance that you are indirectly using this technology.
That said, I'm not sure what this rant is about? Is he mad that scala/groovy are more niche?
You wouldn't find (any?) Progress 4GL on github because it's a commercial language. You have to pay for it. But it generates millions of dollars of sales and is in use in hundreds of companies (at some level).
Has anyone considered a more serious method of comparing programming language popularity?
In any case though, no survey of this type is going to be entirely 'accurate'. To be 'accurate', you'd have to follow around millions of programmers for a few years and see what they're reading, writing and talking about, at home, at work, and with friends. So I do the best with the data I can get.
Another thing to consider is what 'popular' means. You could consider both 'velocity' (current use) and 'acceleration' (increase in usage). Cobol for instance, is widely used in some environments, but has no acceleration. Java has a lot of the former, and still has quite a bit of use in new projects. Something like Ruby is not widely deployed, but more popular for new web projects.
And I doubt you'll find it on Github.
Same for the local Genexus 4GL .
Edit: it's also English-biased. Genexus 4GL returns over 77.000 results, much more than listed. This blog post seems worse researched than TIOBE's index.
I wonder why it doesn't gain traction in the US, but I digress..
It's not a tool that would be liked by the HN community, as hackers like flexibility and under-the-hood access.
Github's bias is based on the early adopter Ruby guys climbing on board quickly.
Surely a site can be created that uses somewhat objective measures based on jobs available, blog posts and tweet mentions etc to arrive at a more accurate composite score.
This is an interesting requirement because COBOL is used everywhere the kinds of people who make these indexes aren't looking. Finding ways to include it in a reasonable fashion will likely uncover uses of other languages that really are obscure, and that would be interesting.
Seems to me TIOBE is a good tool to show your boss to convince him/her that it's ok to use Ruby b/c it's gaining in popularity. (I wouldn't do that of course, I would instead state that obviously Python is more popular and we need to use that :-) )