[thelist] FUN: How widely used is each web technology?

Stuart Young syoung at unitec.ac.nz
Tue Jun 14 19:50:36 CDT 2005

"Jeff Howden" wrote:
> I agree that this is a completely bogus method for
> determining popularity of web technologies.

Yes, fair enough you are right about not comparing like with like, but the technique does have merit if you make sure you compare like with like, so if both terms were not a file extension, and not a normal word then they could be compared. I admit that how I presented it doesn't compare like with like, and indeed, before I published it I removed OWL and SOAP because they are mainly real words. Anyways, note my subject line, the FUN prefix was meant to show that I don't take this seriously - the idea is to be provocative so that my students will hopefully spot the same flaws that you and Ken did.

However I also note some changes in Google today!

"PHP" today gives 332,000,000 not 242,000,000 and
"ASP" today gives 323,000,000 not 269,000,000

and then running the classic 'identify the Google dance' technique of appending a NOT random string to the search gives the old results, so 

"PHP -fdjngdabfdkhasj" gives 245,000,000
"ASP -fdjngdabfdkhasj" gives 271,000,000


(please don't make me document the classic 'identify the Google dance' technique - it is well known)

So all in all, the fact that Google can't make up its mind what the correct figure is gives this technique even less validity!


> From: Ken Schaefer
> So, if we google for common file extensions, that might
> give us an indication of the popularity of that
> technology, but hardly anyone gives their files
> "ColdFusion" as an extension, or "VBScript", so
> searching for those terms alongside PHP or ASP isn't
> going to give us meaningful data to compare. A 
> search for CF however returned ~21 million hits,
> which may give some indication of the popularity of
> Cold Fusion (though it also seems to encompass Cystic
> Fibrosis and Compact Flash amongst other topics)

Dr Stuart Young,       	+64 (0)9-815 4321 x 8656
<syoung at unitec.ac.nz> 	+64 021 183 2846 (mob)
Lecturer, School of Computing and Information Technology,
Unitec New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand
(the official URL for my staffpage is too long and complex)
Web development, graphic design and photography

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