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Author Topic: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl  (Read 10319 times)

Webdrifter

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The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« on: August 19, 2020, 09:37:02 am »
Hello,

We all know that (one of) the main problem of Free Pascal is it's shortish of programmers that can maintain and develop the language, it's tools and its eco-system. And we all know this has all to do with it's popularity. Which has all to do with it's limited eco-system and it's pace of development. In short, Pascal (and by that we as a community) are in a catch 22 situation. 

I believe that Pascal can in the end only survive when we can break the catch 22. And that this is only possible by giving more attention in our strategy and putting more effort in attracting more programmers towards Pascal (preferable those from the Python community because Pascal already fulfills many of the needs they have).

Of course this should start with getting more attention from the programmers community as a whole.
Ranking in indexes like the TIOBE-index has everything to do with this.
It's just like in politics. People like to get on the bandwagon of fast growing parties, even when they are still small.

The TIOBE programming community index is a measure of popularity of programming languages, created and maintained by the TIOBE Company based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Maintainers specify that the TIOBE index is "not about the best programming language or the language in which most lines of code have been written", but do claim that the number of web pages may reflect the number of skilled engineers, courses and jobs worldwide.

See here the way they works: https://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/programming-languages-definition/

They deduct their rankings from the pages found in major search engines (mainly Google but not all language version off Google and thus forgetting counties like the Netherlands).

So to get a better ranking we can try to chance their policy and/or adept to it.....

For instance, they split the pascal community up into 2 languages:
-  Delphi/Object Pascal
-  Pascal

This splitting up results in the fact that they both end up with a lower ranking!!!

End guess what they don't even rate Free pascal. I asked them why.
The response is that Free Pascal is not defined in Wikipedia as a programming language but as a compiler.
And that the same count for Lazarus because it is defined as a development environment.

They also stated that explicitly for that purpose Delphi has changed the definition of Delphi in Wikipedia into:
"Delphi is a programming language and an integrated development environment".

By doing so they have effectively split up the Pascal community in the rankings (Which is dumb).
And page hits concerning their development environment are counted as hits for their language (Which is clever).

So what could we do?

Change the name(s) of "Free Pascal" and/or "Lazarus" ?

Change the definition(s) of "Free Pascal" and/or "Lazarus" in Wikipedia?

Have Delphi change it's definition in Wikipedia in a way that the split up in the Tiobe rankings get avoided?

At least it seems wise to start a discussion about this among ourselves and get into action in conference with Delphi and Tiobe representatives.

And of course we need an entire strategy and task-force to get us noticed better out there.....

Zoran

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2020, 10:33:15 am »
At least it seems wise to start a discussion about this among ourselves and get into action in conference with Delphi and Tiobe representatives.

There has been a long discussion about it.

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2020, 10:43:18 am »
OK. I'll read that.

In the meantime I had some extra contact with a Tiobe representative (Paul Jansen). He advised me to at least change the definition in Wikipedia on webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Pascal

It now says:
"Free Pascal Compiler (FPC) is a compiler for the closely related programming-language dialects Pascal and Object Pascal. It is free software released under the GNU General Public License, with exception clauses that allow static linking against its runtime libraries and packages for any purpose in combination with any other software license.

It supports its own Object Pascal dialect, as well as the dialects of several other Pascal family compilers to a certain extent, including those of Turbo Pascal, Delphi, and some historical Macintosh compilers. The dialect is selected on a per-unit (module) basis, and more than one dialect can be used per program."

It would like to advise to change it in:
"Free Pascal is modern dialect of the Pascal programming language (just as it's closely related "cousin" Delphi). The Free Pascal Compiler (FPC) compiles the closely related programming-language dialects Pascal and Object Pascal. It is free software released under the GNU General Public License, with exception clauses that allow static linking against its runtime libraries and packages for any purpose in combination with any other software license.

It supports its own Object Pascal dialect (Free Pascal), as well as the dialects of several other Pascal family compilers to a certain extent, including those of Turbo Pascal, Delphi, and some historical Macintosh compilers. The dialect is selected on a per-unit (module) basis, and more than one dialect can be used per program."

We also can and also have to do something about the split up into communities.

Because when we address Free Pascal as a language with it's own separate entry in Wikipedia it will also be counted in the Tiobe-index as separate language. We have to prevent this! For instance: Object Pascal and Delphi are separate entries in Wikipedia but they made a redirection in wikipedia from the term "Delphi programming language" towards the page "Object Pascal" in which they mentioned that Delphi stems from Object Pascal, together with a link to the "Delphi (Software)" page in Wikipedia. This makes it merge for Tiobe.

We should do the same (A redirection from "Free Pascal Programming language" towards the "Object Pascal" page. Make a link in the "Object Pascal' page towards our own "Free Pascal" page in Wikipedia . And also make links in our own "Free Pascal'page towards the "Delphi" en the "Object Pascal" page.

Next we should try to find a way to get the "Pascal (programming language)" page and the "Object Pascal" page merged, the same way.

Unfortunately this won't help us to not get the web pages for Lazarus included in our ranking.

But it is start.

PS: I won't make these changes in Wikipedia by myself, because I wish to leave this to the Pascal community and it's leaders. But when asked by them, I can see what I can do.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 10:46:04 am by Webdrifter »

Thaddy

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2020, 11:41:38 am »
Even that is not correct or do justice.
FreePascal is also ISO compliant.

PascalDragon

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2020, 01:17:49 pm »
It would like to advise to change it in:
"Free Pascal is modern dialect of the Pascal programming language (just as it's closely related "cousin" Delphi). The Free Pascal Compiler (FPC) compiles the closely related programming-language dialects Pascal and Object Pascal. It is free software released under the GNU General Public License, with exception clauses that allow static linking against its runtime libraries and packages for any purpose in combination with any other software license.

It supports its own Object Pascal dialect (Free Pascal), as well as the dialects of several other Pascal family compilers to a certain extent, including those of Turbo Pascal, Delphi, and some historical Macintosh compilers. The dialect is selected on a per-unit (module) basis, and more than one dialect can be used per program."

Free Pascal is not a dialect, it is a compiler. Period. If the Tiobe creators are too stubborn to realize that their approach is flawed then this is not our problem.

Unfortunately this won't help us to not get the web pages for Lazarus included in our ranking.

But it is start.

No, it is not. It's the approach used by Tiobe that is flawed.

440bx

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2020, 02:05:15 pm »
Free Pascal is not a dialect, it is a compiler. Period.
That's not really convincing.  Free Pascal is a compiler, no doubt about that.  It is a compiler for a dialect of Pascal, no doubt about that either.   Given those two facts, it seems quite reasonable to state that Free Pascal is a Pascal dialect (obviously a compiler for that specific dialect.)

If the Tiobe creators are too stubborn to realize that their approach is flawed then this is not our problem.
I certainly don't think that TIOBE's method of measuring the usage of Pascal is accurate but, their ranking can definitely influence the decision of which language a _new_ programmer wishes to learn.


FPC v3.0.4 and Lazarus 1.8.2 on Windows 7 64bit.

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2020, 02:33:22 pm »
I totally agree with 440bx. In the end it's all a matter of semantics. Of course we can be stubborn about it. but what would that do for the Pascal community we are all a part of. I believe it worth being savvy about it. We are developers. So why can't we be as creative in this as in our programming?

For instance why not call this the (Free) Pascal forum instead of the Lazarus forum? That would get us a lot of extra hits and thus extra "popularity" on the index. Of course Lazarus would remain a large part of the forum and we would also have to link from the Lazarus site to the forum.

End to get even more creative. I believe that Lazarus is THE most important reason for using Pascal at this moment. Even so Lazarus could be a great tool for Python programmers if only they could use it to code Python. For some it might even be enough if they could input Python even if it outputs Pascal code. That would not only bring them in contact with Pascal (Which is a language that could suit most Python programmers well), it would also create many extra hits towards the renamed  "Pascal" Forum.

And it would attach them with the Pascal community. Which would be great because many of them are scholars and academics with the knowledge and time to help enhance the Pascal eco-system.

And even more creative! How hang up are we with our sentiments on the name "Lazarus". Renaming it "Pascal" would greatly enhance the number of hits and automatically create a nice link in Wikipedia between our RAD and the Pascal language and thus also between Free Pascal and Pascal.

It's all about being creative... :D       
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 02:46:34 pm by Webdrifter »

Martin_fr

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2020, 03:20:46 pm »
Even so Lazarus could be a great tool for Python programmers if only they could use it to code Python. For some it might even be enough if they could input Python even if it outputs Pascal code.
Go ahead, write it as a package (or find someone who will, which I guess is what you are trying to do with this post). Then put it into the online package manager.

Quote
How hang up are we with our sentiments on the name "Lazarus".
VERY


Besides, if I google "Pascal" Lazarus is the 8th result

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2020, 03:45:02 pm »
At least it seems wise to start a discussion about this among ourselves and get into action in conference with Delphi and Tiobe representatives.

There has been a long discussion about it.

I have just finished reading the thread you suggested. And I read a lot of whining there, but very little positive creative contributions that could help the community. Are we all really getting that old? Because with an attitude like that we will be getting no further than dying out as a community together with us old-farts dying ourselves..... 

Webdrifter

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2020, 03:59:39 pm »
Even so Lazarus could be a great tool for Python programmers if only they could use it to code Python. For some it might even be enough if they could input Python even if it outputs Pascal code.
Go ahead, write it as a package (or find someone who will, which I guess is what you are trying to do with this post). Then put it into the online package manager.

Quote
How hang up are we with our sentiments on the name "Lazarus".
VERY


Besides, if I google "Pascal" Lazarus is the 8th result

- In no way was my intention as you suggest above. It was just an idea. It was truly only about hoping to get new blood into the community (for which we need ideas and not barriers on the road). Since that is the only thing that can make it flourish in a way that you all get a better pascal eco-system. I see it all as a means to a very important end (unless nobody cares about a better Pascal eco-system off-course).

- I understand how especially people like you will have their sentiments about things, but how far are you willing to go with that if it frustrates getting what you probably care for even more....

- I don't understand you remark on googling "pascal". Since clearly the problem is that people don't do that often enough, for one of the reasons being because they Google "Lazarus" instead.

_ I would greatly applaud ideas from your side, especially because in these quarter's your voice carries far (and rightly so I might add).


« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 04:08:41 pm by Webdrifter »

lainz

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2020, 06:00:27 pm »
I doubt any user can do nothing to increase the popularity of pascal, but some things can be
- Writing articles on how you use Pascal at work
- Making packages and put them on the Online Package Manager

At university I did not learn Pascal, but was previous knowledge. At university is teached C and Java, JavaScript in the last course I take this year.

So Pascal is not even being teached, there are paid courses that are 'learn free pascal'? Not books, but modern interactive courses with online tools.
https://lainz.github.io/
Download LazPaint https://lazpaint.github.io/
Download BGRABitmap and BGRAControls https://github.com/bgrabitmap

Handoko

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2020, 06:04:25 pm »
@Webdrifter

I appreciate you want to make Pascal eco-system better. I care and we all care because all of us here are using it. But the problem is not as simple as care or willingness.

I am not a member of the development team and I cannot represent the community. I just a hobbyist who use Pascal. I just want to say if you have any idea to make it better, just do it. No need to wait for the others.

Maybe you haven't known the community is currently lack of man power. The development team is not paid for developing it, they have their own life. They have family, kids and job. The documentation, especially the wiki need some massive work. And there is a long list of bugs in the bugtracker. As a not very skilled person here, not much help I can do. I can only spend some of my time answering newbies' questions in the forum.

You seem have many ideas. Some sound good. If you think that is the right thing to do, go ahead. About the Pascal-Python bridge, that is a nice thing. There were several discussions recently talking about it.

And you said you can improve the Wikipedia, that's great. I wish I can do it myself, unfortunately I can't. My English is not good enough for formal writing.

About the TIOBE, I heard some users here personally wrote to TIOBE explaining that they're wrong. If you can, you should do it too, to add some pressure to them.

I have a blog about graphics. I was thinking to add some Pascal graphics programming tutorials there. I'm working on it now.

Lets do what we can to make Pascal great.

Martin_fr

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2020, 07:14:57 pm »
Even so Lazarus could be a great tool for Python programmers if only they could use it to code Python. For some it might even be enough if they could input Python even if it outputs Pascal code.
Go ahead, write it as a package (or find someone who will, which I guess is what you are trying to do with this post). Then put it into the online package manager.

Quote
How hang up are we with our sentiments on the name "Lazarus".
VERY


Besides, if I google "Pascal" Lazarus is the 8th result

- In no way was my intention as you suggest above. It was just an idea. It was truly only about hoping to get new blood into the community (for which we need ideas and not barriers on the road). Since that is the only thing that can make it flourish in a way that you all get a better pascal eco-system. I see it all as a means to a very important end (unless nobody cares about a better Pascal eco-system off-course).

Which is absolutely fine. Great even.

The name part, is in the end a matter of opinion. I made mine clear. That is just my opinion, no idea what other team members think.

As for the rest, if I may, I expect that you did post that not merely as "nice to mention", but rather "seeking ways for actual achievement"

Now if something should be achived, there a small numbers of ways (Including combination of the below)
1) Do it yourself
2) Have someone else do it. That splits into
a) pay them
b) give them some other motivation (e.g. ask a  favour, if you are owed one)
c) pray and hope someone will just do it. (If no one has yet, and the idea is not completely revolutionary new, then the question begs why someone would do now, if they have not in the past.)
3) Lobbying (hoping for 2c)


Quote
- I understand how especially people like you will have their sentiments about things, but how far are you willing to go with that if it frustrates getting what you probably care for even more....
Well if this is about the name. It is not just my decision. Its for the team. My vote, if it came that far, is clear. Other than that I will do no lobbying, or other work to make it happen. But you are free (and welcome) to lobby for it, and try to reach us many people as you can.

As for the meaning of the name FPC / FreePascal => that is for the fpc team. (I am part of the Lazarus team)

As for other things (communicating with TIOBE, working on wikipedia, blogging, tweeting, or finding people who do so): I am fine if that happens. I have no objections to that. But I will not spent my time on it. (Not the reason why I joined the project, there are simply to many things, and I can only to some of them)

The last paragraph is kind of what prompted my previous reply: You need to find people that have time and willingness. Getting a better rank is good, and I guess no one will object.
My experience is that a sentence like "Something should be done" (in your case: add python), will lead to everyone thinking => great idea, wouldn't mind, wait for someone => and in the end no-one does it (this has happen countless times, but maybe you are more lucky)

So basically I wanted to say: According to my experience you need to put in more effort or it is not going to happen.
There are a lot of suggestions what could be added. Very few are picked up by existing contributors. Because those people are already flooded with work.

As for my suggestion "online package manager": Again my opinion. OPM can be added without the team needing to agree.
If you (assuming someone would be there to implement it) wanted it to be shipped with the default installer => needs team agreement.
As for, would I agree? Well maybe later, that is if it proves really popular on OPM, then maybe.
(Btw there is Pas2Js ... just to mention - its not impossible)


I am not saying your ideas can/should not happen. I am only pointing out what I have observed to happen to similar movements.
And it be a shame if this would go the same way....


Quote
- I don't understand you remark on googling "pascal". Since clearly the problem is that people don't do that often enough, for one of the reasons being because they Google "Lazarus" instead.
Sorry that was unclear....

About renaming Lazarus to include Pascal => I wanted to see, how much google already associates those terms.

Also adding the other way, if I search for "Lazarus", both the IDE and free pascal are in the top results. So google associates Lazarus<>Pascal.
Which may mean renaming, will not increase the amount of pages found.

Also
+"pascal progamming"  gives 185000 results
+"lazarusl progamming" 41000
reduce the overlaps, and renaming would maybe add 10k to 20k?

Compare that to the Millions of pages other language have, it wont do much of a difference.
Well, yes: every little helps.

But the point is, a lot more is needed, that a name change would bring (not to mention that many people associate the name, and could be lost if it changed).
Changing the name would be one of the most dramatic steps one could do (and still the gain would be so small....)
So IMHO that is certainly not a step that stand anywhere at the top of the list.


Quote

_ I would greatly applaud ideas from your side, especially because in these quarter's your voice carries far (and rightly so I might add).

Well the main issue is: We are programmers not publicists. (Even writing documentation could need extra help).

We have a twitter account, and a developer blog. But none of us, feels like writing anything there.

Anyone can create their own blog, twitter, facebook.
Follow the project:
- Interesting info here on the forum?
- svn commit that might be worth talking about (ask on the mail list, if the committer is willing to give you background, and then make a story of it)
- fpc / release notes
- just explore what exists, pick random features and write about them

If we can get a handful of active blogs/twitter (i.e. at least one or more posts per week, with interesting content) => I would guess that should attract people.

If you look at the fact that people retweet our (boring) "new release" tweets... Well imagine a well written twitter account.
Only, none of us has the time to do this. So find people who can.


Add to that: Better press releases.
One of the biggest German papers. https://www.heise.de/developer/meldung/Entwicklungsumgebung-Lazarus-2-0-fuehrt-Pascal-zu-JavaScript-Transpiler-ein-4303977.html
I do not know who mailed them. But I think the text is exactly what was mailed. They did not change it.
So if we had someone who does better press release announcements. And feeds them to more papers....


Anyway, it all needs more contributors (in that case not for code-writing, but article-writing).
So the question is: How to get them?

If you have time, you could start a blog, or pre-draft an announcement for a newspaper. Once you have something, if you ask who would be willing to work with you, that may attract more people (hopefully, I really do not know).


There may be many more ways.

My 2 cents.



« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 07:25:47 pm by Martin_fr »

Windsurfer

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2020, 09:56:12 pm »
I have a lot of sympathy for the seemingly revolutionary views expressed here. If a simple tweak to wikipedia could effect significant change to the situation, why not?

I switched a whole team from VB to Delphi when it first came out, and would have switched to Lazarus when it became available and stable had I still been managing a software team.

However, I did not discover fpc and Lazarus until the mid 90s. I suspect that this was partly to do with the name. IIRC fpc could be found when searching for pascal, but it did not then mention Lazarus. There was no way anyone used to RAD programming would want go backwards.

Had Lazarus had a tag added like 'Pascal RAD IDE' so that it always appeared as 'Lazarus - Pascal RAD IDE',  I and many others might have found it sooner, and search engines would also have found it.

Psychologists talk about reaction to change as following a sequence of Denial, Resistance, Exploration and Commitment. They also warn about it taking time.  Please keep thinking and talking about it.

marcov

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Re: The Ranking of Free Pascal in the Tiobe-indexl
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2020, 11:34:40 pm »
I have a lot of sympathy for the seemingly revolutionary views expressed here. If a simple tweak to wikipedia could effect significant change to the situation, why not?

But will it? Or might it not be so simple? If it is all that important, why doesn't the TIOBE guy maintain a few exceptions, and why did he change his algorithm wrt Pascal several times in the last 2 years?

Most likely it will just progress to the next artificial hurdle, and even if it wouldn't, it won't bring in the hordes, as it is only a minor additional decision maker.

Nice to have? Sure. But IMHO vastly overrated.  The same for SEO by name change, which are only temporary effects at best to an already known brand.  Maybe not perfect, but it might take years to get the new brands up in the search engine rankings.


 

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