For a while now, I've been itching to find an excuse to something in SVG again, so when there were a couple of threads last week on Hacker News about people's most liked and most disliked languages, it felt like an ideal opportunity.
You can view a wider, more legible, version of the scatter plot via this link. I've used logarithmic scaling, as using a regular linear scale, there was just a huge mess in the bottom left corner.
'Like' votes are measured horizontally, 'dislikes' vertically - so the ideal place to be is low down on the right, and the worst is high up on the left. The results are as captured at 2012/03/28 - I'd taken a copy a couple of days earlier, and there had been some changes in the interim, but only by single-digit percentages.
Some thoughts and observations:
- The poll this data comes from is somewhat imperfect, as already mentioned in the comments in the thread itself. I should also point out that another poster on that thread also did a similar like vs dislike analysis, but I didn't see that post until I'd already started on this.
- HN is a very pro-Python place - just compare all the threads related to PyCon 2012 versus the lack of noise after most other conferences - so it's hardly surprising who the "winner" is in such a voter base. I do find it odd though that Python doesn't seem to have such a good showing in other corners of the HN world. e.g. of the (relatively few) HN London events I've been to, I don't recall hearing many (any?) of the speakers using Python for their projects/companies - whereas "losers" such as Java and PHP do get namechecked fairly often.
- I was tempted to do some sort of colour-coding by language type (interpreted vs compiled), age etc - but at initial glance, I don't see any real trends that might indicate why a certain school/group of languages do well or badly.