According to O’Reilly’s latest report on the state of the computer book market focusing on programming books, Ruby has the definitive lead. Check out this treemap view – I believe it does not need too much additional explanation (The percentages reflect the relative book sale compared to 2006/Q1):
Now, I would not like to start a language war here at all – there is neither a need to draw zealous consequences from the Ruby camp nor to come up with explanation from proponents of other languages. The diagram shows that compared to the same period of 2006, there is the biggest demand for Ruby (and other Ruby-based/related) books currently – and nothing more. It does not tell anything about the number of people using the given language or related frameworks, job opportunities or the absolute market share – this is just a relative indicator based on the programming book market.
However, if you take a peek at the TIOBE index for May – entitled ‘Ruby’s growth comes to an end’ – you can see that Ruby is the fastest growing language at the moment (again, compared to the same period of 2006). If this is the ‘end of the growth’, then how does the growth look like?!
It is also interesting to check out this graph from TIOBE:
It tells me that starting from July 2006, none of the programming languages shows so big (and steady) growth than Ruby.
I don’t know based on what did the TIOBE guys come to the conclusion that Ruby is losing steam… I have talked to a few Ruby on Rails freelancers recently, and each of them confirmed independently that there is a bigger need for Ruby/Rails programmers than ever. Based on (not only) these data I would say quite the opposite is true: my personal feeling is that Ruby/Rails is just going to be a *lot* bigger than it is currently!