Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Microsoft’s C# programming language gains top billing as best language for 2012, according to a new ranking of programming languages.

Microsoft's C# programming language earned the rank of the No. 1 programming language of 2012,  the PYPL PopularitY of Programming Language index revealed.
According to the PYPL index, C# had the biggest growth in 2012, rising more than 2.3 percent, by far the biggest growth of any language over the past year, surpassing Java, PHP and C++.
Moreover, while the popular TIOBE Index looks at Objective-C as a language of the year candidate, the PYPL index goes with C#.
"The TIOBE Programming Community Index has it wrong: C# is the language of the year, not Objective-C," said a post on the PYPL Web page. "Indeed, according to the PYPL index, C# had the biggest growth in popularity this year: +2.3%. Over a five-year period, Python is the language whose popularity is growing the fastest; it is already the second most popular in the U.S."
The PYPL index is based on data from Google Trends, which measures search volume, and the results are based on the relative number of searches for programming tutorials in the given language. The PYPL index is created by analyzing how often language tutorials are searched on Google—the more a specific language tutorial is searched, the more popular the language is assumed to be. It is a leading indicator. And as the raw data comes from Google Trends, anyone can verify it, or make the analysis for their own country.
Also, according to the PYPL index, Java and JavaScript are fairly stable, the growth of C# comes at the expense of C and Basic, and the growth of Python is at the expense of Perl.
In December, TIOBE reported that Objective-C was on its way to repeat as its "language of the year." According to a statement on the TIOBE Website at the time, "There is only 1 month left before TIOBE will announce the programming language of the year 2012. Objective-C continues to rise. Other mobile phone application languages such as C, C++ and Java are rising, too, but not fast enough to compete seriously with Objective-C. In fact it seems that if you are not in the mobile phone market you are losing ground."
At the same time in December, Xamarin announced Xamarin.Mac, a new tool that enables developers to use C# to build self-contained Mac OS X apps suitable for publication in the Mac App Store. With the release of Xamarin.Mac, it is now possible to build apps in C# for more than 2.2 billion devices worldwide, comprising 1.2 billion Windows devices and, using Xamarin, 1 billionAndroid, iOS, and Mac devices.
For December, Objective-C, which is commonly used to build iOS and Mac OS apps, ranked No. 3 and C# ranked No. 5 on the TIOBE Index of the most popular programming languages. C was ranked first, Java second and C++ fourth in that list. For January 2012, the PYPL index ranked Java No. 1, PHP second, C# and C++ tied for third, and the C language was next at fifth.
Meanwhile, in a Jan. 2 blog post, Nat Friedman, CEO of Xamarin, listed several reasons why he believes C# is the best language for mobile development. "What accounts for the growth of C# in 2012?" Friedman asked. "Well, the launch of Windows 8 has probably played a role—C# remains the dominant language of third-party application development on Windows devices." He then went on to list eight reasons why C# is good for mobile development, including its reliability, ease of adoption, fast execution and portability, among others.

Friday, 8 February 2013

How Indian companies can change the future of research

Collaboration between companies and campuses has been cemented under the National Functional Knowledge Hub project. And L&T heads the first knowledge hub that has come up in the country — in Mumbai. Five engineering colleges and six companies in the capital goods sector have come together to ensure that students get to work at the companies and gain hands-on experience.

The students can walk into the companies situated around their colleges to work on cutting-edge research in areas such as product design and also interact with the industry so that they get a sense of the kind of domain expertise they need to achieve. "As things stand, there is a huge disconnect between the needs of the industry and the syllabus and the only way out is for the students to get a feel of the real world," says M Ananda krishnan, governor of IIT-Kanpur board, who was associated with the knowledge hub project during its early days.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) started the knowledge hub programme and has planned five such regional hubs in the country to facilitate industry-academia linkages. "These programmes help the institutions to expose their students to the cutting-edge demands of their industry. It also helps companies find solutions through the research work done at these campuses," says Shobha Mishra Ghosh, head of education at Ficci.

SOS to Private Sector

Although IITs and a few top-notch institutions exist in India, many of the new colleges that have come up in the past 20 years lack necessary infrastructure. At the same time, research bodies too have lost touch with the needs of the country and the industry and cater to a programme that runs on churning out PhDs instead of working on innovations. The absence of a dependable and equipped higher education system in the country and a bureaucratic scientific tradition has thrown up a massive casualty: research.

Companies such as L&T, NIIT and Intel have realised that they cannot rely on the university system alone in India to supply engineers who are ready for the real world and have started collaborating with premier institutions in the country. This is why the corporate sector has begun to take an interest in education and research.

Apart from companies, the government also appears to be convinced that the private sector can play a huge role in research. This is the reason why, after having extended invitations under the public private partnership (PPP) route to the industry to collaborate on building roads, airports, railways and water, the government sees a huge role for the private sector in research and development (R&D) as well. The new science, technology and innovation policy, released by the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, earlier this month, is a reflection of this thought.

The new policy seeks to give room to the private sector to set up research facilities and to fund research on a 1:1 basis. As of now government bodies spend two-thirds of the total expenditure on research. The policy also states that the government would follow up with incentives for companies who want to get into research.