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What are the best programming language visualizations?

by Breck Yunits

December 11, 2017 — I was looking to spruce up the walls with some interesting posters and found a few well designed visuals.

This poster by O'Reilly is well colored and looks great printed. It's big though. Visualizes 66 languages. Data stops at 2004.

GitHut's interactive visualization is fun to explore and contains relatively up to date information on language popularity. I printed a screenshot. Visualizes 49 languages. Data ends in 2014.

Exploring Data's D3 interactive visualization shows related languages and prints are available for purchase. Visualizes 1220 languages. Data up to 2014.

Sammet's chart is one of the first visualizations of the programming language landscape on record. I printed the image. Visualizes 167 languages. Published in 1972.

Sammet's book cover is a nice artistic visualization from the early days of programming. I printed the image. Visualizes 117 languages. Published in 1969.

Is there a great visualization I am missing? Submit a pull request.

Reproducibility Notes

This post currently has low reproducibility. I do not have an objective measure of "best". The data collection procedure employed consisted of ad hoc searches through programming books as well as web searches.

Data used in this article as csv:

title url howToPrint dataFrom languages preview
The History of Programming Languages PDF 2004 66 images/vis1.png
GitHut's visualization of Languages on GitHub Screenshot 2014 49 images/vis2.png
Exploring Data's D3 Language Visualization Purchase Screenshot 2014 1220 images/vis3.png
Jean Sammet's Language History Chart PNG 1972 167 images/vis4.png
Jean Sammet's Book Cover of Programming Languages JPG 1969 117 images/vis5.png

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