Request to add Harbour

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Kevin Carmody

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Mar 7, 2015, 2:06:12 AM3/7/15
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David, thanks for the Programming Language Popularity page -- it's a great resource.

I would like to recommend that you add Harbour ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harbour_%28software%29 ) to the list of languages.  Harbour is an open source, cross platform, general purpose desktop application development language.

Harbour started out as an open source clone of Clipper ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_%28programming_language%29 ).  If you are over the age of 40, you probably remember that Clipper was a popular compiler for dBase III ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBase ) in the late 80s and early 90s for DOS database applications.

Harbour, Clipper, and dBase are all Xbase languages ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XBase ). Xbase languages all have same source file extension, .prg, which can make it tricky to determine which Xbase dialect a given file belongs to.  As far as I can tell, Harbour is the main Xbase dialect in current use.  Visual FoxPro (VFP) was another common Xbase language until 2009, when Microsoft stopped developing it.  Your site currently lists ActiveVFP, which is a web script port of VFP.

There are two main Harbour compilers, Harbour and a fork called xHarbour, which are almost completely compatible.  Harbour and xHarbour by themselves include only a console mode front end.  There are several GUI libraries for Harbour and xHarbour, such as HMG, Harbour MiniGui, and OOHG.  HMG is currently developing an HMG script which is analogous to ActiveVFP.

Since ActiveVFP is the only Xbase dialect you currently list, I did some research to compare it to Harbour, using the search criteria you describe on your home page.  I did manual searches instead of using the Google API.  Every search I tried yielded either  a much greater number of hits for Harbour, or in a few cases, no hits for either. On some measures, Harbour is about as popular as Lua, on other measures at the level of Lasso.  Below are results of my searches.

Google Search Results
Google search for <language name> programming
ActiveVFP 50,200 -- Harbour 542,000

Google Files Results
Google search for filetype:<language file extension>
ActiveVFP 3,010 -- Harbour 359,000
The top hits for Harbour, filetype:prg, are mostly HTML pages with extension .prg, or source code for other Xbase dialects.  But the HTML problem seems to happen with every file type, including C.

Craigslist
Google search for <language name> programmer -"job wanted" site:craigslist.org
ActiveVFP 1 -- Harbour 976
The top Harbour hits are for aquatic harbors rather than the Harbour language.  This problem occurs for any language whose name has a non-programming meaning, such as "assembly", "forth", "lisp".

Github
It's not clear how you searched this site.  I made two guesses.

Google search for <language name> site:github.com
ActiveVFP 7 -- Harbour 18,800

Github is a repository for Harbour source code (source code of the Harbour compiler, not source code written in Harbour).  The top Harbour results reflect development of the Harbour compiler but not Harbour applications.

Google search for filetype:<language file extension> site:github.com
ActiveVFP 0 -- Harbour 12,200

Top results include some Harbour but more Visual FoxPro.

Ohloh
Ohloh is now called OpenHub.  It's not clear how you searched this site.  I made two guesses.

Google search for <language name> site:openhub.net
ActiveVFP 65 -- Harbour 12,000

Openhub search for <language name>
ActiveVFP 3 -- Harbour 50

Lambda the Ultimate
It's not clear how you searched this site.  I made two guesses.

Google search for allintitle:<language name> site:lambda-the-ultimate.org
ActiveVFP 0 -- Harbour 0

Google search for <language name> site:lambda-the-ultimate.org
ActiveVFP 0 -- Harbour 0

programming.reddit.com
It's not clear how you searched this site.  I made a guess.
Google search for <language name> site:programming.reddit.com
ActiveVFP 0 -- Harbour 0

Slashdot
It's not clear how you searched this site.  I made a guess.
Google search for allintitle:<language name> site:slashdot.org
ActiveVFP 0 -- Harbour 23
All of these refer to aquatic harbours, not the Harbour language.

I think the reason Harbour does not show up in the above three discussion sites is that developers normally use several special Harbour discussion sites e.g. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/harbour-user

Thanks again for a very nice site.

Kevin


Andrew Solomon

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Mar 7, 2015, 2:38:53 AM3/7/15
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Hi Kevin

Thanks for sharing that. I've just added xBase to a survey on language popularity. I get the impression that the skill-set used in coding one xBase language is easily transferable to other xBase languages - am I right?


Andrew


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David Welton

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Mar 7, 2015, 2:49:54 AM3/7/15
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Hi,

Looks cool, but I'm not running langpop these days.

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Kevin Carmody

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Mar 9, 2015, 6:00:28 AM3/9/15
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Hi Andrew,

There is a wide range of compatibility between any two given xBase dialects.  Visual FoxPro and Harbour, for example, are descendants of products (FoxBase and Clipper) that diverged in the 80s, and are now hugely different.  XBase++ and Harbour are much closer, since they are both clones of Clipper and originated about 2000.  Harbour and xHarbour are virtually identical.

Many people using xBase languages have never even heard the term, since it is so broad and refers to remote ancestry.  Since the main two xBase languages in current use are Harbour and Visual FoxPro/ActiveVFP, I would recommend using these two instead of just xBase on your survey.

Kevin

Kevin Carmody

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Mar 9, 2015, 6:06:05 AM3/9/15
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Hi David,

Thanks for your quick reply.  Langpop is now placing #1 or #2 on Google searches for "programming language popularity", so it is clear there is still demand for the type of analysis you used to do.

Have you considered putting a notice on the Langpop home page that says you are no longer maintaining it and inviting someone to take it over?

Kevin

David Welton

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Mar 9, 2015, 6:10:38 AM3/9/15
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I actually sold it on, but they don't appear to have done much with
it. Too bad :-/
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