This might be totally useless, but I wanted to join the league of people who use the Google chart API and the data dump to create pretty pictures.

So I took a look at the relative sizes of the "communities" on the site, i.e. the numbers of users who are active in certain tags, and also how much the communities overlap. A user is considered a member of a tag's community if they have at least three questions or answers in the tag. Quality (i.e. post scores) doesn't count; this is solely about the number of users.


what's with pyqt? the center is where the flame wars start so, what exactly is the performance of a secure sql-server? this is from the April datadump -- there'll be more unicorns in May

Thoughts? Any three-combinations you'd like to see?

"The three C's" as per Koper's request and the three ancients for Pollyanna:

it's just a letter yep, it's not a lot

You can see additional graphs as requested by other users below. Note that this is several years old (and I have long stopped updating this).

  • 4
    The three C's: [C#, c++, c] – Thomas Bonini Jan 22 '10 at 12:17
  • Cobol, fortran, and lisp, please. – Pollyanna Jan 22 '10 at 13:38
  • 22
    How about C# vs. Java and Objective C? – alex Jan 22 '10 at 14:00
  • 22
    Not a single person knows fortran lisp and cobol?! – Sam152 Jan 22 '10 at 15:58
  • 3
    No single user has submitted an answer in all three tags. Given the rarity of such questions, I suspect it's more an issue of timing when they are around rather than no user exists on SO that couldn't answer all three. However, you can fix this - go answer one of each of the questions, and ask him to re-run his graph on the next data dump... – Pollyanna Jan 22 '10 at 17:10
  • @Pollyanna: It has to be at least three, which proves your point even more so. There's some overlap when I decrease the threshold to 1. – balpha Jan 22 '10 at 17:14
  • No one with good ideas for SU or SF? – balpha Jan 22 '10 at 17:22
  • @balpha - Ah, yes, I forgot about the minimum of three. Hmm, ideas for SU and SF... – Pollyanna Jan 22 '10 at 21:11
  • 1
    I agree, Objective-C would be nice to see in the same graph as the Three Big C's. (Can the script not do 4?) It would be humbling, kind of like stepping into the Ultimate Perspective Vortex... ;-) – Quinn Taylor Jan 22 '10 at 22:59
  • very cool, any chance you could either release the source or put it up on app engine or something? – cobbal Jan 23 '10 at 0:35
  • ASP, JSP, PHP.... Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer – scunliffe Jan 23 '10 at 4:25
  • @Quinn: The script will do 4 without a problem, but the google chart API won't. – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 9:42
  • @cobbal re source: There's no black magic involved; I just query the stuff from the data dump as described. I could put it somewhere, but you'll probably be faster writing it yourself than reading my code ;) I'll see what I'll do. Re app engine: See my comment on Adrian's answer meta.stackexchange.com/questions/36683 – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 9:46
  • 1
    "@Quinn: The script will do 4 without a problem, but the google chart API won't." I b believe it goes deeper than that: that generally you can only do N+1 sets in a N dimensional representation. Have to think about it. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Feb 4 '10 at 22:20
  • 3
    @dmckee: Even deeper than that. In general, you can do more, but only if you use other shapes than circles (see the canonical en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venn_diagram for example pictures). Staying with circles, you can actually only do two in general. Look at chart.apis.google.com/… -- every adult is either male or female, but this is impossible to show with circles. Google does its best, but for these corner cases, it has to fail. – balpha Feb 5 '10 at 6:45

41 Answers 41


That's great!

Here's one for:

  • Django
  • Ruby on Rails

probably looks a lot like the ruby-python-c# graph

  • thanks ! -character limit- – marcgg Jan 22 '10 at 15:17

Here's one for:

  • subjective
  • not-programming-related
  • fun

Just so we can see if the same bunch of people is responsible for all the screwing around. ;)

alt text

  • 9
    note that all funny non-programmers are also subjective – balpha Jan 22 '10 at 17:39
  • 6
    Thanks! BTW, love the diagram title! – gnostradamus Jan 22 '10 at 17:45
  • 4
    not-programming-related is often slapped on posts when users don't know to flag/vote to close; I wish it could be banned. – Ether Jan 22 '10 at 18:39
  • Interesting graph, this one. – Daniel C. Sobral Jan 23 '10 at 1:04

Scripting languages.... fight!

perl vs python vs ruby

alt text alt text

  • Add shell, then. – Daniel C. Sobral Jan 23 '10 at 0:58
  • 8
    Wow, never shall the powershell and applescript groups meet. – C. Ross Jan 26 '10 at 21:16

For alex:

alt text

  • 2
    Thanks! The objective c community is larger than expected. I wonder if the iPhone has anything to do with it. – alex Jan 22 '10 at 14:32
  • I like that I (should be) in a very tiny sliver of this Venn -- the Obj-C/C# overlap. :) – John Rudy Jan 22 '10 at 14:35

PHP Javascript and HTML Anyone?

I bet it will just be a single circle :)

Well … almost:

alt text alt text

  • 4
    More like CSS JS HTML – marcgg Jan 22 '10 at 15:43


Windows, Linux, Macosx

Apache, IIS

MySQL, Oracle, SQL-Server


alt text alt text


Windows, Linux, OSX

Harddrive, video, ram

Monitor, Multiple-monitors, remote-desktop

Firefox, google-chrome, ie


alt text alt text

  • 2
    Thanks for some non-SO content :-) – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 9:08
  • Thanks for the graphs! Very interesting! – Pollyanna Jan 23 '10 at 14:54
  • +1 just for thinking of changing the colour scheme! – MPelletier Apr 13 '10 at 2:01

The JVM languages:

  1. Java
  2. Scala
  3. Clojure
  4. Groovy

Limiting to three is hard. Leave Java out, I guess.

Then the following, perhaps with either Java or the biggest community from above.

  1. JRuby
  2. Jython

Finally, the following two, with either Clojure or Scala.

  1. Haskell
  2. Erlang

alt text alt text alt text



How about RIA technologies?

Silverlight vs Flash vs Air

alt text


Here's a few I found interesting:

alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text


Is it possible to do a "starts with" on these?

If so, to clarify a slice in alex's request, I'd like to see an [objective-c]/[iphone-*]/[cocoa] breakout.

Your wish is my command:

it's all about that iThingadongdong

  • It would be nice. – alex Jan 22 '10 at 14:40
  • 2
    So objective c would be almost absent on SO without iPhone? – alex Jan 22 '10 at 15:39
  • 1
    @alex - Not necessarily, but almost all people knowing objective c are concerned about iphone, according to the protocol here and this graph – Gnoupi Jan 22 '10 at 15:46
  • @balpha: W O W. Thanks! – John Rudy Jan 22 '10 at 15:52
  • Oh my. This is the best of the graphs. – An̲̳̳drew Jan 23 '10 at 0:34

My third and probably last request :P

jquery and javascript

I threw in IE to have a third one:

alt text


Very cool. How about...

  1. security & cryptography & C# (for size comparison)
  2. WPF & silverlight & Winforms

alt text alt text

  • got a third one for WPF? Google only does 3-part venn diagrams. – balpha Jan 22 '10 at 16:56
  • 1
    @balpha - winforms? – ChrisF Jan 22 '10 at 16:58
  • 3
    I find it interesting that so many people in crypto are also in C#. I would have expected a much lower percentage. – Tom Ritter Jan 22 '10 at 17:10
  • Interesting that wpf appears to be as popular as winforms. – Joel Coehoorn Jan 22 '10 at 23:02
  • 1
    Well, "popular" is a bit misleading here. It's more about Questions asked. I'm making an unjustified, general, non-scientific, subjective statement: The popularity/usage of WinForms is much much higher, but WPF being such a different technology requires relatively much more questions than the rather straight forward WinForms. – Michael Stum Jan 24 '10 at 6:22

haskell lisp f#

C++ Java C#


thanks man!

alt text alt text


[Apple] vs. [Google] vs. [Microsoft]

alt text alt text alt text

  • On what site?`` – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 9:32
  • Okay, I did all three. But note that those aren't good community size measuring tags. – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 10:31
  • Wow... no intersection... – Daniel C. Sobral Jan 23 '10 at 15:54
  • 4
    @Daniel - small sample size. – Michael Petrotta Jan 23 '10 at 22:12

Great idea!

C#, ASP.NET, WinForms

alt text

  • interesting that more than half the winforms questions also involve asp.net – Joel Coehoorn Jan 22 '10 at 23:03
  • 2
    These are users active in the different tags, not questions in multiple tags. This shows us that many people who are active in the winforms tag are also active in the asp.net tag. – Chris Lieb Jan 22 '10 at 23:20

how about:



alt text alt text

  • 1
    sweet charts, balpha! thanks. – John Ferguson Jan 24 '10 at 1:24
  • I was waiting to see one with c# and vb.net. – Bratch Feb 12 '10 at 0:42


alt text

  • I didn't expect it to be bigger. Is that representative, or just the general MS bias as both Joel and Jeff use MS languages, I wonder? – Macha Feb 13 '10 at 22:36

How about databases/platforms

C#|VB.NET|.NET, Sql Server, Oracle

Java, Oracle, Sql Server

C++, Oracle, Sql Server

C#, Java, Sql Server

C#, Java, Oracle

PHP, Oracle, MySQL

(I think C# should be C# or VB.NET or .NET, I don't know about java)

MySQl, Oracle, Sql Server (on stackoverflow, as a control for the above)

Sorry for the color mixup, but with all those wishes, it was pretty hard to keep a consistent ordering:

alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text alt text

  • 1
    That's a neat idea! The last one (for SF, though) is already done, see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/36590/… – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 18:17
  • @balpha I was thinking of it for stack overflow – Ian Ringrose Jan 23 '10 at 18:19
  • thanks, so mysql goes with php most of the time but java does not seem to go with oracle (not what I was expecting), it looks like more oracle people are using .net than java. – Ian Ringrose Jan 24 '10 at 18:41

Most popular js libraries (according to tag counts on SO)

  • jQuery
  • Prototype
  • Dojo

redhat flavors (on SF)

  • redhat
  • fedora
  • centos

I was gonna suggest ubuntu variants (kubuntu, xubuntu, etc) but other than ubuntu those tags are pretty scarce.

alt text alt text

  • 3
    There are four (4) users in the intersection of all three JS libraries, including cletus and Mister "The <center> cannot hold" bobince. – balpha Jan 24 '10 at 9:41

I'd quite like to see the overlap of users between the sites - who's active on SO, SF & SU (and meta?) generally, not in particular tags. Given that over all of recorded history this might be quite large, perhaps restrict it to the last week/month/quarter.

| improve this answer | |
  • The data dump doesn't include account associations, so there's no good way to cross-reference users between sites. Meta isn't in the data dump at all. – balpha Jan 22 '10 at 13:54
  • Sounds like Stu needs an update: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/18737/… @bal – random Jan 22 '10 at 14:40
  • This is what I thought the question was about when I read the title... – DisgruntledGoat Jan 23 '10 at 21:47

How about Android, iPhone, Windows-Mobile

alt text


Windows automation languages (on Stack Overflow and Server Fault):

  • PowerShell
  • VBScript
  • Batch

Note: If you notices discrepancies regarding the numbers for previously posted graphs and these ones, that's because these two are the first graphs based on the February 2010 data dump.

alt text alt text


Seriously, it doesn't look like it would be very hard to write a small web utility that let people put in their own choice of 2+ tags and have this auto-generated, instead of having this flood of requests. Show me the link to the data dump and I'll do it.

This could be a lot of fun and an interesting new use for SO.

EDIT: Ah, found it. I'll see what I can whip up :) Any other suggestions for types of charts that people would want?

| improve this answer | |
  • No, it's probably not very hard. I just didn't feel like optimizing for a web-app kind of situation (You'll either have a lot of preprocessing, or restrict the requests to certain tags, or be too slow for real-time response). – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 9:21
  • Also, I didn't expect Jeff to tweet this -- It pushed the number of requests quite a bit. twitter.com/codinghorror/status/8087621756 – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 9:55
  • Where did you find it? – Albert Nov 20 '10 at 16:31

I'd love to see Apache, nginx, lighttpd. Thanks.

alt text

  • How about add IIS? – abatishchev Sep 28 '10 at 10:14

I'd like to follow up this with a comparison relative to Java. So, picking Java, the largest jvm language (apparently), and the smallest jvm language (of those I listed):

  1. Java
  2. Scala
  3. jRuby

It almost makes you feel sorry:

alt text

  • Hhehehehe... I loved it! :-) Mind you, I'm a fan of Scala, but I'm working under no delusions. :-) – Daniel C. Sobral Jan 25 '10 at 13:42

Since I'm curious about the relative community sizes:

  • matlab
  • java
  • .net

alt text


How about some size/overlap comparisons of managed languages on JVM and .NET?

For the JVM, how about: java, scala, clojure, rhino, jruby, jython.

For .NET: c#, f#, ironpython, powershell, boo, nemerle.

(I ask rather greedily, as it'd be cool to put in my slides when talking about Scala next month.)

alt text alt text

  • I suggested something similar. But Groovy must appear in any JVM language comparison. – Daniel C. Sobral Jan 23 '10 at 0:58
  • see Daniel's answer for more JVM stuff: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/36590/… Also, c# is too big and nemerle is too small in relationship to the other .net ones. – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 10:24

Can you do ORs?

css || html || javascript || web-development plus c || c++

alt text

  • Not yet, maybe later. I still need a third one, though. – balpha Jan 22 '10 at 17:06
  • How about java || .net for the third one? – Macha Jan 23 '10 at 13:01
  • Note that a user who has exactly one post in each of [css], [html], and [javascript] tags, has three posts in the combined tag soup and is thus considered part of the community. – balpha Jan 23 '10 at 17:16

As someone in the unfortunate position of programming in ColdFusion, I'd like to see these tags compared:

  • coldfusion
  • php
  • asp

alt text

  • There you go (or did you mean asp.net?) – balpha Jan 25 '10 at 15:53
  • @balpha: not sure really, i was just throwing out a third option. php and coldfusion are the only webapp environments i use. thanks! – Kip Jan 25 '10 at 18:58

Game development related:

  • game-development
  • opengl
  • directx

alt text

  • Thanks! Well, I'm surprised they're not more inclusive of game-dev. – MPelletier Apr 13 '10 at 13:36

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