Leo A. Meyerovich and Ariel Rabkin. Empirical Analysis of Programming Language Adoption. OOPSLA ’13. 2013.
The following text is copied and slightly modified from the paper.
Some programming languages become widely popular while others fail to grow beyond their niche or disappear altogether. This paper uses survey methodology to identify the factors that lead to language adoption. Leo A. Meyerovich and Ariel Rabkin analyzed large datasets, including over 200,000 SourceForge projects, 590,000 projects tracked by Ohloh, and multiple surveys of 1,000-13,000 programmers. They report several prominent ﬁndings.