The venerable, close-to-the-metal C language has enjoyed a reversal of fortune in the Tiobe language popularity index, emerging as a candidate for the index’s top gainer this year after sustaining its record low just four months ago.

Although still in second place in this month’s index behind Java, C—with its 10.158 percent rating—has jumped nearly four percentage points since August, when it sustained an all-time low of 6.477 percent. (Java also had an all-time low that month of 12.961 percent.) C’s rating also has increased 1.43 points compared to December 2016. Tiobe, which offers software quality services, attributes C’s rise this year to its usefulness in programming of small software devices and the increase of low-level software in the automotive industry, where C also has a stronghold.

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