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... you included zero words of explanation.

Indeed, and on purpose. Is programming more or less popular than it was in 2004? Based on that chart, you might expect that for every four people you knew programming in 2004, three of them have stopped. Maybe that's true, but it doesn't seem right to me.

If Google were the only way people found information, or if the we knew the right search queries to group together for a complete picture of what people searched for, or how many distinct people searched for tutorials, we might have a clearer picture. Alas, the world isn't what it was in 2004.

We don't even know the relative market share of various languages in 2004 versus today, nor absolute numbers, nor even the number of languages a polyglot knows to a competent extent, nor the overlap.

Please note I'm not saying that Perl has or hasn't lost marketshare in absolute or relative terms and I'm not suggesting that advocacy is or isn't needed. What I am saying is that I think we don't have an empirically measured context in which we can determine what needs to be done (if anything) or if our efforts will make a difference.

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