Pieter Hintjens

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Pieter Hintjens
Pieter Hintjens at EuroPython2014.jpg
Born (1962-12-03) 3 December 1962 (age 53)
Nationality Belgian
Occupation CEO, software developer, author
Website hintjens.com

Pieter Hintjens (born 3 December 1962[1]) is a Belgian software developer, author, and past president of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), an association that fights against software patents. In 2007, he was nominated one of the "50 most influential people in IP" by Managing Intellectual Property magazine.

He was born in Congo and grew up in East Africa.[2]

He is the CEO and chief software designer for iMatix, a firm that has produced many free software applications, such as the ZeroMQ high performance message library, the OpenAMQ AMQP messaging service, Libero, GSL code generator, and the Xitami web server.[3]

He is active in open standards development, being the author of the original Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP), a founder of the Digital Standards Organization, and the editor of the RestMS web messaging protocol.[4] RestMS is developed using a peer-to-peer, share-alike, branch and merge model (COSS) developed by Hintjens and others for the Digital Standards Organization in 2008.[5]

He was CEO of Wikidot Inc., one of the fastest growing wikifarms, until February 2010.

In 2006, he started the CAPSoff campaign to reform the keyboard, starting with the removal of the Caps Lock key. He described this campaign as an example of an online campaign conducted entirely using free services like Wikidot and Google groups. Some new keyboards are starting to drop the Caps Lock key. In September 2006, he launched the "Million Dollar Keyboard" competition for the best keyboard design to do away with the Caps Lock key. It was funded by donations from the campaign's supporters and eventually raised €194.91.[6] The competition was won by Shai Coleman's "Colemak" keyboard layout.[7]

He was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in 2010, which was successfully surgically removed.[8] However, in April 2016, it returned and he was diagnosed with terminal cholangiocarcinoma.[9]


Pieter Hintjens is the founder of the ZeroMQ community. ZeroMQ is a high-performance asynchronous messaging library aimed at use in scalable distributed or concurrent applications. It follows a philosophy of Hintjens about large distributed dynamic systems, and empowers application developers in creating such code. In Nov 2013, Hintjens announced EdgeNet, a project building off ZeroMQ for mesh networks.[10] EdgeNet aims to build a fully secure, anonymous peer-to-peer Internet.[11] He is the main author of several ZeroMQ projects: CZMQ, zproto, and Malamute.


  • "Social Architecture", 2016[12]
  • "The Psychopath Code", 2015
  • "ZeroMQ: Messaging for Many Applications", O'Reilly Media, 2013
  • "Culture and Empire: Digital Revolution", 2013
  • "Code Connected Volume 1", 2013
  • "Scalable C", in progress [13]


In October 2007, he warned that after mortgages and consumer debt, patents were a third bubble waiting to damage the global economy, writing: "House prices fall and bad debt shakes the financial markets across the US and Europe. Bankers look nervously at their portfolios of consumer debt and mortgages. But some analysts say that it's patents, not houses or loans, that will tip the global financial market into crisis".[14]

He is the author of the Devil's Wiki, which defines patent as "A medieval economic tool by which politicians attempt to stimulate trade and wealth by banning innovation and competition in crucial areas of technology".[15]


  1. ^ "Pieter Hintjens". The Hintjens' Wiki. Retrieved 2 February 2007. 
  2. ^ "Pieter Hintjens - members.digistan.org". members.digistan.org. Retrieved 2016-09-17. 
  3. ^ "Welcome to iMatix". imatix-legacy.github.io. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  4. ^ RestMS.org, RestMS - a RESTful Messaging Service
  5. ^ "Consensus-Oriented Specification System". Digistan. 
  6. ^ Coleman, Shai (2007-12-17). "List of donations". Colemak website. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  7. ^ "Competition Results". CAPSoff.org. 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  8. ^ "Five Years, Five Wishes". 2015-12-10. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  9. ^ "A Protocol For Dying". 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-04-22. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ "Books by Pieter Hintjens - Hintjens.com". hintjens.com. Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  13. ^ "Scalable C (in progress) · GitBook". GitBook. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  14. ^ Digital Majority, Will the patent system trigger financial collapse in 2008?
  15. ^ "Patent". Devil's Wiki. 

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