Rob Pike

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Rob Pike
Born 1956 (age 58–59)
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Software engineer
Employer Google
Known for Plan 9, UTF-8, Go
Spouse(s) Renée French

Robert Pike (born 1956) is a Canadian software engineer and author. He is best known for his work at Bell Labs, where he was a member of the Unix team and was involved in the creation of the Plan 9 from Bell Labs and Inferno operating systems, as well as the Limbo programming language.

He also co-developed the Blit graphical terminal for Unix; before that he wrote the first window system for Unix in 1981. Pike is the sole inventor named in AT&T's US patent 4,555,775 or "backing store patent" that is part of the X graphic system protocol and one of the first software patents.[1]

Over the years Pike has written many text editors; sam[2] and acme are the most well known and are still in active use and development.

Pike, with Brian Kernighan, is the co-author of The Practice of Programming and The Unix Programming Environment. With Ken Thompson he is the co-creator of UTF-8. Pike also developed lesser systems such as the vismon program for displaying images of faces of email authors.

Pike also appeared once on Late Night with David Letterman, as a technical assistant to the comedy duo Penn and Teller.[verification needed]

Pike is married to Renée French, and currently works for Google, where he is involved in the creation of the programming languages Go and Sawzall.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rob (2006-06-11). "Command Center". Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  2. ^ McIlroy, M. D. (1987). A Research Unix reader: annotated excerpts from the Programmer's Manual, 1971–1986 (PDF) (Technical report). CSTR. Bell Labs. 139. 
  3. ^ Pike, Rob; Dorward, Sean; Griesemer, Robert; Quinlan, Sean (2005-01-01). "Interpreting the Data: Parallel Analysis with Sawzall". Scientific Programming 13 (4): 227–298. 

External links[edit]