Rob Pike

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Rob Pike
Rob Pike at OSCON 2010
Born1956 (age 66–67)
Alma mater
OccupationSoftware engineer
Known forPlan 9, UTF-8, Go
SpouseRenée French

Robert "Rob" Pike (born 1956) is a Canadian programmer and author. He is best known for his work on the Go programming language and 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 US patent 4,555,775.[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 faces of email authors.

Pike also appeared once on Late Night with David Letterman, as a technical assistant to the comedy duo Penn & Teller.

Pike worked at Google from 2002 to 2021 when he retired.[3] While at Google, he has been involved in the creation of the programming languages Go and Sawzall.[4]

Pike is married to author and illustrator Renée French; the couple live in both the US and Australia.[5]

See also[edit]

  • The plumber – the interprocess communications mechanism used in Plan 9 and Inferno
  • Mark V. Shaney – an artificial Usenet poster designed by Pike


  1. ^ "Dynamic generation and overlaying of graphic windows for multiple active program storage areas". Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  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. ^ Cox, Russ; Griesemer, Robert; Pike, Rob; Taylor, Ian Lance; Thompson, Ken (2022-04-01). "The Go programming language and environment". Communications of the ACM. 65 (5): 70–78. doi:10.1145/3488716. ISSN 0001-0782. S2CID 248385361.
  4. ^ Pike, Rob; Dorward, Sean; Griesemer, Robert; Quinlan, Sean (2005-01-01). "Interpreting the Data: Parallel Analysis with Sawzall". Scientific Programming. 13 (4): 227–298. doi:10.1155/2005/962135.
  5. ^ "Renee French – A River Runs Through It – Artist Interview". WOW x WOW. 27 July 2015.

External links[edit]