Rob Pike

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Rob C. Pike
Rob Pike at OSCON 2010
Born1956 (age 64–65)
Alma mater
  • University of Toronto (BS)
  • California Institute of Technology
OccupationSoftware engineer
Known forPlan 9, UTF-8, Go
Spouse(s)Renée French

Robert "Rob" C. 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 works for Google, where he is involved in the creation of the programming languages Go and Sawzall.[3]

Pike is married to author and illustrator Renée French; the couple live in both the US and Australia.[4]

See also

  • 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. ^ 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:.
  4. ^ "Renee French – A River Runs Through It – Artist Interview". WOW x WOW. 27 July 2015.

Edited: 2021-06-18 19:30:00