Rob Pike

Rob Pike

Robert C. Pike (born 1956) is a 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.

Over the years he has written many text editors; sam 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 "The Late Show with David Letterman", as a technical assistant to the comedy duo Penn and Teller.

As a joke Pike claimed to have won the 1980 Olympic silver medal in Archery; however, Canada boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics.

Pike, a Canadian citizen, is married to Renée French, and currently works for Google.


* "Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad." - circa 1991 [,+it%27s+starting+to+smell+really+bad%22&sourceid=firefox&sa=N&tab=wg]
* "Object-oriented design is the roman numerals of computing." - []
* "There's no such thing as a simple cache bug." []
* "Caches aren't architecture, they're just optimization." []
* "Sockets are the X windows of IO interfaces." []
* "Sometimes when you fill a vacuum, it still sucks." - on the X Window System []
* "Unix never says `please.'" []
* "Those days are dead and gone and the eulogy was delivered by Perl." [] - on one tool for one job
* "I started keeping a list of these annoyances but it got too long and depressing so I just learned to live with them again. We really are using a 1970s era operating system well past its sell-by date. We get a lot done, and we have fun, but let's face it, the fundamental design of Unix is older than many of the readers of Slashdot, while lots of different, great ideas about computing and networks have been developed in the last 30 years. Using Unix is the computing equivalent of listening only to music by David Cassidy." []

See also

*The Plan 9 from Bell Labs operating system.
*Acme: A User Interface for Programmers
*The Plumber
*The Sam text editor
*Mark V Shaney
*"The Unix Programming Environment" (1984 with Brian Kernighan)

External links

* [ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Unix Legacy] - Slides of his presentation at the commemoration of 1000000000 seconds of the Unix clock.
* [ Systems Software Research is Irrelevant] (aka utah2000) [ slides]
* [ Pike's personal homepage]
* [ Pike's Google homepage]
* [ Questions and Answers with Rob Pike] - by Robin "Roblimo" Miller (published in Slashdot in October 2004)
* [ Video: Concurrency/message passing Newsqueak] (Google Tech Talks May 9, 2007)
* [ Structural Regular Expressions by Rob Pike] .
* [ Blog]

NAME=Pike, Rob

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