Rob Pike

From Academic Kids

Rob 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 and Inferno operating systems.

He also worked on 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 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 putting the faces of authors in internal email.

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

Pike, a Canadian citizen, currently works for Google.

Quotes

  • "Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad." - circa 1991
  • "Object-oriented design is the roman numerals of computing."
  • "I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck." - on the X Window System
  • "Those days are dead and gone and the eulogy was delivered by Perl." - on Unix Tradition in Slashdot interview (http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/10/18/1153211)

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