Robert C. 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 was the applicant for AT&T patent number 4555775 or "backing store patent" that is part of the X graphic system protocol. Pike was once a prominent proponent of software patents.
Over the years Pike 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 Late Night 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 is married to Renée French, and currently works for Google, where he was involved in the creation of the programming language Go.
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