The history of Pike

This is the story of the Pike language and how it came to be. Forged in the deep dungeons of a multi-player adventure game the language soon developed, later on providing the building blocks for as diverse applications as the webservers, multi media systems and biogenetic processing.

In the beginning, there was Adventure. Then a bunch of people decided to make multi-player adventure games. One of those people was Lars Pensjö at the Chalmers university in Gothenburg, Sweden. For his game he needed a simple, memory-efficient language, and thus LPC (Lars Pensjö C) was born. About a year later Fredrik Hübinette started playing one of these games and found that the language was the most easy-to-use language he had ever encountered. He liked the language so much that he started improving it and before long had made an own LPC dialect called LPC4.

Writing a new LPC interpreter

LPC4 was still geared towards writing adventure games, but was quite useful for writing other things as well. A major problem with LPC4 was the copyright. Since it was based on Lars Pensjö's code, it came with a license that did not allow it to be used for commercial gain. So in 1994, with financial backing from Signum Support AB, Fredrik started writing µLPC. It was a new but similar LPC interpreter which was released under GNU GPL.

µLPC becomes Pike

When µLPC became usable, InformationsVävarna AB started using it for their Web server. Before then, Roxen WebServer (then called Spinner) was non-commercial and written in LPC4. In 1996 Fredrik started working for InformationsVävarna developing µLPC for them. To get a more pronouncable and commercially viable name the language was renamed from µLPC to Pike. 

At InformationsVävarna (later to be renamed Idonex and finally(?) Roxen AB) Pike was further developed by Fredrik together with several of the other employees, most notably Per Hedbor, Henrik Grubbström, Martin Stjernholm, Pontus Hagland and Marcus Comstedt. Not only did they improve, extend and optimize the language itself, but a lot of new modules were added. Other notable module additions came from Honza Petrous and Francesco Chemolli. 

Pike gets academic attention

In the end of 2001, partly because of Roxens shifted focus from research and partly because of the high quality that Pike has attained, Roxen searched for a new maintainer for Pike. This call was answered by the programming environment laboratory at Linköping University, who overtook the maintenance responsibility for Pike in 2002.