Pike is an interpreted, general-purpose, high-level, cross-platform, dynamic programming language, with a syntax similar to that of C. Unlike many other dynamic languages, Pike is both statically and dynamically typed, and requires explicit type definitions. It features a flexible type system that allows the rapid development and flexible code of dynamically typed languages, while still providing the benefits of a statically typed language.
Pike features garbage collection, advanced data types, and first-class anonymous functions, and supports many programming paradigms, including object-oriented, functional and imperative programming. Pike is free software, released under the GPL, LGPL and MPL licenses.
Pike has its roots in LPC, which was a language developed for MUDs. Programmers at Lysator in Linköping, Sweden, most notably Fredrik Hübinette and Per Hedbor, separated the language and virtual machine from the rest of the MUD driver, and used it as a rapid prototyping language for various applications. LPC's license did not allow use for commercial purposes, and so a new GPL implementation was written in 1994, called µLPC (micro LPC). In 1996, µLPC was renamed to Pike in order to provide a more commercially viable name. Although the name of the company has changed over the years, the company now known as Roxen Internet Software employed many Pike developers, and provided resources for Pike's development. In 2002, the programming environment laboratory at Linköping University took over maintenance of Pike from Roxen. Several Pike programmers have found their way to the Linköping office of Opera Software, where the language plays a central role in the server/gateway parts of the Opera Mini application.
This team takes a specific interest in packaging and caring for the pike programming language, packaging applications programmed in pike, and triaging pike related bugs.