Lee Daniel Crocker (born July 3, 1963) is an American computer programmer and poker player. He is best known for rewriting the software on which Wikipedia runs, to address scalability problems. This software, originally known as “Phase III”, went live in July 2002 and became the foundation of what is now called MediaWiki . MediaWiki’s code repository was still named “phase3” until the move from Subversion to Git in March 2012.

It was involved in the creation of the GIF , JPEG , and PNG image file formats, and appeared as a co-author of the PNG specification. He invented the per-scanline variable pre-filtering compression method used by PNG, the sum-of-abs heuristic used by many encoding programs, [1] and proposed an early version of the Adam7 algorithm , using 5 passes rather than 7. Citation needed ] In 1998, he was one of the original creators of the Transhumanist Declaration. [2] As of 1999, he was a member of the Extropians ‘ futurist society. [3]

In June 2010, Crocker and others won the USENIX Advanced Computing Technical Association (STUG) for contributions to the Wikipedia software.


  1. Jump up^ Friedland, Gerald; Jain, Ramesh (July 28, 2014). Multimedia Computing . Cambridge University Press . p. 151. ISBN  0521764513 .
  2. Jump up^ More, Max; Vita-More, Natasha (March 5, 2013). “Transhumanist Declaration 2012”. The Transhumanist Reader: Classics and Contemporary Essays on Science, Technology and Philosophy of the Human Future . John Wiley & Sons . ISBN  1118555996 .
  3. Jump up^ Brin, David (1999). The Transparent Society . Basic Books. p. 102.

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