Magnus Manske

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Magnus Manske
Magnus Manske.png
Magnus Manske in 2012
Born Heinrich Magnus Manske
(1974-05-24) May 24, 1974 (age 41)
Nationality German
Alma mater University of Cologne
Thesis GENtle, a free multi-purpose molecular biology tool (2006)
Doctoral advisor
  • Helmut W. Klein
  • Sabine Waffenschmidt[2]
Known for

Heinrich Magnus Manske (born 24 May 1974 in Cologne) is a Senior Staff Scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK[1][3][4][5][6] and a software developer of one of the first versions of the MediaWiki software.[7]


Manske studied biochemistry at the University of Cologne and graduated in 2006 with a PhD; his dissertation was an open source tool for molecular biology called GENtle.[2][8]


As a student Manske was one of the first contributors to the Internet encyclopedia Nupedia, the precursor to Wikipedia, and later wrote one of the first versions of the MediaWiki software that Wikipedia runs on.[9] Manske has worked in Cambridge with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute since April 2007,[10][11][12][13][14] but remains active in the development of tools for Wikipedia.[15]

In 2012, Manske was co-author on a paper published in Nature that demonstrated new ways to identify areas where malaria parasites are evolving, and described techniques for mapping malarial drug resistance. The researchers developed a technique to extract the malaria parasite DNA directly from the blood, which minimizes errors in sequencing.[10][16]

Development of MediaWiki[edit]

As a student, Manske was one of the most active contributors to the Nupedia project,[17] submitting content on biology topics[9] and developing tools and extensions for Nupedia.[18] Later, unhappy with the existing software's limitations,[17] Manske developed one of the first versions of what later became MediaWiki.[18][19] His new version of the software was installed in 2002.[17]

The wiki software that was initially used for Wikipedia was called UseModWiki and was written in Perl. With issues of scale starting to present themselves as Wikipedia grew, in the summer of 2001, Manske started work on a replacement for UseModWiki, that would be database-backed and would contain "wikipedia-specific features."[20] On January 25, 2002, Manske released the first version of a MySQL-based PHP wiki engine, called Phase II.[21] One innovation implemented by Manske in Phase II was the use of namespaces in order to separate different types of pages, such as the "Talk" or "User" namespace, which distinguished it from older Wiki software which didn't have different namespaces.[20] Phase II also introduced a number of other features which are still present, including file upload, watchlists, automatic signatures, and user contributions list.[22][23] Manske's re-write also made it easier to integrate photographs in Wikipedia articles, and created a new user group: administrators empowered to delete pages and block vandals.[17][24]

Manske was an adherent of open source and specifically the GPL license, and his work on the early versions of MediaWiki was released under the GPL license.[25]

Manske's Phase II software encountered load issues as Wikipedia continued to grow, so Lee Daniel Crocker did another re-write, which led to phase III, which was used from June 2002 and from 2003 onwards was called "MediaWiki".[21] The resultant MediaWiki software is now used as the core platform for both Wikipedia and many Wikimedia sister projects, as well as in many organizations and institutions.

Manske continued to develop tools and extensions for MediaWiki, including tools to map category membership, compute category intersections, and import images from Flickr to Commons.[26][27] Manske also developed the Cite extension which brought an XML-like syntax to citation management.[28]


Manske is recognized as the creator of the first article in the German Wikipedia, which was on the Polymerase chain reaction, first written by him in 2001.[29][30][31]

Jimmy Wales in 2002 named January 25 as Magnus Manske day in honor of his contributions to Wikipedia, proclaiming that "Tonight at dinner, every Wikipedian should say a toast to Magnus and his many inventions."[32] Larry Sanger, in his memoir on the early history of Wikipedia, highlighted the contributions of Manske to the project and attributes the eventual success of Wikipedia to a core group of actors, with Manske playing an important role:

Wikipedia started with a handful of people, many from Nupedia. The influence of Nupedians was crucial early on. I think, especially, of the tireless Magnus Manske (who worked on the software for both projects), our resident stickler Ruth Ifcher, and the very smart poker-playing programmer Lee Daniel Crocker—to name a few...Still, because the project started with these good people, and we were able to adopt, explain, and promote good habits and policies to newer people, the Nupedian roots of the project helped to develop a robust, functional and successful community.[33]

Manske, along with others, was recognized as a major contributor to MediaWiki by the USENIX Advanced Computing Technical Association in 2010, when MediaWiki and the Wikimedia Foundation were honoured with a STUG award (Software Tools User Group).[34]


  1. ^ a b Magnus Manske's publications indexed by Google Scholar, a free service provided by Google
  2. ^ a b Magnus Manske (2006). GENtle, a free multi-purpose molecular biology tool (PhD thesis). University of Cologne. 
  3. ^ Magnus Manske's publications indexed by the DBLP Bibliography Server at the University of Trier
  4. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  5. ^ Magnus Manske's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier.
  6. ^ Daub, J.; Gardner, P. P.; Tate, J.; Ramsköld, D.; Manske, M.; Scott, W. G.; Weinberg, Z.; Griffiths-Jones, S.; Bateman, A. (2008). "The RNA WikiProject: Community annotation of RNA families". RNA 14 (12): 2462–2464. doi:10.1261/rna.1200508. PMC 2590952. PMID 18945806. 
  7. ^ Magnus Manske on Twitter
  8. ^ Alastair Kerr (June 21, 2011). "Desktop Sequence Analysis: software review". Bioinformatics Knowledge Blog. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Claudia Lehnen (February 2, 2008). "Der Wikipedia-Pionier aus Köln" [The Wikipedia pioneer from Cologne]. Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (in German). Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Manske, M.; Miotto, O.; Campino, S.; Auburn, S.; Almagro-Garcia, J.; Maslen, G.; o’Brien, J.; Djimde, A.; Doumbo, O.; Zongo, I.; Ouedraogo, J. B.; Michon, P.; Mueller, I.; Siba, P.; Nzila, A.; Borrmann, S.; Kiara, S. M.; Marsh, K.; Jiang, H.; Su, X. Z.; Amaratunga, C.; Fairhurst, R.; Socheat, D.; Nosten, F.; Imwong, M.; White, N. J.; Sanders, M.; Anastasi, E.; Alcock, D. et al. (2012). "Analysis of Plasmodium falciparum diversity in natural infections by deep sequencing". Nature 487 (7407): 375–9. doi:10.1038/nature11174. PMID 22722859. 
  11. ^ Manske, H. M.; Kwiatkowski, D. P. (2009). "Look Seq: A browser-based viewer for deep sequencing data". Genome Research 19 (11): 2125–32. doi:10.1101/gr.093443.109. PMID 19679872. 
  12. ^ Manske, H. M.; Kwiatkowski, D. P. (2009). "SNP-o-matic". Bioinformatics 25 (18): 2434–5. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btp403. PMID 19574284. 
  13. ^ Robinson, T.; Campino, S. G.; Auburn, S.; Assefa, S. A.; Polley, S. D.; Manske, M.; MacInnis, B.; Rockett, K. A.; Maslen, G. L.; Sanders, M.; Quail, M. A.; Chiodini, P. L.; Kwiatkowski, D. P.; Clark, T. G.; Sutherland, C. J. (2011). "Drug-Resistant Genotypes and Multi-Clonality in Plasmodium falciparum Analysed by Direct Genome Sequencing from Peripheral Blood of Malaria Patients". PLoS ONE 6 (8): e23204. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023204. PMC 3154926. PMID 21853089. 
  14. ^ Logan, D. W.; Sandal, M.; Gardner, P. P.; Manske, M.; Bateman, A. (2010). "Ten Simple Rules for Editing Wikipedia". PLOS Computational Biology 6 (9): e1000941. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000941. PMC 2947980. PMID 20941386.  open access publication - free to read
  15. ^ "Magnus Manske". Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  16. ^ "DNA Research; Putting parasites on the world map". China Weekly News. Jun 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c d Kurt Jansson (14 January 2011). "Zehn Jahre Wikipedia – Der kurze Sommer der Anarchie". Der Spiegel. 
  18. ^ a b Jennifer Joline Anderson (2011). Wikipedia: The Company and Its Founders. ABDO. p. 44. ISBN 9781617148125. 
  19. ^ Torsten Kleinz (16 December 2012). "Neues Werkzeug soll Anfänger zur Wikipedia locken". Die Zeit. 
  20. ^ a b Sumana Harihareswara; Guillaume Paumier (2012). "MediaWiki". In Amy Brown; Greg Wilson. The Architecture of Open Source Applications. Kristian Hermansen. ISBN 9781105571817. 
  21. ^ a b Rajeev Kumar. "Wiki Installation and Customization". Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Wikipedia:PHP script new features". 27 January 2002. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  23. ^ Magnus Manske (27 January 2002). "[Wikipedia-l] New features list". Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  24. ^ Erik Möller (9 May 2003). "Das Wiki-Prinzip". Heise online. 
  25. ^ N. A. Polukarova (June 2007). "The concept of open editing from the copyright viewpoint". Automatic Documentation and Mathematical Linguistics (Allerton Press, Inc.) 41 (3): 104–107. doi:10.3103/S0005105507030053. ISSN 1934-8371. In simpler words, while the developers of proprietary programs use their copyrights to deprive most of the users of most of their freedoms, GPL adherents, including above-mentioned Magnus Manske, use these privileges to guarantee these freedoms to users. 
  26. ^ "Magnus' toys'n'tools". Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Magnus' tools on wmflabs". Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  28. ^ Mathias Schindler; Denny Vrandečić (March 2009). "Introducing new features to Wikipedia" (PDF). In Jim Hendler; Helen Margetts. Proceedings of the First International Conference on Web Sciences WebSci09. Athens, Greece. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  29. ^ "German Wikipedia reaches landmark millionth entry". Deutsche Welle. 28 December 2009. 
  30. ^ dpa/mos (28 December 2009). "Deutsche Wikipedia erreicht eine Million Einträge". Die Zeit. 
  31. ^ Achim Sawall (28 December 2009). "Deutschsprachige Wikipedia erreicht die Millionenmarke". 
  32. ^ "[Wikipedia-l] Celebration". January 25, 2002. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  33. ^ Larry Sanger (2008). "The Early History of Nupedia and Wikipedia: A Memoir". In Chris DiBona, Danese Cooper, and Mark Stone. Open Sources 2.0: The Continuing Evolution. O'Reilly Media. p. 317. ISBN 9780596553890. 
  34. ^ "STUG award". Retrieved June 4, 2013. 

External links[edit]