Background and history

Additional background information on ProcessWire including its history, what the term “ProcessWire” means, and more.

ProcessWire history

ProcessWire was released as an open source project in October, 2010. ProcessWire 3.x and 2.x originally evolved from Dictator CMS (2003) and ProcessWire 1.0 (2006). Despite intentions to do so, neither product was ever released open source, though powered numerous large scale websites for many years. ProcessWire 2.0 (2010) was the first open source version, and it is architecturally much stronger than the CMSs that preceded it. ProcessWire 3.x represents the current iteration of the software and it continues to build upon the framework introduced in ProcessWire 2.x.

Below is the video where ProcessWire was originally released as an open source project in 2010. While ProcessWire has evolved a lot since then, everything in this video remains true to this day and it continues to serve as useful introduction to the platform:

What does the term “ProcessWire” mean?

Conceptually: wiring your processes together

ProcessWire is the “wire” that delivers the electricity to your “process”. The term “ProcessWire” refers to bringing everything together simply, easily and securely. Specifically, bringing together all the processes involved in building a website or application and wiring them all together to create something whole and complete.

ProcessWire enables you to make all these connections intelligently, efficiently and easily. It is the timeless tool that works with your existing processes (whatever they may be) and seamlessly wires them together into something much greater than the sum of its parts.

In addition to the conceptual definition, you'll also find the term “ProcessWire” refers quite literally to the code that it is built from…

Literally: structure of core, modules and classes

The term “Process” refers to the type of module that ProcessWire is designed to execute as an application in order to serve an http request. All http requests in ProcessWire are served by one type of Process module or another, and there are more than a dozen of them in the core (with many more available 3rd party).

For instance, all requests on the front-end of your site are served by the ProcessPageView module, while pages are edited with the ProcessPageEdit module, just as examples. Think of a Process module kind of like an executable (.exe file) in the Windows world, or an Application in the Mac world, and think of ProcessWire as the underlying operation system that connects and executes them.

The term “Wire” refers to ProcessWire's core, since it is effectively the wire that connects everything and the wire that delivers the “electricity” to power a website or application. As such, everything related to the core literally lives in a /wire/ directory. By the way, this directory can be replaced with the same thing from any other version of ProcessWire (without touching your own website files), making upgrades a simple matter.

Finally, “Wire” is also the name of the base class for everything in ProcessWire. From an object-oriented programming perspective, almost everything in ProcessWire descends from this Wire class. As a result, everything in ProcessWire has a common and predictable base which serves as the foundation for making it all modular and hookable. Any given Wire-derived class can “wire” another Wire-derived class, which is referring to the type of dependency injection used by ProcessWire. In addition, Wire-derived classes can hook before or after the methods of other Wire-derived classes (where allowed), add new methods or properties, and replace existing methods when necessary.

Twitter updates

  • Quick weekly update covering this week's commits for the upcoming 3.0.167 ProcessWire core version— More
    18 September 2020
  • This week ProcessWire version 3.0.166 is released on the dev branch. In this post we’ll cover all that’s new relative to the previous version, 3.0.165. Plus we’ll check out the latest new versions of ProCache and FormBuilder— More
    11 September 2020
  • Weekly update – 28 August 2020 – New secure files option defined per-template: More
    28 August 2020

Latest news

  • ProcessWire Weekly #333
    In the 333rd issue of ProcessWire Weekly we'll check out what's new in the latest dev version of ProcessWire, 3.0.167, and more. Read on!
    Weekly.pw / 26 September 2020
  • ProcessWire 3.0.166 core updates and more
    This week ProcessWire version 3.0.166 is released on the dev branch. In this post we’ll cover all that’s new relative to the previous version, 3.0.165. Plus we’ll check out the latest new versions of ProCache and FormBuilder.
    Blog / 11 September 2020
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“To Drupal, or to ProcessWire? The million dollar choice. We decided to make an early switch to PW. And in retrospect, ProcessWire was probably the best decision we made. Thanks are due to ProcessWire and the amazing system and set of modules that are in place.” —Unni Krishnan, Founder of PigtailPundits