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Electronics is the science of dealing with the development and application of devices and systems involving the flow of electrons in a vacuum, in gaseous media, and in semiconductors. Electronics deals with electrical circuits that involve active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes, integrated circuits, optoelectronics, and sensors, associated passive electrical components, and interconnection technologies. Commonly, electronic devices contain circuitry consisting primarily or exclusively of active semiconductors supplemented with passive elements; such a circuit is described as an electronic circuit.
The science of electronics is considered to be a branch of physics and electrical engineering.
The nonlinear behaviour of active components and their ability to control electron flows makes amplification of weak signals possible. Electronics is widely used in information processing, telecommunication, and signal processing. The ability of electronic devices to act as switches makes digital information processing possible. Interconnection technologies such as circuit boards, electronics packaging technology, and other varied forms of communication infrastructure complete circuit functionality and transform the mixed components into a regular working system.
Electrical and electro-mechanical science and technology deals with the generation, distribution, switching, storage, and conversion of electrical energy to and from other energy forms (using wires, motors, generators, batteries, switches, relays, transformers, resistors, and other passive components). This distinction started around 1906 with the invention by Lee De Forest of the triode, which made electrical amplification of weak radio signals and audio signals possible with a non-mechanical device. Until 1950 this field was called "radio technology" because its principal application was the design and theory of radio transmitters, receivers, and vacuum tubes.
Today, most electronic devices use semiconductor components to perform electron control. The study of semiconductor devices and related technology is considered a branch of solid-state physics, whereas the design and construction of electronic circuits to solve practical problems come under electronics engineering. This article focuses on engineering aspects of electronics.
Electronics has branches as follows:
An electronic component is any physical entity in an electronic system used to affect the electrons or their associated fields in a manner consistent with the intended function of the electronic system. Components are generally intended to be connected together, usually by being soldered to a printed circuit board (PCB), to create an electronic circuit with a particular function (for example an amplifier, radio receiver, or oscillator). Components may be packaged singly, or in more complex groups as integrated circuits. Some common electronic components are capacitors, inductors, resistors, diodes, transistors, etc. Components are often categorized as active (e.g. transistors and thyristors) or passive (e.g. resistors, diodes, inductors and capacitors).
Vacuum tubes (Thermionic valves) were among the earliest electronic components. They were almost solely responsible for the electronics revolution of the first half of the twentieth century. They took electronics from parlor tricks and gave us radio, television, phonographs, radar, long-distance telephony and much more. They played a leading role in the field of microwave and high power transmission as well as television receivers until the middle of the 1980s. Since that time, solid-state devices have all but completely taken over. Vacuum tubes are still used in some specialist applications such as high power RF amplifiers, cathode ray tubes, specialist audio equipment, guitar amplifiers and some microwave devices.
In April 1955, the IBM 608 was the first IBM product to use transistor circuits without any vacuum tubes and is believed to be the first all-transistorized calculator to be manufactured for the commercial market. The 608 contained more than 3,000 germanium transistors. Thomas J. Watson Jr. ordered all future IBM products to use transistors in their design. From that time on transistors were almost exclusively used for computer logic and peripherals.
Circuits and components can be divided into two groups: analog and digital. A particular device may consist of circuitry that has one or the other or a mix of the two types.
Most analog electronic appliances, such as radio receivers, are constructed from combinations of a few types of basic circuits. Analog circuits use a continuous range of voltage or current as opposed to discrete levels as in digital circuits.
The number of different analog circuits so far devised is huge, especially because a 'circuit' can be defined as anything from a single component, to systems containing thousands of components.
Analog circuits are sometimes called linear circuits although many non-linear effects are used in analog circuits such as mixers, modulators, etc. Good examples of analog circuits include vacuum tube and transistor amplifiers, operational amplifiers and oscillators.
One rarely finds modern circuits that are entirely analog. These days analog circuitry may use digital or even microprocessor techniques to improve performance. This type of circuit is usually called "mixed signal" rather than analog or digital.
Sometimes it may be difficult to differentiate between analog and digital circuits as they have elements of both linear and non-linear operation. An example is the comparator which takes in a continuous range of voltage but only outputs one of two levels as in a digital circuit. Similarly, an overdriven transistor amplifier can take on the characteristics of a controlled switch having essentially two levels of output. In fact, many digital circuits are actually implemented as variations of analog circuits similar to this example-after all, all aspects of the real physical world are essentially analog, so digital effects are only realized by constraining analog behavior.
Digital circuits are electric circuits based on a number of discrete voltage levels. Digital circuits are the most common physical representation of Boolean algebra, and are the basis of all digital computers. To most engineers, the terms "digital circuit", "digital system" and "logic" are interchangeable in the context of digital circuits. Most digital circuits use a binary system with two voltage levels labeled "0" and "1". Often logic "0" will be a lower voltage and referred to as "Low" while logic "1" is referred to as "High". However, some systems use the reverse definition ("0" is "High") or are current based. Quite often the logic designer may reverse these definitions from one circuit to the next as he sees fit to facilitate his design. The definition of the levels as "0" or "1" is arbitrary.
Ternary (with three states) logic has been studied, and some prototype computers made.
Computers, electronic clocks, and programmable logic controllers (used to control industrial processes) are constructed of digital circuits. Digital signal processors are another example.
Highly integrated devices:
Heat generated by electronic circuitry must be dissipated to prevent immediate failure and improve long term reliability. Heat dissipation is mostly achieved by passive conduction/convection. Means to achieve greater dissipation include heat sinks and fans for air cooling, and other forms of computer cooling such as water cooling. These techniques use convection, conduction, and radiation of heat energy.
Electronic noise is defined as unwanted disturbances superposed on a useful signal that tend to obscure its information content. Noise is not the same as signal distortion caused by a circuit. Noise is associated with all electronic circuits. Noise may be electromagnetically or thermally generated, which can be decreased by lowering the operating temperature of the circuit. Other types of noise, such as shot noise cannot be removed as they are due to limitations in physical properties.
Mathematical methods are integral to the study of electronics. To become proficient in electronics it is also necessary to become proficient in the mathematics of circuit analysis.
Circuit analysis is the study of methods of solving generally linear systems for unknown variables such as the voltage at a certain node or the current through a certain branch of a network. A common analytical tool for this is the SPICE circuit simulator.
Also important to electronics is the study and understanding of electromagnetic field theory.
Due to the complex nature of electronics theory, laboratory experimentation is an important part of the development of electronic devices. These experiments are used to test or verify the engineer’s design and detect errors. Historically, electronics labs have consisted of electronics devices and equipment located in a physical space, although in more recent years the trend has been towards electronics lab simulation software, such as CircuitLogix, Multisim, and PSpice.
Today's electronics engineers have the ability to design circuits using premanufactured building blocks such as power supplies, semiconductors (i.e. semiconductor devices, such as transistors), and integrated circuits. Electronic design automation software programs include schematic capture programs and printed circuit board design programs. Popular names in the EDA software world are NI Multisim, Cadence (ORCAD), EAGLE PCB and Schematic, Mentor (PADS PCB and LOGIC Schematic), Altium (Protel), LabCentre Electronics (Proteus), gEDA, KiCad and many others.
Many different methods of connecting components have been used over the years. For instance, early electronics often used point to point wiring with components attached to wooden breadboards to construct circuits. Cordwood construction and wire wrap were other methods used. Most modern day electronics now use printed circuit boards made of materials such as FR4, or the cheaper (and less hard-wearing) Synthetic Resin Bonded Paper (SRBP, also known as Paxoline/Paxolin (trade marks) and FR2) - characterised by its brown colour. Health and environmental concerns associated with electronics assembly have gained increased attention in recent years, especially for products destined to the European Union, with its Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), which went into force in July 2006.
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|Initial release||May 27, 2003; 14 years ago (2003-05-27)|
4.9.4 / 2018-02-06[±]
|Operating system||Unix-like, Windows|
|Type||Blog software, Content Management System, Content Management Framework|
WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. To function, WordPress has to be installed on a web server, which would either be part of an Internet hosting service or a network host in its own right. An example of the first scenario may be a service like WordPress.com, and the second case could be a computer running the software package WordPress.org. A local computer may be used for single-user testing and learning purposes. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. WordPress was used by more than 29.4% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2018[update].WordPress is reportedly the most popular website management or blogging system in use on the Web, supporting more than 60 million websites. WordPress has also been used for other application domains such as pervasive display systems (PDS).
WordPress was released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, as a fork of b2/cafelog. WordPress is released under the GPLv2 (or later) license.
WordPress has a web template system using a template processor. Its architecture is a front controller, routing all requests for non-static URIs to a single PHP file which parses the URI and identifies the target page. This allows support for more human-readable permalinks.
WordPress users may install and switch among different themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website without altering the core code or site content. Every WordPress website requires at least one theme to be present and every theme should be designed using WordPress standards with structured PHP, valid HTML (HyperText Markup Language), and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Themes may be directly installed using the WordPress "Appearance" administration tool in the dashboard, or theme folders may be copied directly into the themes directory, for example via FTP. The PHP, HTML and CSS found in themes can be directly modified to alter theme behavior, or a theme can be a "child" theme which inherits settings from another theme and selectively overrides features. WordPress themes are generally classified into two categories: free and premium. Many free themes are listed in the WordPress theme directory, and premium themes are available for purchase from marketplaces and individual WordPress developers. WordPress users may also create and develop their own custom themes. The free theme Underscores created by the WordPress developers has become a popular basis for new themes.
WordPress' plugin architecture allows users to extend the features and functionality of a website or blog. WordPress has over 50,316 plugins available, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. These customizations range from search engine optimization, to client portals used to display private information to logged in users, to content management systems, to content displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and navigation bars. Not all available plugins are always abreast with the upgrades and as a result they may not function properly or may not function at all. Most plugins are available through WordPress themselves, either via downloading them and installing the files manually via FTP or through the WordPress dashboard. However, many third parties offer plugins through their own websites, many of which are paid packages.
Native applications exist for WebOS, Android, iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. These applications, designed by Automattic, have options such as adding new blog posts and pages, commenting, moderating comments, replying to comments in addition to the ability to view the stats.
WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine–friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign multiple categories to posts; and support for tagging of posts. Automatic filters are also included, providing standardized formatting and styling of text in posts (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes). WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or an article. WordPress posts can be edited in HTML, using the visual editor, or using one of a number of plugins that allow for a variety of customized editing features.
Prior to version 3, WordPress supported one blog per installation, although multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables. WordPress Multisites (previously referred to as WordPress Multi-User, WordPress MU, or WPMU) was a fork of WordPress created to allow multiple blogs to exist within one installation but is able to be administered by a centralized maintainer. WordPress MU makes it possible for those with websites to host their own blogging communities, as well as control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MS adds eight new data tables for each blog.
As of the release of WordPress 3, WordPress MU has merged with WordPress.
b2/cafelog, more commonly known as b2 or cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress. b2/cafelog was estimated to have been installed on approximately 2,000 blogs as of May 2003. It was written in PHP for use with MySQL by Michel Valdrighi, who is now a contributing developer to WordPress. Although WordPress is the official successor, another project, b2evolution, is also in active development.
WordPress first appeared in 2003 as a joint effort between Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little to create a fork of b2. Christine Selleck Tremoulet, a friend of Mullenweg, suggested the name WordPress.
In 2004 the licensing terms for the competing Movable Type package were changed by Six Apart, resulting in many of its most influential users migrating to WordPress. By October 2009 the Open Source CMS MarketShare Report concluded that WordPress enjoyed the greatest brand strength of any open-source content management system.
As of February 2017, WordPress is used by 58.7% of all the websites whose content management system is known. This is 27.5% of the top 10 million websites.
Winner of Infoworld's “Best of open source software awards: Collaboration”, awarded in 2008.
Winner of Open Source CMS Awards's “Overall Best Open Source CMS", awarded in 2009.
Winner of digitalsynergy's “Hall of Fame CMS category in the 2010 Open Source”, awarded in 2010.
Winner of Infoworld's “Bossie award for Best Open Source Software”, awarded in 2011.
Winner of CMS Critic Award's “Best CMS for Personal Websites", awarded in 2015.
Main releases of WordPress are codenamed after well-known jazz musicians, starting after version 1.0.
|Legend:||Old version||Older version, still supported||Current stable version||Latest preview version||Future release|
|Version||Code name||Release date||Notes|
|Old version, no longer supported: 0.7||none||May 27, 2003||Used the same file structure as its predecessor, b2/cafelog, and continued the numbering from its last release, 0.6. Only 0.71-gold is available for download in the official WordPress Release Archive page.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.0||Davis||January 3, 2004||Added search engine friendly permalinks, multiple categories, dead simple installation and upgrade, comment moderation, XFN support, Atom support.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.2||Mingus||May 22, 2004||Added support of Plugins; which same identification headers are used unchanged in WordPress releases as of 2011[update].|
|Old version, no longer supported: 1.5||Strayhorn||February 17, 2005||Added a range of vital features, such as ability to manage static pages and a template/Theme system. It was also equipped with a new default template (code named Kubrick). designed by Michael Heilemann.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.0||Duke||December 31, 2005||Added rich editing, better administration tools, image uploading, faster posting, improved import system, fully overhauled the back end, and various improvements to Plugin developers.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.1||Ella||January 22, 2007||Corrected security issues, redesigned interface, enhanced editing tools (including integrated spell check and auto save), and improved content management options.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.2||Getz||May 16, 2007||Added widget support for templates, updated Atom feed support, and speed optimizations.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.3||Dexter||September 24, 2007||Added native tagging support, new taxonomy system for categories, and easy notification of updates, fully supports Atom 1.0, with the publishing protocol, and some much needed security fixes.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.5||Brecker||March 29, 2008||Major revamp to the dashboard, dashboard widgets, multi-file upload, extended search, improved editor, improved plugin system and more.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.6||Tyner||July 15, 2008||Added new features that made WordPress a more powerful CMS: it can now track changes to every post and page and allow easy posting from anywhere on the web.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.7||Coltrane||December 11, 2008||Administration interface redesigned fully, added automatic upgrades and installing plugins, from within the administration interface.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.8||Baker||June 10, 2009||Added improvements in speed, automatic installing of themes from within administration interface, introduces the CodePress editor for syntax highlighting and a redesigned widget interface.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 2.9||Carmen||December 19, 2009||Added global undo, built-in image editor, batch plugin updating, and many less visible tweaks.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3.0||Thelonious||June 17, 2010||Added a new theme APIs, merge WordPress and WordPress MU, creating the new multi-site functionality, new default theme "Twenty Ten" and a refreshed, lighter admin UI.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3.1||Reinhardt||February 23, 2011||Added the Admin Bar, which is displayed on all blog pages when an admin is logged in, and Post Format, best explained as a Tumblr like micro-blogging feature. It provides easy access to many critical functions, such as comments and updates. Includes internal linking abilities, a newly streamlined writing interface, and many other changes.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3.2||Gershwin||July 4, 2011||Focused on making WordPress faster and lighter. Released only four months after version 3.1, reflecting the growing speed of development in the WordPress community.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3.3||Sonny||December 12, 2011||Focused on making WordPress friendlier for beginners and tablet computer users.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3.4||Green||June 13, 2012||Focused on improvements to theme customization, Twitter integration and several minor changes.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3.5||Elvin||December 11, 2012||Support for the Retina Display, color picker, new default theme "Twenty Twelve", improved image workflow.|
|Old version, no longer supported: 3.6||Oscar||August 1, 2013||New default theme "Twenty Thirteen", admin enhancements, post formats UI update, menus UI improvements, new revision system, autosave and post locking.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 3.7||Basie||October 24, 2013||Automatically apply maintenance and security updates in the background, stronger password recommendations, support for automatically installing the right language files and keeping them up to date.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 3.8||Parker||December 12, 2013||Improved admin interface, responsive design for mobile devices, new typography using Open Sans, admin color schemes, redesigned theme management interface, simplified main dashboard, "Twenty Fourteen" magazine style default theme, second release using "Plugin-first development process".|
|Older version, yet still supported: 3.9||Smith||April 16, 2014||Improvements to editor for media, live widget and header previews, new theme browser.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 4.0||Benny||September 4, 2014||Improved media management, embeds, writing interface, easy language change, theme customizer, plugin discovery and compatibility with PHP 5.5 and MySQL 5.6.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 4.1||Dinah||December 18, 2014||Twenty Fifteen as the new default theme, distraction-free writing, easy language switch, Vine embeds and plugin recommendations.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 4.2||Powell||April 23, 2015||New "Press This" features, improved characters support, emoji support, improved customizer, new embeds and updated plugin system.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 4.3||Billie||August 18, 2015||Focus on mobile experience, better passwords and improved customizer.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 4.4||Clifford||December 8, 2015||Introduction of "Twenty Sixteen" theme, and improved responsive images and embeds.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 4.5||Coleman||April 12, 2016||Added inline linking, formatting shortcuts, live responsive previews, and other updates under the hood.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 4.6||Pepper||August 16, 2016||Added streamlined updates, native fonts, editor improvements with inline link checker and content recovery, and other updates under the hood.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 4.7||Vaughan||December 6, 2016||Comes with new default theme "Twenty Seventeen", Video Header Support, PDF preview, custom CSS in live preview, editor Improvements, and other updates under the hood.|
|Older version, yet still supported: 4.8||Evans||June 8, 2017||The next-generation editor. Additional specific goals include the TinyMCE inline element / link boundaries, new media widgets, WYSIWYG in text widget. End Support for Internet Explorer Versions 8, 9, and 10.|
|Current stable version: 4.9||Tipton||November 16, 2017||Improved theme customizer experience, including scheduling, frontend preview links, autosave revisions, theme browsing, improved menu functions, and syntax highlighting. Added new gallery widget and updated text and video widgets. Theme editor gives warnings and rollbacks when saving files that produce fatal errors.|
|Future release: 5.0||TBD||2018||WordPress 5.0 will be the first “major” release of 2018, including the new editor, codenamed “Gutenberg”.|
Matt Mullenweg has stated that the future of WordPress is in social, mobile, and as an application platform.
Many security issues have been uncovered in the software, particularly in 2007, 2008, and 2015. According to Secunia, WordPress in April 2009 had seven unpatched security advisories (out of 32 total), with a maximum rating of "Less Critical". Secunia maintains an up-to-date list of WordPress vulnerabilities.
In January 2007, many high-profile search engine optimization (SEO) blogs, as well as many low-profile commercial blogs featuring AdSense, were targeted and attacked with a WordPress exploit. A separate vulnerability on one of the project site's web servers allowed an attacker to introduce exploitable code in the form of a back door to some downloads of WordPress 2.1.1. The 2.1.2 release addressed this issue; an advisory released at the time advised all users to upgrade immediately.
In May 2007, a study revealed that 98% of WordPress blogs being run were exploitable because they were running outdated and unsupported versions of the software. In part to mitigate this problem, WordPress made updating the software a much easier, "one click" automated process in version 2.7 (released in December 2008). However, the filesystem security settings required to enable the update process can be an additional risk.
In a June 2007 interview, Stefan Esser, the founder of the PHP Security Response Team, spoke critically of WordPress' security track record, citing problems with the application's architecture that made it unnecessarily difficult to write code that is secure from SQL injection vulnerabilities, as well as some other problems.
In June 2013, it was found that some of the 50 most downloaded WordPress plugins were vulnerable to common Web attacks such as SQL injection and XSS. A separate inspection of the top-10 e-commerce plugins showed that seven of them were vulnerable.
In an effort to promote better security, and to streamline the update experience overall, automatic background updates were introduced in WordPress 3.7.
Individual installations of WordPress can be protected with security plugins that prevent user enumeration, hide resources and thwart probes. Users can also protect their WordPress installations by taking steps such as keeping all WordPress installation, themes, and plugins updated, using only trusted themes and plugins, editing the site's .htaccess file to prevent many types of SQL injection attacks and block unauthorized access to sensitive files. It is especially important to keep WordPress plugins updated because would-be hackers can easily list all the plugins a site uses, and then run scans searching for any vulnerabilities against those plugins. If vulnerabilities are found, they may be exploited to allow hackers to upload their own files (such as a PHP Shell script) that collect sensitive information.
Developers can also use tools to analyze potential vulnerabilities, including WPScan, WordPress Auditor and WordPress Sploit Framework developed by 0pc0deFR. These types of tools research known vulnerabilities, such as a CSRF, LFI, RFI, XSS, SQL injection and user enumeration. However, not all vulnerabilities can be detected by tools, so it is advisable to check the code of plugins, themes and other add-ins from other developers.
In March 2015, it was reported by many security experts and SEOs including Search Engine Land that a SEO plugin for WordPress called Yoast which is used by more than 14 million users worldwide has a vulnerability which can lead to an exploit where hackers can do a Blind SQL injection. To fix that issue they immediately introduced a newer version 1.7.4 of the same plugin to avoid any disturbance on web because of the security lapse that the plugin had.
In January 2017, security auditors at Sucuri identified a vulnerability in the WordPress REST API that would allow any unauthenticated user to modify any post or page within a site running WordPress 4.7 or greater. The auditors quietly notified WordPress developers, and within six days WordPress released a high priority patch to version 4.7.2 which addressed the problem.
WordPress' minimum PHP version requirement is PHP 5.2, which was released on January 6, 2006, and which has been unsupported by the PHP Group and not received any security patches since January 6, 2011.
Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little were cofounders of the project. The core lead developers include Helen Hou-Sandí, Dion Hulse, Mark Jaquith, Matt Mullenweg, Andrew Ozz, and Andrew Nacin.
WordPress is also developed by its community, including WP testers, a group of volunteers who test each release. They have early access to nightly builds, beta versions and release candidates. Errors are documented in a special mailing list, or the project's Trac tool.
Though largely developed by the community surrounding it, WordPress is closely associated with Automattic, the company founded by Matt Mullenweg. On September 9, 2010, Automattic handed the WordPress trademark to the newly created WordPress Foundation, which is an umbrella organization supporting WordPress.org (including the software and archives for plugins and themes), bbPress and BuddyPress.
WordCamps are casual, locally organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. The first such event was WordCamp 2006 in August 2006 in San Francisco, which lasted one day and had over 500 attendees. The first WordCamp outside San Francisco was held in Beijing in September 2007. Since then, there have been over 507 WordCamps in over 207 cities in 48 different countries around the world. WordCamp San Francisco 2014 was the last official annual conference of WordPress developers and users taking place in San Francisco, having now been replaced with WordCamp US.
WordPress' primary support website is WordPress.org. This support website hosts both WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress and a living repository for WordPress information and documentation, and WordPress Forums, an active online community of WordPress users.
Right now we power about 24% of all websites as of this recording: that is the largest of any of the content management systems. The number two has around 3%. But we are not happy that we have just 24%, and we see a lot of work to get the remaining 76%.
b2 had actually, through a series of circumstances, essentially become abandoned.
I recently met with Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, the company that develops WordPress and offers a range of products and services for WordPress users both large and small. Automattic is valued today at over $1 billion.