Wiring (development platform)

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Developer(s) Hernando Barragán, Brett Hagman, and Alexander Brevig
Stable release
1.0 (0100) / 18 October 2011; 5 years ago (2011-10-18)[1]
Type Software framework, integrated development environment
License LGPL or GPL license
Website wiring.org.co

Wiring is an open-source electronics prototyping platform composed of a programming language, an integrated development environment (IDE), and a single-board microcontroller. It was developed starting in 2003 by Hernando Barragán.

Barragán started the project at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. The project is currently developed at the School of Architecture and Design at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia.

Wiring builds on Processing, an open project initiated by Casey Reas and Benjamin Fry, both formerly of the Aesthetics and Computation Group at the MIT Media Lab.

The documentation has been created with designers and artists in mind. There is a community where experts, intermediate developers and beginners from around the world share ideas, knowledge and their collective experience. Wiring allows writing software to control devices attached to the electronics board to create all kinds of interactive objects, spaces or physical experiences feeling and responding in the physical world. The idea is to write a few lines of code, connect a few electronic components to the Wiring hardware and observe how a light turns on when person approaches it, write a few more lines, add another sensor, and see how this light changes when the illumination level in a room decreases. This process is called sketching with hardware; explore lots of ideas very quickly, select the more interesting ones, refine and produce prototypes in an iterative process.


The Wiring IDE is a cross-platform application written in Java which is derived from the IDE made for the Processing programming language. It is designed to introduce programming and sketching with electronics to artists and designers. It includes a code editor with features such as syntax highlighting, brace matching, and automatic indentation capable of compiling and uploading programs to the board with a single click.

The Wiring IDE comes with a C/C++ library called "Wiring", which makes common input/output operations much easier. Wiring programs are written in C/C++, although users only need to define two functions to make a runnable program:

a function run once at the start of a program which can be used to define initial environment settings
a function called repeatedly until the board is powered off

A typical first program for a microcontroller is to simply blink an LED (light-emitting diode) on and off. In the Wiring environment, the user might write a program like this:

int ledPin = WLED;               // a name for the on-board LED

void setup () {
   pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);      // configure the pin for digital output

void loop () {
   digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);   // turn on the LED
   delay (1000);                 // wait one second (1000 milliseconds)
   digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);    // turn off the LED
   delay (1000);                 // wait one second

When the user clicks the "Upload to Wiring hardware" button in the IDE, a copy of the code is written to a temporary file with an extra include header at the top and a very simple main() function at the bottom, to make it a valid C++ program.

The Wiring IDE uses the GNU toolchain and AVR Libc to compile programs, and uses avrdude to upload programs to the board.

Open hardware and open source[edit]

The Wiring hardware reference designs are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 license and are available on the Wiring Web site. Layout and production files for the Wiring hardware are also available. The source code for the IDE and the hardware library are available and released under the GPLv2

Related projects[edit]


Wiring was based on the original work done on Processing project in MIT.

Arduino and Fritzing[edit]

Wiring and Processing have spawned another project, Arduino, which uses the Processing IDE, with a simplified version of the C++ language, as a way to teach artists and designers how to program microcontrollers. There are now two separate hardware projects, Wiring and Arduino, using the Wiring environment and language.

Fritzing is another software environment within this family, which supports designers and artists to document their interactive prototypes and to take the step from physical prototyping to actual product.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Previous Releases". Wiring.org.co. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 

External links[edit]