modestly calls its new Curl Surge 1.0 software environment “one of the most important new Web technologies launched since the creation of the World Wide Web.” True or not, Mac users will have to wait a bit to see. Curl Surge is now available for Windows, but the Mac version is still in development.
As a content language, a platform for interactive Web applications, and a unified development environment, Curl technology helps organizations build and deploy next generation Web applications and sites.
“Curl’s technology is the future of the Web. With it, organizations can reap tremendous financial benefits by harnessing the power of client-side computing, reducing the size and volume of downloads, and integrating the fragmented development technologies of the Web into a seamless whole,” Robert Young, Chairman and CEO of Curl said in a statement. “For users, Curl technology delivers the fast, rich, highly interactive Web experience that has only been a promise until now.”
Today, Web communications are conducted through the exchange of large, static HTML pages. Most Web applications are simply static pages of text interspersed with interactive pieces or links to interactive pages that “try to function as desktop applications,” he added. These pages are server-based, difficult to maintain, take too long to download, and use too much processing power, according to Young.
“Web developers face hard choices due to disparate languages and browser incompatibilities, often sacrificing dynamic capabilities for lowest common denominator functionality,” he said. “Users, frustrated with the response time of a visually interesting page that includes 2D or 3D graphics, animation or other dynamic elements, often give up, resulting in abandoned shopping carts and reduced time spent visiting the Web site.”
The Curl Surge 1.0 software environment is designed to solve this problem. With Curl Surge 1.0, developers can create and deploy the highly interactive, extensible client-side Web applets and applications that will replace the static, server-centric Internet experience with an “executable” Internet experience, he added.
The Curl Surge 1.0 software environment is based on the Curl Content Language, which combines features currently found in a variety of Web technologies: mark-up, scripting, rich 2D and 3D graphics, along with a full object-oriented programming environment. Because it functions as a platform-independent delivery vehicle, the Surge 1.0 software environment allows developers to code in the Curl Content Language, assuring the applications will run on any browser or platform, Young said.
In addition, the Curl Runtime System contains a native XML parser, so the Web developer can parse XML data that is downloaded directly from the server. Accordingly, Curl technologies are easily employed for use in next-generation Web services that are expected to rely on XML, SOAP and other messaging standards.
Young said that with Curl Surge 1.0, users get an improved Web experience marked by faster download times, more rapid response and richer content filled with graphics, animation and interactive elements. Developers benefit by using a unified Web technology for mark-up, scripting and fully object-oriented applications — reducing both development and maintenance time and costs, he added.
“Businesses can take advantage of reduced server load and decreased communications bandwidth needs because Curl’s content language creates smaller files, and its use of client-side computing requires less frequent requests to the server,” Young said. “Additionally, content built with the Curl Content Language can be configured to distinguish presentation from data, therefore only data is returned to the client upon subsequent server requests.”
The Curl Surge 1.0 software environment supports Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher and Netscape Communicator 4.x or higher. Curl Surge 1.0 is available free to users or developers. Curl will charge commercial customers based on the total volume of Curl content executed.
Curl was founded by business leaders and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) luminaries including World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee and Dr. Michael L. Dertouzos, Director of the MIT Lab for Computer Science.