Chapter 1: Introduction from Enterprise Curl, by Prentice Hall | 3 | WebReference

Chapter 1: Introduction from Enterprise Curl, by Prentice Hall | 3

Enterprise Curl: Introduction

Brief History of Curl

In 1995, DARPA gave a grant to MIT to develop the “next generation of communication and computation technology.” Over the next three years, this research, conducted by some of the leading computing experts in the industry, produced two key deliverables. The first was a recommendation to establish what became known as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The second was the creation of a new language designed specifically for Internet computing, which they called Curl.

The first key deliverable, the W3C, has had a dramatic effect on Internet computing. It ardently works to promote the vision of the Web, working through the designs of required technologies to fulfill that vision, and then defining standards to describe these building blocks. The organization’s mission strives to “promote interoperability and encourage an open forum for discussion. W3C commits to leading the technical evolution of the Web” ( In the years since the organization was formed, the W3C has defined over 40 standards for many diverse technologies such as cascading stylesheets (CSS), document object model (DOM), extensible markup language (XML), and HTTP.

It is outside the scope of this book to describe the W3C or any of its initiatives in detail, though needless to say, a great deal of thanks should be given to the group for its dedication and diligent work. To find out more about the organization, refer to their Web site, which can be found at:

The other key deliverable from the 1995 MIT project was the invention of a new computing language called Curl. This was designed from the ground up to be able to handle all the different application requirements found on the Internet. It can be used to create simple text formatting or markup documents at one end of the application scale, and highly interactive, rich–interface, complex enterprise applications at the other.

In 1998, many of the key members of the MIT project realized that they had created a language that really could revolutionize the way Internet applications were developed. The group decided to make the language commercially available, and Curl Corporation was formed in 1998. Curl Corporation shipped the first version of the language and toolset, collectively known as Curl, in 2001.

Curl Corporation, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, continues to enhance and improve on the baseline work done during the MIT DARPA project. They have made available a number of incremental releases of the Curl language, the runtime engine, and the integrated development environment (IDE) tools. It offers a technology to the enterprise that addresses a number of key Internet application concerns:

• Run over small bandwidth (sometime as low as 14KB)

• Provide a rich graphical user interface (GUI)

• Integrate with existing Web standards

• Create applications that are written in one language and are easy to maintain

• Be easy to learn

• Enable quick application development

• Utilize a user’s PC processing power

Created: May 2, 2003
Revised: May 2, 2003