A new Web building generation?

Most Websites with dynamic components such as animations are otherwise mostly static. Web sites promising interaction are usually limited to providing a chat room for visitors. Truly interactive Web pages have been out of reach—at least until recently, says officials at Curl Corp., a Cambridge, Mass.-based company launched in 1998.

Curl has built a language and toolset it says can help developers create interactive Web pages. Customer John Cheong, founder and president of Space Machine, Inc., in Sunnyvale, Calif., describes the Curl application development language and Surge toolset as "pretty speedy" and says it is "a very good display language tailored for environments where you're interacting with the content and not just dealing with static pictures or content."

Space Machine builds server infrastructure software in Curl, Java or HTML, depending on a client's preference, to help corporations manage their mobile field service staff through location-based services. In Space Machine's application, Curl provides dynamic panning and zooming capabilities to help corporations pinpoint the exact locations of workers or vehicles in the field.

The Curl language was bootstrapped about three years ago from C and written in Curl, says Robert L. Batty, Curl's vice president of sales and marketing. Users can build elements or objects in Curl and extend the capability of the Surge runtime engine.

Peter O'Kelly, senior analyst with the Patricia Seybold Group, Boston, Mass., says the Curl language is "a very impressive attempt to rewire the Web using a much more efficient computing model" and is especially useful for people with "lots of graphic content who want to benefit from local processing."

Applications developed in Curl run well on thin clients or wireless hand held devices with memory and CPU limitations because only the amount of content requested by the end user is downloaded in source code form and it is compiled locally by the Surge runtime on the client. This runtime is a high-performance just in time (JIT) compiler, Batty says.

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About the Author

Richard Adhikari is a widely published high-tech writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].