Feeds

Curl mounts Silverlight and AIR challenge

Open source RIA

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Curl, the rich programming language specialist back from obscurity, is turning to open source to gain a foothold in rich internet applications (RIA).

The company, founded on MIT research and that burned through its cash during the last internet bubble leading to a $1.5m acquisition, has said it plans to open source the Curl libraries and web kit within weeks, and to integrate its run-time with Eclipse.

The next version of Curl, which currently supports Windows, Macintosh and Linux, will also offer a souped-up Windows look-and-feel, the company told The Register.

The move comes as nine-year-old Curl attempts to exploit the industry's current fascination with RIAs, and applications that run outside-the browser. Forrester Research claims 30 per cent of application developers are using RIA technologies.

Curl, though, is in the running against scads of AJAX- and scripting-based frameworks and Java architectures as well as Adobe's Integrated Runtime (AIR) and Microsoft's Silverlight.

Curl is fighting to stand out against Open Laszlo, NexaWeb Enterprise 2.0 and DOJO on the AJAX-based RIA front, while there's Altio Live, UltraLightClient and JavaFX for Java developers.

Of these, Silverlight and AIR - expected to be widely available by early 2008 - will compete most aggressively for RIA dollars.

Some analysts believe Curl could replicate its success in Japan and Korea by targeting the enterprise and building a following in the developer community.

Curl's strength lies in its ability to provide high levels of performance and secure online-offline transactions, unlike AJAX-based solutions, while AIR and Silverlight are unproven.

According to a recent Curl-sponsored survey from integrator Sonata Software, Curl beat Adobe and Microsoft on ease of design, ease of development and run-time performance. Sonata rated Curl on performance, scalability and built-in data analysis tools.

While Curl might get the analysts' nod and come top in taste-test challenges, developers look like they could simply go with what they know.

Microsoft developer Andrew Brust, chief technical architect at development shop Twenty Six, told El Reg that Curl doesn't impress him at all. "It's very fringe, given that it has its own programming language and no explicit support from Microsoft or the J2EE vendors.

"Demand [for RIAs] is starting, but it's still small, and this [Curl] is not helped by the fact that there are so many fringe stacks out there. That puts skill sets in short supply and makes the learning curve a risky investment."

Brust thinks Silverlight - being ported to Linux by a team of Novell-led developers - will change all that. "The UI is fantastic, the capabilities significant, the platform stable and portable, and the skill set, .NET, is tied in to a huge standard," he said.®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.