Thursday, January 31, 2008

Curl? Are you nuts?

It's funny how people react when you tell them you've left a great job for something totally different. In my case, some of my friends think I've gone nuts. The conversation usally goes something like this:

Friend: So let me get this straight. You joined a RIA company that is very new to the U.S. It a proprietary technology based on a browser plug-in and they've hired you, an EJB guy, to help them compete here in the U.S. against Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flex?
Me: Well, I'm not just an "EJB guy", but yeah that's about right.

Friend: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. What's the Hell is wrong with you? Are you nuts?!
Me: Probably.

What my friends don't understand is that Curl really is the best RIA technology out there. I know, I've been researching and writing about RIA for close to three years. I know all the commercial vendors, most of the Ajax open source frameworks (160+), and I understand the market.

Here is my opinion of what is happening right now.
  • There are too many Ajax frameworks which creates a tyranny of choice for enterprise developers.
  • Folks are seriously considering proprietary RIA technologies (e.g. Flex, Silverlight, Curl) over open source solutions.
  • Good tooling, comprehensive APIs, and ease-of-learning are finally being valued over hype.
If the desire to champion the best technology is crazy than I plead guilty. I would rather be a crazy guy fighting the good fight, than a sane man who is a tool.

You don't have to go along with the crowd. Take a stand, get crazy and choose the best technology rather than the one you hear about the most. If you know nothing about Curl than you owe it to yourself and your customers to check it out. I'm convinced that if you do, you'll discover what I did. Curl is the best RIA solution available today.

3 comments:

Dan said...

Good luck with the Curl position. I'd be interested in hearing why Curl is the best RIA platform vs. other popular proprietary platforms such as Flex. We are using Flex in new development now and would like to understand where Curl excels.

René Muñiz said...

I am curios and will investigate more about Curl. However, realistically it is not about the features or performance, etc. It is about "ubiquity". The market share of your RIA platform will determine how many developers drawn onto it. Flash is everywhere, AJAX is also there, SilverLight has the M$FT Windows Update and kaboom!! it is also there. How is Curl going to get there? I am curios!

Dave said...

Curl was interesting, circa 1998. Its 100% proprietary, difficult to learn, and they are on a negative growth curve. Flex has the market penetration, Silverlight has the Microsoft faithful, and AJAX has the attention of the Open Source crowd. In any market, there's room for two big players (Flex and Silverlight). Simply put, Curl is just not on anyone's radar screen. Search Amazon.com? You will find only books out of print for years. Search Monster.com? No viable employers in sight. Their opportunity to impact the RIA space came and went years ago.