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UnixReview: curl Simplifies Web Retrieval

Jan 25, 2002, 08:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Laird, Kathryn Soraiz)

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"One of the most frequent requests we receive is to automate operations on existing Web applications. In many cases, the best answer involves curl.

"curl is a tool for transferring files with URL syntax, supporting FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, GOPHER, TELNET, DICT, FILE and LDAP", as stated on its home page at More precisely, curl is a portable command-line executable for convenient Web retrieval, along with an associated library, libcurl.

...In 1997, Daniel Stenberg, a consultant based just north of Stockholm, wanted to make currency-exchange calculations available to Internet Relay Chat (IRC) users. All the necessary data are published on the Web; he just needed to automate their retrieval. This task is an interesting one in several regards. As 2002 opens, it's hard not to think of it in terms of formal Web Services (WS), where currency-market reporting is one of the canonical examples used to introduce newcomers to WS concepts. "Regular Expressions" will feature WS several times during the coming year."

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