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Saturday, January 16, 2021

CRURL: Google rebuilds Curl with its own backend

Probably for Android Google takes over parts of the Curl API and uses for the Chrome network stack Cronet. The curl inventor refers to the procedure as a replica, which could cause problems.

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The company Google is apparently working to re-implement parts of the Curl API, as the curl inventor and chief developer Daniel Stenberg writes in his blog. With Curl and the associated library, transfers can be easily made on the Internet. The replica of Google apparently has the goal to connect the network stack from the Chromium project Cronet with the Curl API.

Stenberg also refers to the entry in the bug tracker, in which the development of the innovation is documented. It states that this would allow developers to take full advantage of the Chrome network stack without having to learn a new interface. This, in turn, could contribute to a wider diffusion of Cronet itself.

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Cronet is available as a stand-alone library especially for Android. Alternatively, of course, the native Java network API, the project OkHTTP or just Curl itself is used by many in Android. The use of the Curl API with Cronet Stenberg but considers a difficult task, since the network stacks of the two projects are very different. But Google can easily compensate for this by sufficient work performance. After all, Stenberg has only been working full-time on Curl for a few months, and Google simply has a lot more employees.

Although Stenberg himself is “flattered” that Google has selected his project for a replica, but in addition to the problems described also indicates that there is currently no evidence of API or ABI stability of the new project.

The curl inventor fears that then the two available APIs will cause problems for their users, since a distinction will be difficult. Finally, Stenberg explicitly assumes that it is not possible to create a “compatible API without huge effort”.

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No competition according to Google

In the Chrome bugtracker, longtime developer and Google employee Ryan Sleevi writes that the project was inspired by the replica of the Java API HttpURLConnection, which already exists in Cronet.

Accordingly, it is also planned to support only simple scenarios in their own replica and there is no intention to compete with the Curl project. In fact, the Chrome developers are big supporters of the project. Similarly, the Chrome team should think about a different name, because so far is the own project Crurl, which is probably too close to the name Curl.

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