Curl turns 25 – and celebrates with version 8.0

Release 8.0, a new main version of Curl (Client for URLs), has been released just in time for its 25th birthday. However, the command line tool for data transfer has hardly changed in the new version. Rather, the intention was to celebrate the birthday of the widely used open source tool and its libcurl program library with the release. This was explained by the Swedish Curl initiator and maintainer Daniel Stenberg on the occasion of the publication. He also wanted to avoid ending up with a curl version of 7.100 at some point.

Little has changed in Curl itself with the new version: 8.0 is just the first release of Curl that no longer runs on systems without working 64-bit data types, as can be seen from the release notes. Otherwise, the new version contains 130 bug fixes and draws attention to six vulnerabilities in Curl, of which Stenberg classifies five as “low” and one as “medium”. Still, there’s a reward ranging from $480 to $2400 for those who fill in the gaps.

The last main version appeared relatively shortly after the start of Curl in 1998: Stenberg published the last main version as Curl 7.1 in the summer of 2000, while Curl 7.0 was still a beta version. Also curious: The initial release of Curl started with the version number 4.0, since Stenberg referred to an earlier tool when counting it. The curl head explains this and more in a nearly 40-minute YouTube video on the occasion of the birthday and the new version.

To celebrate the day, Curl also presents some figures on the project. There were 215 releases in total. 41 contributors worked on version 8.0, 23 of them for the first time. A total of 2841 people worked on the curl code – most of them only once, as Stenberg notes in his YouTube video.

Curl itself is a very popular command line tool for sending and receiving data using URL syntax. libcurl is a transfer program library that can handle most Internet protocols and is used in many third-party applications.

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