The work described here explores the design of Curl, a single, coherent linguistic basis for expression of Web content at levels ranging from simple formatted text to contemporary object-oriented programming. Curl is a new language for creating web documents with almost any sort of content, from simple formatted to text to complex interactive applets. Curl is part of a research effort aimed at eliminating discontinuities from the function/sophistication curve. This yields an authoring environment in which (1) incremental functionality requires incremental skill acquisition, and (2) a consistent semantics avoids communication obstacles between separately encapsulated fragments of content. We characterize Curl as a "gentle slope system" because it makes it easy to transition from one point to another in the function/sophistication spectrum.