MozillaZine

SilentDownload Page Now Online

Thursday January 14th, 1999

Doug Turner of Netscape has a note for us on new background transfer functionality being developed for Mozilla.

Doug writes, "SilentDownload is a background transfer method that allows files to be downloaded to the users machine without interfering with their network performance. SilentDownload does this by only downloading while the network library is not busy. In this way, users can 'silently download' large files over a period of time and be notified when the file transfer is complete."

Read more about SilentDownload at its page on mozilla.org.


#1 Cool Feature

by Benjamin Suto <ben@amvalue.com>

Saturday January 16th, 1999 2:43 PM

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This is a very cool innovation. I'll bet that a certain multinational corporation starting with an M is going to copy this feature in their competing browser.

I hope word of this feature gets out to the media and they mention it as one of the things to look forward to. It would help build momentum for when the browser is finally released.

#2 I LIKE IT!!!

by dannyboy_h

Saturday January 16th, 1999 5:14 PM

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I love it, actually. The only problem is that now I'll browse even more while downloading, making downloads longer and l o n g e r.

#3 Re:

by S. G. Johnson

Saturday January 16th, 1999 9:36 PM

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All those sites that pop up JS ad windows are already bad enough. Now we'll have sites sending files to our hard disks, unasked for, when we visit them. *I don't want anything downloaded unless I click on a link and ASK for it.* (Yes, the mozilla site mentions that sites will need to be authenticated in some way before using this, but I am afraid that this will merely mean that sites will need a digital ID.) Why couldn't they just fix the ordinary download (so that it is more in the background) without adding this "feature?"

#4 Like it!!!!!!

by Kosh <thebabylon_5@excite.com>

Sunday January 17th, 1999 4:22 AM

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I thing this new feature is great. But before adding this feature it would be a good idea if someone could build a resume & schedule downloads feature.

#5 Re:

by I hate reserved names :-)

Sunday January 17th, 1999 1:10 PM

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I agree with Johnson: It should be possible to disable the JS API and it should be disabled by default. I don't like the browser doing anything I have not explicitly asked for (I am somebody who likes to control everything :-)

I would prefer it much more, if I can simply press a "low priority" button in the download window.

Btw. as far as I understood, they want to implement the "silent download" feature in a way that it requires the server to support to resume downloads (I don't know the name, but the server must support download which start in the middle of a file). That means that the feature will not be available on a lot of servers.

#6 Ugh

by bradfitz <bradfitz@bradfitz.com>

Sunday January 17th, 1999 1:15 PM

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It sounds cool at first but if you think about it, it's really just going to be annoying for everyone. Developers will find it's not cross-platform (IE won't support it) and will have to resort to user-agent checking and optionally just give users a link anyway. Users that don't already understand the concept of downloading will have yet another method of downloading to confuse them (my grandma, who is scared of minimize and maximize), and sites will abuse the hell out of this, digital ID or not. Porn sites or any porn advertising company that sends inline frames will have the certificate needed to send content while day-to-day shareware/freeware programmers putting up pages on their local ISPs won't be able to use this new functionality.

In other words, it's not too great. I'd fix the existing download with an checkbox that says "Only download in idle times" and leave it at that.

#7 Yet another reason to disable Javascript

by Jim Kingdon

Sunday January 17th, 1999 3:49 PM

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Yeah, I agree with those who wouldn't want to just be surfing along and having a site starting up downloads like this. In some cases (intranets or whatever), that isn't really a big deal, so it isn't really worse than Javascript in general, though.

#8 Re: Silent Downloads

by dan <dan@softdisk.com>

Sunday January 17th, 1999 9:46 PM

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I like the first part of the functionality, that it will be possible for users to have file downloads proceed as background tasks allowing them to continue surfing the Web without loss of bandwidth. But I dislike the second part that would permit sites to shove files at users without them first asking for them. Although it has various security features, there will always be holes in them causing risks to the user. Also, it's yet another "feature" that will work in some browser versions and not others, and is not part of any official spec, thus helping to fragment the Web and encourage inaccessible Web design when designers use the "neato" new features and neglect to have them degrade gracefully for those not supporting them. I thought Mozilla was trying to get away from this syndrome.

#9 Agreement with both sides

by Denubis Banere <denubis@earthlink.net>

Sunday January 17th, 1999 10:11 PM

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I think that the silent running feature is cool, but, users should be given an option (ala cookie support) which is a "shutup and do it" or a "ask me" or a "what are you, crazy?" feature.... also, why should companies have to do this? You should make a download option that does this, or better yet, a priority/speed limit thing ala getright. also, what happens if the connection is broken?

#10 Agreement with both sides

by Denubis Banere <denubis@earthlink.net>

Sunday January 17th, 1999 10:11 PM

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I think that the silent running feature is cool, but, users should be given an option (ala cookie support) which is a "shutup and do it" or a "ask me" or a "what are you, crazy?" feature.... also, why should companies have to do this? You should make a download option that does this, or better yet, a priority/speed limit thing ala getright. also, what happens if the connection is broken?

#11 Re:

by Vedas <vedas@netscape.net>

Monday January 18th, 1999 1:08 AM

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I would just like to see maybe a file download speed "drag bar" as seen on ICQ. I have no idea if this is controled on a client to server basis though, can it be done with normal protocals?

#12 Re:

by SpeedyT

Monday January 18th, 1999 7:27 AM

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I don't think that this is going to make much of a splash on the Web, because I don't think that that is where it is intended to be used. It may be part of open-source Mozilla, but my guess is that it's primary target is application delivery via corporate intranets, and NS may also plan for it to evolve into a friendlier replacement for "Please wait while we download new art to your machine...." It's more of a branded Netscape item, rather than a general browsing feature.

#13 Basically good

by Anonymous

Monday January 18th, 1999 7:32 AM

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This is basically a Very Good feature, provided it is implemented correctly. Although I really feel this ought to be put in the clients OS/network protocol drivers, those End Users will appreciate it. I propose that the Mozilla crew implements the rest of GetRight's functionality too. Again, it is Good for End Users.

#14 Clearing Up A Misunderstanding

by mozineAdmin

Monday January 18th, 1999 7:52 AM

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From the SilentDownload page:

"These SilentDownload APIs all go through a security verification in which the caller of the API has been digitally signed and has permission to do a SilentDownload."

So, no downloads will ever be started without the enduser's permission.

#15 Re:SilentDownload Page Now Online

by zontar

Monday January 18th, 1999 10:10 AM

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I'd rather see the ability to resume interrupted downloads.

#16 Re:SilentDownload Page Now Online

by arielb

Tuesday January 19th, 1999 12:59 AM

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I use gozilla with netscape. It's really good but it takes some getting used to

#17 Re:SilentDownload Page Now Online

by Doug Turner <dougt@netscape.com>

Tuesday January 19th, 1999 5:44 PM

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Please rest assured that I share the same viewpoints as you regarding security and site pushing bits down your throat. When a site wants to download something to you, they will have to ask you permission similar to what SmartUpdate's Jar do. You can "Grant" or "Deny" the SilentDownload action.

You can also ask that this will be remembered.

There will be a preference to turn on and off this feature which is separate from Javascript.

I hope this answers your questions, and give a little peace of mind about misuse.

SilendDownload is now hooked up to the mozilla build system, so the next (binary or source) build you get will have this feature. All you have to do is call "RegFactory" on silentdl.dll. I will be posting a demo of this feature in a few days.

Also, thank you for the good feedback. If anyone would like to help out, please drop a line.

#18 Re:SilentDownload Page Now Online

by Doug Turner <dougt@netscape.com>

Tuesday January 19th, 1999 11:58 PM

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Please rest assured that I share the same viewpoints as you regarding security and site pushing bits down your throat. When a site wants to download something to you, they will have to ask you permission similar to what SmartUpdate's Jar do. You can "Grant" or "Deny" the SilentDownload action.

You can also ask that this will be remembered.

There will be a preference to turn on and off this feature which is separate from Javascript.

I hope this answers your questions, and give a little peace of mind about misuse.

SilendDownload is now hooked up to the mozilla build system, so the next (binary or source) build you get will have this feature. All you have to do is call "RegFactory" on silentdl.dll. I will be posting a demo of this feature in a few days.

Also, thank you for the good feedback. If anyone would like to help out, please drop a line.

#19 Me 2

by PFPforum

Sunday April 27th, 2008 8:54 AM

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I would much rather see the option to resume downloads in the browser without addons than this.. too many sites might take advantage etc.... cheers guys, admin @ <http://pokerfreerollpasswords.com/forum>