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.
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.