MozillaZine

Mozilla Firebird Gets New Download Manager

Saturday November 29th, 2003

The latest nightly builds of Mozilla Firebird feature a new download manager for saving files. The Downloads sidebar and progress windows have been replaced by a new combined Downloads window that lists all current and completed downloads. Cancelled and failed downloads also remain in this list, with a 'Retry' option to allow transfers to be attempted again. A 'Clean Up' button lets users keep the Downloads window tidy by removing all completed, cancelled and failed downloads. There are also new preferences for the automatic removal of downloads from the list.

To streamline tasks such as saving cached images, the Downloads windows does not appear for files that take less than two seconds to transfer. A confirmation dialogue is displayed if you try to exit Firebird with downloads still in progress, eliminating the frustration of accidentally stopping your downloads when you're done browsing. For Windows users, an alert similar to the new mail notification from the Mozilla Application Suite and Mozilla Thunderbird appears near the taskbar when all downloads have completed. See the download manager QA page and the forum topic about the new Downloads window for more information.


#1 Any plan to support resuming of stopped downloads?

by Prognathous

Saturday November 29th, 2003 11:23 PM

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The current Pause/Resume feature is nice, but it's not as useful as a "true" Resume that works across sessions.

Prog.

#2 Re: Any plan to support resuming of stopped downlo

by chinf

Sunday November 30th, 2003 4:54 AM

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Yes, a lot of people want this - have a look at [url=<http://forums.mozillazine…postorder=asc&start=7>]Ben Goodger's post[/url].

#3 Re: Any plan to support resuming of stopped do

by chinf

Sunday November 30th, 2003 4:55 AM

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I'll just try that link again...

<http://forums.mozillazine…postorder=asc&start=7>

#4 mehh

by WillyWonka

Sunday November 30th, 2003 5:57 AM

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This doesn't seem to have much new beyond a notification in the status bar and the ability to automatically clean the list of files.

No true resume, no download queues, no throttling of downloads. :(

#10 Re: mehh

by fishbert

Sunday November 30th, 2003 3:04 PM

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Wow... good thing it's only an alpha/nightly release, eh?

#11 Re: Re: mehh

by mlefevre

Sunday November 30th, 2003 4:19 PM

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Resuming would be useful and is being worked on. Throttling, simultaneous segments, queues and other such things are unlikely to happen. This is supposed to be something to make it easy to manage downloads that people would be using the browser for anyway, it's not supposed to compete with the various download managers with all manner of features for people who want to tweak multiple large downloads - although that stuff could probably be implemented as an extension.

#13 Re: mehh

by WillyWonka

Sunday November 30th, 2003 7:30 PM

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A simple queue is not really that hard to implement. "Download no more then 3 files at once" and just have them set to wait before connecting.

Throttling, yes that is more complicated I agree. But I was expecting new features when looking at the roadmap. They haven't really added any. Woo yet another dialog box pops up when you try to exit the program. Whats the point in having a new manager one if all it does is change the formatting so they can have an image that looks like it's giving you the finger?

I'm just dissapointed, that's all. I was expecting more.

#16 Re: Re: mehh

by Ben_Goodger

Sunday November 30th, 2003 11:43 PM

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What's the use indeed!

If you want a browser that grows "useful" (mreh) new "features" every month, go use Seamonkey.

Firebird is about refinement. There are significant enhancements here, even though they may not be "whiz-bang-new-feature" visible. The effect is that downloading is a lot simpler, tracking and managing downloads is a lot easier. Take a look at the new manager history options, the Clean Up button, window behaviour and progress notification. This is NOT the Seamonkey download manager. It also lays the groundwork for cross-session resume, which may (or may not) come soon.

#32 Re: mehh

by WillyWonka

Monday December 1st, 2003 1:33 PM

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"go use Seamonkey." I already do.

#34 Re: mehh

by WillyWonka

Monday December 1st, 2003 1:50 PM

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Let me clairify myself I don't nessessarly want the wiz bang features, but when I hear "managing downloads" I expect a little bit of management abilities. Interacting with what it's doing. What that brings to my mind is a queue. The type of thing I see in FTP clients (bulletProof, CuteFTP, FileZilla, etc). You may have files waiting to download, but not enough bandwidth to grab them all at once, so you arrange them in the order that you want to recieve them. I don't expect only a list of the files that I've previously downloaded with no interaction (I'm speaking of the seamonkey manager). Right now it's more of what I would consider a "download history" then a manager.

As for the back end work, I'm all for it. If you can make it easy for a javascripter to create a crash resume function that I can install that's great. I don't care if it's an extension or not. In fact I'm probably one of the people who would program the extension if it was easy to do by accessing the C++ back end (That was also documented).

#35 Useful?

by lenz

Monday December 1st, 2003 3:02 PM

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Of course the browser has to be useful! If you aren't trying to make a useful, user friendly program with a good feature set then I don't know what you are trying to do. At the moment that is happening, but refining the browser should not get in the way of making it a better product.

#23 Re: Re: mehh

by michaelH

Monday December 1st, 2003 1:31 AM

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Well if it's not that hard to implement, i'm sure they would welcome a patch from you. Might take the pressure off the developers so they can concentrate on other stuff.

#33 Re: mehh

by WillyWonka

Monday December 1st, 2003 1:34 PM

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Been there, done that. Too much of a pain in the ass to get by. I only have CVS access to the web site. Plus, it was only recently that the firebird developers started accepting patches so you couldn't before.

#5 What about the trunk?

by ksheka

Sunday November 30th, 2003 7:16 AM

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Any chance of the new download manager stuff getting into the trunk? Is there anything in particular about the code that precludes it being in the Mozilla Suite (and all the other applications that get build off the trunk)?

#6 Re: What about the trunk?

by mlefevre

Sunday November 30th, 2003 8:40 AM

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It (and the rest of Firebird) is in the trunk. It would need to be altered to work in the App Suite, but that wouldn't be hard. I can't see anyone doing it though - the App Suite has a download manager already. Not sure which other applications you're talking about - I think Camino is the only other relevant one, and it wouldn't work for that because Camino isn't built in XUL.

#29 Good news!

by sinchi

Monday December 1st, 2003 8:47 AM

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I use SeaMonkey and hope to see this to be implemented in near future.

#7 re:

by wde

Sunday November 30th, 2003 9:55 AM

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I personally use fresh download. It can resume broken downloads, and it is free.

#8 Re: FreshDownload

by jeti

Sunday November 30th, 2003 10:11 AM

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Yeah. But after a while you have to wait endlessly before you can use the free version. And they send you notifications of updates of their other products about once a week. It gets pretty annoying.

#47 If you don't like Fresh Download...

by neilparks1

Thursday December 4th, 2003 10:56 AM

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So use Star or Winget.

#50 Re: Re: FreshDownload

by timbo

Tuesday December 30th, 2003 9:36 AM

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You can unsubscribe from those emails. Always read the fine print. ;)

I've never used Star (<http://www.stardownloader.com/> ???) or Winget (site seems to be broken), but it looks like Star isn't free and Winget doesn't support cookies or authentication. Freshdownload is free, supports Mozilla, and includes a leech feature and scheduling. It's worked great for me so far (ever since gozilla went all sypware), but I'm open to alternatives if anyone knows of a better app.

Anyone know if there extensions to add any of this functionality?

#9 Ok.. but

by jedbro

Sunday November 30th, 2003 11:07 AM

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While I generally like the idea. I absolutally HATE that it is no longer in the sidebar!!!! Why the hell would you want a pop-up download manager like the suite?

O'well hopefully by 0.8 or 1.0 it would be improved upon.

#18 Uh, yeah...why isn't this at least an option?

by adipose

Monday December 1st, 2003 12:19 AM

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To make it worse, there isn't even a "done" button or something, forcing you to close it with the "X" in the upper right, which is never a graceful way to close a subwindow.

At least ctrl-w works, but I find it very annoying that it opens with ctrl-E, but no longer closes with ctrl-E.

Finally, it's not even a true subwindow, but actually an independent window, which takes another spot on the bar (windows).

The new manager looks prettier, but it needs some work to integrate nicely. That said, I'm sure most problems will be fixed, but I sincerely hope making it a totally separate window wasn't intentional.

-Dan

#19 Re: Uh, yeah...why isn't this at least an option?

by fishbert

Monday December 1st, 2003 12:32 AM

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I'm glad the download manager has its own spot on the taskbar in windows. If it's hiding behind other stuff I've got open (very likely), I can easily bring it back to the surface without closing everything to find where the hell it's hiding. (which, I believe, is the very purpose of the taskbar in the first place...)

I'm not sure how the download manager is implemented; does closing the download manager window kill any downloads in it? If not, perhaps a 'hide' button might be a better choice than a 'done' button. 'Done' implies (at least to me) that you're finished with whatever is in that window -- in this case, implying that you're done downloading.

#22 Re: Re: Uh, yeah...why isn't this at least an opti

by Ben_Goodger

Monday December 1st, 2003 12:43 AM

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No, closing the window does not cancel any downloads in it. Downloads are only canceled if you quit the app before downloads are complete, and that's something we may find time to fix.

#49 Re: Re: Re: Uh, yeah...why isn't this at least an

by zdzichu

Thursday December 11th, 2003 6:04 PM

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It strange. When all downloads were in each own windows (or dialog boxes to be specific), I could close main Mozilla Firebird window, and download windows stayed until downloads finished. Download Windows weren't killed by closing MF window.

#38 Ok...

by adipose

Monday December 1st, 2003 7:16 PM

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I'm willing to see your point, and say that there are some benefits for having the manager in its own spot (perhaps especially if you close Fb while downloading something). That said, its a benefit I don't need. GIMP's behavior of creating independent windows has annoyed people used to Photoshop's overlapped windows for years; Fb itself has reduced the number of windows with tabbed browsing--there's something to be said for an app not taking up more than one window in the tray (you can only fit 4-5 windows down there before you start losing information, unless you have a multi-line taskbar). One of the main things that attracted me to Fb was the single-window idea. So you can understand why I find it annoying that a previously contained and "toggleable" window now is a pop-up that must be "X"ed out or "ctrl-w"ed (excuse all the non-words).

As for "hide" and "done," I agree that "hide" is a better choice. And please, use ctrl-E as the hotkey for hide! I used to be able to ctrl-e, ctrl-e to quickly show and hide the manager; now I can't.

BTW, when the download manager was contained, you never had to hunt for the manager to "find where the hell it [was] hiding". It was always in the same place and could be hidden and brought to the front quickly, without covering any html (it did, however, squish html as the bookmarks do).

-Dan

#39 Re: Ok...

by adipose

Monday December 1st, 2003 7:16 PM

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I mean "it's" of course.

#40 Re: Ok...

by fishbert

Monday December 1st, 2003 8:24 PM

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Oh, well, I think it would be quite spiffy if we were given the option of having the download manager show itself in sidebar form if we so choose. That would be great. But just leaving it as a regular window minus a taskbar slot; that's what I don't agree with.

#45 Reply

by Racer

Tuesday December 2nd, 2003 1:40 PM

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Heh, I cant stand GIMP because of that. I wrote it off a long time ago as "comparable to ms paint". Ok, not that bad, but the multi window thing made it unbearable to manage. I just hope Firebird doesn't follow suit too much. One download manager window isn't that bad, but its a slippery slope that could lead to GIMPness if left unchecked.

#12 Popups

by wvh <wouter-mozzine@fort-knox.rave.org>

Sunday November 30th, 2003 6:52 PM

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I think it's nice work has been and continues to be done in this area, but I regret the removal of a download manager in the sidebar. I think those download status windows, or the bigger download manager, are very annoying; I block popups in the browser, because they are so intrusive and get in my way, surely there must be a way not to make mozilla's own download windows pop up everywhere - or in one big window that jumps open on top of my webpages every time.

I personally think a sidebar download manager is a good solution. Or a little icon at the bottom of the browser that shows downloads are in progress, and that opens the download manager when clicked. But downloading itself should *not* cover the main browser window and get in the way of the user.

#17 Re: Popups

by Ben_Goodger

Sunday November 30th, 2003 11:53 PM

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Bigger? I suppose so... the new Downloads window is 30 pixels wider and 30 pixels taller, but come on, is it that much of a big deal? Not really.

There are options to stop the Downloads window from appearing when a download starts, and an option to make it close when all downloads complete. With the former pref set, you can monitor status manually at any time by hitting Ctrl+E or bonking the Downloads button on the toolbar.

The case for the Download Sidebar was not strong. It did not fit easily with other sidebar panels (it wasn't a source of links), it stole horizontal real estate for long periods at a time when the average screen resolution is 1024x768, and offered only a limited subset of the progress window's functionality. Furthermore, the Download Sidebar was not default, and fairly well hidden previously, it's fair to assume it was not widely used.

I have placed numerous hooks in the new code to enable extension authors to place the current downloading UI in any other part of the browser they wish however, including a sidebar panel, or perhaps a tab. People who prefer the older style of management need not suffer long, if they can find someone to code what they want.

#20 Re: Re: Popups

by fishbert

Monday December 1st, 2003 12:36 AM

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Having the option to display the download manager as a sidebar, should the user wish it, would be nice to have in the future. I used the downloads sidebar a bit, but I found that having it show itself each time I started a download (and in each window -- so I'd have to close it 'x' times, where 'x' is the number of windows I had open) was annoying. If the download manager gets a sidebar option, a nice preference would be to have it only display if the user tells it to, and otherwise, just download stuff hidden.

#36 that is exactly what firebird needs...

by _rgw_ <webbs@fayette.net>

Monday December 1st, 2003 7:09 PM

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prefs for everything that is remotely controversal that the developers add! Look what happened to the Mozilla Suite because of that trend. Mozilla has more prefs in the UI then something...well...with...a lot of prefs in the UI. Maybe a back-end script in about:config would be reasonable, but I think the Firebird precedent on past issues like this has been: quit your bitchin', make an extension.

#37 that is exactly what firebird needs...

by _rgw_ <webbs@fayette.net>

Monday December 1st, 2003 7:11 PM

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prefs for everything that is remotely controversal that the developers add! Look what happened to the Mozilla Suite because of that trend. Mozilla has more prefs in the UI then something...well...with...a lot of prefs in the UI. Maybe a back-end script in about:config would be reasonable, but I think the Firebird precedent on past issues like this has been: quit your bitchin', make an extension.

#30 Re: Re: Popups

by wvh <wouter-mozzine@fort-knox.rave.org>

Monday December 1st, 2003 10:07 AM

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It's not so much the size, as the fact that it (/they) pops up on top of what I'm doing every time I click something. They block the user's viewing area and focus point. That's the problem.

I know both individual download dialogs and download manager can be hidden. That's how I set up things now. I just think a less intrusive way of notifying the user is in order, instead of something that blocks the screen. It's especially annoying when you have to download many items at a time. So maybe a notification area (next to the popup warning?) that shows downloads are in progress, would be a better way. The user can then click this icon and get the download manager...

#41 Re: Re: Popups

by bzbarsky

Tuesday December 2nd, 2003 7:13 AM

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Might I ask why "Ctrl-E", by the way? That introduces yet another keybinding conflict on Linux when a textfield is focused... It'd be better not to introduce those for new keybindings that we can choose freely...

#48 Average resoluton is not 1024*768

by mpthomas

Thursday December 4th, 2003 4:59 PM

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Ben wrote: "the average screen resolution is 1024x768".

This is not correct. According to TheCounter's latest publicly-available stats <http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2003/May/res.php> , more people are using 800*600 than any other resolution. (Talking about "average resolution" doesn't make much sense -- from those figures I calculate that the average resolution is approximately 880.64 * 625.24.)

This underscores Ben's point that using a sidebar for any semi-essential browser UI is a very silly idea. But it also demonstrates how computer programmers often overestimate the specs of computers used by the general public.

#14 Great

by YFan

Sunday November 30th, 2003 7:50 PM

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I haven't really done much with it yet, but it looks very nice and much improved. Great job! This is why I love Mozilla and Fb so much. There is just no end to innovation.

#15 Old style windows?

by czarandy

Sunday November 30th, 2003 11:24 PM

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Is there a way to switch back to the old style seperate windows?

#21 Re: Old style windows?

by fishbert

Monday December 1st, 2003 12:41 AM

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Ooooo, ooooo, that gives me an idea... wouldn't it be grand if one could select a download from the download manager (in whatever fashion), and have it display a classic download window for that file? That way you could have the slick download manager, plus easily be able to get all the detailed information about the download (especially time remaining -- that's missing from the download manager display, right?) that the classic download window displayed.

#24 Remote Download Manager

by lacostej <coffeebreaks@hotmail.com>

Monday December 1st, 2003 2:20 AM

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What I would like to do is to implement a RemoteDownloadManager and plug it to mozilla/firebird. So that the files get downloaded and stored on a remote machine. See <http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=225263>

How could this help to implement this functionality? Is this new DownloadManager just a new UI or is there a new backend as well?

#25 better

by volkris

Monday December 1st, 2003 2:42 AM

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It would also be cool to have "remote" download potential on the SAME computer.

As in, let me run whatever program I want to track downloads and have Mozilla post updates to it.

This way I could have a specialized program sitting in my taskbar watching downloads from EVERY program I have downloading, from Mozilla to Bittorrent, to Freenet...

#27 Re: Remote Download Manager

by jsebrech

Monday December 1st, 2003 7:03 AM

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ssh and wget are your friends. I use remote downloading all the time. I don't see why this should be part of mozilla itself. Although admittedly, it would be handy if your home machine isn't running *nix, in which case you probably don't have adequate remote login capability.

#26 Eh

by volkris

Monday December 1st, 2003 2:47 AM

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Eh, I've always hated these download managers for webbrowsers.

They're just not worth it to me.

I mean, how often do I download a bunch of stuff from the web? I probably download about one file a day, max, and nearly never have more than one going on at once. I just can't imagine that these download managers are useful to the average person.

BUT

As I mentioned in a comment above, I do plenty of downloading through other programs, mainly p2p stuff like bittorrent and freenet. I seriously wouldn't mind a download manager that keeps track of ALL of my downloads, regardless of how it's getting to my computer. A nice lightweight thingy sitting in my taskbar, tray, dock, or desktop would actually be a great thing.

So that's what I'd like to see: Mozilla should develop a GRE based download manager that tracks transfers submitted by different programs, including Mozilla, perhaps with a little bandwidth usage gauge as a skinning option.

#28 Re: Eh

by janahan

Monday December 1st, 2003 7:16 AM

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I second that....

In fact I secifically came online to suggest just this very thing, but you beat me to it! ;)

Having a separate Download manager is a very good idea. Firebird can come with a basic one, and allow others to be simply plugged in as an extension, or used as a scripted/none scripted standalone. The extended ones can have the bandwith throttling features, and anything else you may want. It follows the simplicity first mantra of the *birds. Hmm a name.. how about.. hmm Blackbird, dawnbird??

Hell, it coudl even be used by IE, now thats a thought! ;)

#31 Great work

by djst

Monday December 1st, 2003 11:59 AM

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I like the new download manager. It obviously is not 100% finished yet, but it looks very promising. One thing that I disagree with though is the default behavior of hiding itself when all downloads complete. I find that a bit counter-intuitive, since most of the time you are just downloading one file and when it's downloaded, you want to launch it. With the current default settings, the window just disappears and you have to manually look up the file on your disks, unless you happen to know that you can click Tools > Downloads to see the window again.

Auto-hiding windows should be considered power usage and should not be the default behavior. Besides, it was not the default behavior in earlier versions of Firebird.

#42 Re: Great work

by bzbarsky

Tuesday December 2nd, 2003 7:16 AM

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It's the default behavior because the DM _also_ opens for files you plan to view in a helper app. Having the DM open _and_ the file open in the helper would be totally not useful.

Since opening things in helper apps directly is a far more common behavior than "download and then launch" (except for exe files, which you probably shouldn't be launching like that anyway), it's the one that got optimized here.

#46 Re: Re: Great work

by djst

Wednesday December 3rd, 2003 12:53 AM

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"(except for exe files, which you probably shouldn't be launching like that anyway)"

That's exactly the case I'm talking about. You can select to Open an .exe file directly but it doesn't work, so you're forced to download it. When finished, a nice little notification window will appear near the system tray telling the user that the download has finished, but there's no way to launch it or even get the Download Manager to show up.

At the very least, clicking on the notification window in the tray should show the Download Manager.

#52 Re: Re: Great work

by cfg83 <cfg83@hotmail.com>

Monday March 22nd, 2004 4:43 PM

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Hello -

While I agree with the security issue of not executing downloads from the Internet by default, we use the web browser as a method of installing our product from CD. The "index.htm" is invoked using the autorun.inf file used for windows. Then this HTML :

<a href=".Win32setup.exe">Install on Windows-based systems</a>

Get's interpreted as this by the browser :

file:///X:Win32setup.exe

Where "X:" is the cdrom drive. Unfortunately, downloading this file will not work because it is a Windows setup.exe that requires other files around it to be run (_user1.cab, layout.bin, etc...). This means that without some kind of alternate HTML syntax to download and execute the product in Mozilla, we will probably have to create a special HTML instructions page that tells the user how to install the product by navigating the CD manually. Yuck.

Is there an alternate syntax for forcing execution of the "file:///......program.exe" directlry?

Thanks,

...cfg... 04/03/22

#53 Re: Re: Great work

by cfg83 <cfg83@hotmail.com>

Monday March 22nd, 2004 5:52 PM

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Hello -

While I agree with the security issue of not executing downloads from the Internet by default, we use the web browser as a method of installing our product from CD. The "index.htm" is invoked using the autorun.inf file used for windows. Then this HTML :

<a href=".Win32setup.exe">Install on Windows-based systems</a>

Get's interpreted as this by the browser :

file:///X:Win32setup.exe

Where "X:" is the cdrom drive. Unfortunately, downloading this file will not work because it is a Windows setup.exe that requires other files around it to be run (_user1.cab, layout.bin, etc...). This means that without some kind of alternate HTML syntax to download and execute the product in Mozilla, we will probably have to create a special HTML instructions page that tells the user how to install the product by navigating the CD manually. Yuck.

Is there an alternate syntax for forcing execution of the "file:///......program.exe" directlry?

Thanks,

...cfg... 04/03/22

#43 chrome url?

by pmsyyz

Tuesday December 2nd, 2003 7:38 AM

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Is there a chrome url for the download manager so I can put it in a tab manually?

#44 slow scrolling in download manager?

by jtilak

Tuesday December 2nd, 2003 10:26 AM

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is it me or is scrolling very slow in the download manager? i have a fairly new pc. also it would be nice if there was a sort by filename, sort by filesize, sort by date, sort by download status, etc. i realize this is a very new feature.

#51 Sidebar?

by quitelost

Friday March 12th, 2004 8:31 AM

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Is there already somebody who has made an extension which puts the download manager back as a sidebar? I really want it there.