Download Manager

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This page is primarily related to defining and planning the Firefox 3 PRD line item CON-004a, possibly also involving CON-005a, CON-006a, CON-007a.

Please do not edit this page unless you are directly involved with the design and planning of thise feature. If you would like to comment, please use the talk page, thanks!

Goals & Solution Requirements

P1 Goals:

  • Make it easier for users to find files they download from the Web.
    • Add search functionality to download manager
    • Download history should contribute to Places, allowing downloads to be returned as results in History Search, entries in Smart Folders, etc.
  • Support mobile users, dial-up users and large file downloaders by allowing pause and resume of downloads
    • Add Pause/Resume support to Download Manager UI
    • Auto-pause/Auto-resume on network failure
  • Make it easier to get the status of current downloads
    • Put status indicator into primary chrome
    • Enable download-complete indicator on all platforms
  • Make it easier for users to revisit the original source of downloaded files.
    • File location and other details included in download history with one-click revisit

P2 Goals:

  • Make it easier to archive/save web pages for offline use and organize those as if they were downloaded content.
    • Enhance "Save Page As..." functionality to be a "one-click" solution
    • Management of saved pages as a single entity through the downloads management interface (as if they were just another downloaded file)
  • Make it easier for users to organize files they download from the Web.
    • Add per-file-type MRU memory to "Download to ..." file picker (so MP3s go to the same place, AVIs go to the same place, DOCs go to the same place)
    • Multiple optional customizable download directories -- by default everything would still go to a single default directory
    • Fully automate the save location and manage download library for users (iTunes-style)
  • Make it easier for users to flag and download files at a later time.
    • Download queue
    • Multiple download queues
    • Scheduling download queues
  • Allow users to automatically download Web feed enclosures (audio, video, images, etc) associated with Live Bookmarks.
    • Option to auto-download Live Bookmark feed enclosures to a specified directory (Web Feeds pref?)

Use Cases to Consider


  • I sometimes visit pages specifically to download things like applications, games, or media files.
  • When browsing the web, I often come across content that needs to be downloaded to be viewed, such as PDFs and DOCs.
  • I download and print dozens of posted photos of my nephew to show off to friends and family.
  • I download and install dozens of new (often alpha/beta) applications and extensions often enough that original sources for these are lost or forgotten.
  • I often download the same file twice, either because I forgot that I downloaded this file before, or because I couldn't remember where I'd put it.
  • I have a download going when I have to for some reason (restart to apply an update, changing classes, going home at the end of the day) shut down my system.


  • I use Google Image Search to find and download hundreds of images from the web for personal use in scrapbooking. I organize these in a bunch of different ways, but wish there were a more flexible way to group and find them.
  • I download a videoblogger's posts to watch offline -- these are daily postings but I'm only on the web via dialup once per week and cannot wait at the machine to download them all one-by-one.
  • I download dozens of articles off the Web to use in thesis research. Some articles are PDFs, some are Word documents, some are scanned images from old out-of-print journals, others are HTML with images and multiple pages. I must be able to archive these for later use if necessary, and also must cite them accurately including original download location.
  • I download 6 specific TV shows every week via Bittorrent.
  • I download at least 10 new (legal!) indy tracks from artist and label sites every day.
  • I archive dozens of real-estate listings from -- including private realtor information, maps, and linked photos -- to a laptop for offline use. (Bonus points: automatically updating the archived listings when reconnecting to the network.)
  • I download dozens of useful applications and utilities to install or use when diagnosing friends' computer problems. I store these on a USB key so I always have them regardless of network connectivity.