[Input Requested] Handling Downloads on Froyo (2.2)

Nick Alexander nalexander at mozilla.com
Wed Feb 26 08:04:57 PST 2014

On 2/26/2014, 1:42 AM, Ben Bucksch wrote:
>> Cons: [of new, native implementation]
>> * No way to pause downloads (at least on my devices)
>> * Tapping the native notifications doesn't provide any useful feedback
>> * Native UI is awful about errors states.
> Hello Joshua,
> the cons above seem very severe to me. Esp. the ability to pause and
> resume a download is highly useful on a thin connection.
> Likewise, error reporting in general is critical.
> If we were using the native download manager right now, and the
> pros/cons were as you listed them, I would see it as a big step forward
> to remove the native downloader and switch to our own.

Long term, considering Firefox across all platforms, I think it is 
crucial that we integrate with the platform as much as possible.  If we 
don't, we will continue to offer a second-class experience to Firefox 
users on their preferred platform.

This means using OS X's download manager, OS X's keychain, Android's 
sync infrastructure, iOS's notification manager... and Android's 
download manager.  Even when the features are not perfect fits, or the 
implementations are not great.  Using platform infrastructure 
interoperates in ways that Firefox-specific implementations rarely can 
and is likely to be improved over time.

You bring up pause and resume.  I agree that these are valuable, but it 
occurs that the OS is in the best position to either "do the right 
thing" (based on connectivity, battery, and preferences), surface UI 
when appropriate, or whatever.

So I advocate strongly for evaluating what the system provides and using 
it if at all reasonable.  (Sometimes, of course, it's not reasonable. 
See Android Stock Browser.)


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