Firefox’s New Download Manager Will Receive a Bunch of Improvements

Let’s hope they get it right this time; I definitely prefer the old download manager to the one they’re using now …

Mozilla introduced the new download panel in Firefox 20. It replaced the web browser’s previous download manager, and the core difference between the two was the position of the download information in the interface and the type of information displayed.

The new download dialog displays a single icon in Firefox’s toolbar that indicates whether a download is happening or not. A click reveals the last three downloads in the interface with no option to display more or additional information. A click on the show downloads button opens the library that is displaying all downloads in the browser.

The old Firefox download manager opened in its own window where it displayed all downloads on a single page instead.

firefox new download manager

Anyway, the release of the new feature to the stable channel was criticized by part of the browser’s user base for a number of reasons: from the limited number of downloads displayed in the panel to missing information to missing warning messages when downloads run and you close the browser.

Mozilla developer Marco Bonardo has published a list of changes that will come to the new download panel in the Firefox web browser in the near future. It addresses many issues that users of the browser have with it, and while it can’t fix them all due to the nature of the panel, it can fix the majority of them.

Priority improvements:

  • Notify ongoing downloads when closing the browser (bug 851774)
  • Increase number of downloads in the panel (bug 780837)
  • Reintroduce speed for each download (bug 812894)
  • Make multi-selection commands work properly (bug 844606)
  • Properly handle removed files in the UI (bug 726451)
  • Add back referrer supportĀ  (bug 829201)
  • Undetermined progress indicator when only unknown size downloads are in-progress

The improvement address core issues like the fixed number of downloads displayed in the panel or the missing transfer speed indicators for individual downloads.

It is not clear when the improvements will find their way into the browser though. As Marco notes, Mozilla is low on resources right now so that it can take some time before the changes become implemented into Firefox and visible to users of the browser.

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