Download Manager Idea

Samuel Cormier-Iijima sciyoshi at
Sat Oct 21 18:17:57 BST 2006

Hello Ubuntu Devs,

[please bear with the rather long post, I assure you this has to do
with development :-)]

I have been writing a BitTorrent client for Linux, and the further I
get, the more I think some of its functionality should be pulled into
a separate program. I'm posting here to get some comments on this

What I'm thinking of would be a download manager for the desktop. It
would be a session-based daemon that exposes a DBus interface to let
applications download/share files. For example, when an application is
given a URI, it could call a Download method on the daemon, which
would transparently download (and possibly share) the file from a
various number of sources and networks. There could be HTML, FTP,
Accelerated (similar to other "download managers" that retrieve from
multiple connections), Dijjer [1], BitTorrent, Gnutella, etc.
backends, and the daemon would process these in the background,
notifying the application of progress changes and any other
interesting events.

I guess this would be to file-sharing/downloading as Telepathy [2] is
to chat/IM/video conferencing. The thing is, I was (and still am)
unsure of the use cases for Telepathy - how does it help integration
on the desktop from the point of view of the end user? Does it
providing anything that Gaim doesn't already (or couldn't)? It seems
to me that Telepathy is just YAAL (Yet Another Abstraction Layer) that
we might not really need. Still, with Ubuntu pushing for a completely
integrated desktop, frameworks based on DBus such as this, Telepathy,
NetworkManager, Mathusalem, and others might be more interesting for
inclusion. They say that an abstraction is not a good idea if there
aren't at least two implementations using it - developing something
like this idea (as well as Telepathy) might not really provide
noticeable benefits until applications start using it. Would it really
be worth the effort?

I'd like to hear from other Ubuntu users and developers to get some
feedback on this idea. Of course, if nobody likes it, I'll just
happily keep writing the BitTorrent client :-). Otherwise, if there is
some positive response, I'd be glad to start writing some code. [3]

Samuel Cormier-Iijima

[1] I just recently found out about this from another post on this
list suggesting Ubuntu use this for ISO downloads from the website.
[3] It would probably be named it Torque, after the BitTorrent client
"BitTorque" I'm writing. Feedback on the name is welcome also :-P

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