HTTP Downloader

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smaragdus
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HTTP Downloader

#1 Post by smaragdus » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:13 am

Preamble
I have been using Free Download Manager for years. When I saw the first prototype of the "modern" (5+) version of the program I understood that the project was doomed and immediately started searching for alternatives since I do not tolerate dumbed down programs with ugly interfaces. Back then I didn't find a good, reliable, free and portable download manager so as a result I had to buy 2 commercial portable download managers- one of which was abandoned long ago while I still use the other as a supplementary download manager- the old (3+) version of Free Download Manager I still use is having more and more problems with downloads. Later I came across AWGG (forum thread) which is portable, free and open source but its development is slow so I kept on looking for free portable alternatives. This month I came upon a download manager (HTTP Downloader), which I liked from the first glance- tiny, light, simple, clean GUI, free and open source, no dependencies, written in C++- no Java, no .NET, no Electron (God forbid). During my initial tests HTTP Downloader did not behave as a portable program so I opened an issue requesting portable mode. It turned out that portable mode was supported (via command-line argument) but that the feature was not documented. I suggested an easier and handier method for triggering portable mode and the developer, Eric Kutcher, accepted my idea and implemented it within days. I discovered HTTP Downloader by chance and since I believe that such well-written, free and open source projects need more publicity I bring HTTP Downloader to the attention of The Portable Freeware community.

Synopsis
HTTP Downloader is a download manager for the HTTP(S) protocol. Maximize your download throughput by utilizing high performance input/output completion ports (IOCP). HTTP Downloader can open thousands of connections at a time and consumes very little system resources.

HTTP Downloader is a high-performance, multi-part download manager. You can Start, Pause, Stop, and Queue up to 100 downloads at a time. Each download can be split into 100 parts. That's 10,000 connections!
Features
  • Drag & drop;
  • Pause & resume;
  • Tray support (minimize to tray, close to tray, add URL(s) from tray);
  • Always on top;
  • Status bar;
  • Download history;
  • Default download directory:
  • Quick file allocation;
  • Thread pool count;
  • Get time and date from server;
  • SSL/TLS support;
  • Proxy support;
  • Context menu;
  • Portable mode;
Links Downloads

Direct download links for HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 (released on 2018-09-27):
Images

HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 - program window (static image):

Image

HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 - menu bar (animated image):

Image

HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 - options window (animated image):

Image

HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 - add url(s) (static image):

Image

HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 - add url(s) - advanced (static image):

Image

HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 - program in action (animated image):

Image

HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 - tray control (static image):

Image

HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 - about (static image):

Image

Portability
HTTP Downloader supports 3 different methods of triggering portable mode:
  • Command-line argument- run the program with the following parameter:

    Code: Select all

    HTTP_Downloader.exe -p
  • Batch file- create a batch file with the following contents:

    Code: Select all

    START "" %~dp0HTTP_Downloader.exe -p
  • Portable flag- in program folder create the following empty file (without extension)

    Code: Select all

    portable
If none of these methods is used HTTP Downloader will save program settings (http_downloader_settings) and download history (download_history) in AppData:

Code: Select all

C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\HTTP Downloader
Instructions
  • Download the archive (HTTP_Downloader.zip);
  • Extract the archive to a folder of your choice;
  • Create an empty portable file (without extension) inside program folder;
  • Run the executable (HTTP_Downloader.exe);
  • Program settings (http_downloader_settings) and download history (download_history) will be saved inside program folder;
Requirements
I suppose that HTTP Downloader should run on Windows XP or higher but I am not sure about that (I have tested the program under Windows 8 x64).

License
HTTP Downloader is free and open source but the license type is not specified (as far as I know).

Note
HTTP Downloader is tiny- 137 KB archive, 264 KB program unpacked, 159 KB executable (as of version 1.0.0.7).

HTTP Downloader is light- (under Windows 8 x64) it uses about 2.8 MB of RAM (as of version 1.0.0.7).

The developer, Eric Kutcher, is very helpful and open to feedback- so far he has implemented all the suggestions I have made.

I suppose that HTTP Downloader supports integration with Chromium-based and Firefox-based browsers via extensions. I tried to integrate HTTP Downloader with Cent Browser and Vivaldi (in both cases I was not using the latest versions) but I failed (perhaps I was not doing it right).

In terms of general look and feel and overall simplicity HTTP Downloader reminds me of long ago abandoned WackGet download manager.

Alternatives
A couple of programs with similar functionality:
Details
File details for HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.7 (released on 2018-09-27):

==

Name: HTTP_Downloader.zip
File Size: 139753 Byte(s) (136.48 KB)
Modified Date: 2018-09-27 03:23
MD5: c861a98c8a12ce70f060002d66278cf9
SHA1: 3806005eff84828789fb7110afae26937b75c40b
SHA256: 906133e6c7e46a91488be7afd5c615e9875a85fe3786221c77d8b07439f4623e
SHA384: dfdc5cd86dfa00a6217fcafa2eeff23b13580807f8d7acefb5ced60f1f1155ec0d8e54e25aea4ad93e7854c5b21c4721
SHA512: 499217ec817f4f615aa40368c3016c46c8e6b084701ed6958c7950e7ee9cdd9352ed9e24cb8126801a6d288f4ddc07ce0aa9f44e672f07bd4bfc288b5931d96c
RIPEMD160: 37912d32a07035b1de319390aef0992f1ab9a7a4

==

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Midas
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Re: HTTP Downloader reget

#2 Post by Midas » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:24 am

Nice find, smaragdus. 8)

Ever since the ancient demise of Gigaget (and of the Flashgot Firefox extension more recently) I have been pretty unsatisfied with GUI download managers so I resorted to CLI downloaders like Wget.

But it is hard to effectively integrate that with modern browsers (more on this: viewtopic.php?p=73285#p73285 & viewtopic.php?p=77873#p77873) -- let's see if HTTP Downloader can remediate that...

Specular
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Re: HTTP Downloader reget

#3 Post by Specular » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:55 pm

Midas wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:24 am
Ever since the ancient demise of Gigaget (and of the Flashgot Firefox extension more recently) I have been pretty unsatisfied with GUI download managers so I resorted to CLI downloaders like Wget.

But it is hard to effectively integrate that with modern browsers -- let's see if HTTP Downloader can remediate that...
I use cliget in Firefox for grabbing the pre-filled command line options (browser headers and such) for use with wget. Use this combo for pretty much any large download since its resume option (-c) is able to resume downloads where browser-based download managers can utterly fail.

Wonder what HTTP Downloader's browser functionality is like. Looks like a straightforward UI for the main program which is nice.

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Midas
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Re: HTTP Downloader reget

#4 Post by Midas » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:03 am

Specular wrote: I use cliget in Firefox for grabbing the pre-filled command line options (browser headers and such) for use with wget.
Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to look into it. 8)

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zorro
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Re: HTTP Downloader

#5 Post by zorro » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:52 am

I tested HTTP Downloader yesterday... like smaragdus I also struggled to find a free, not too bloated, portable download-manager to replace my aged WebDownloader.
HTTP Downloader unfortunately disappointed a little - I was not able to rename a file on adding and it was not possible to pause a download (like shown in the animated screenshot), apparently only pausing all together works. Things that are at your fingertips in WebDownloader. Also, for a downloader some buttons for frequent operations come in handy, in HTTP Downloader there's no such, all must be accessed through menus.
As I don't need (and don't want) browser integration, I'll stay with WebDownloader...

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webfork
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Re: HTTP Downloader

#6 Post by webfork » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:04 pm

zorro wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:52 am
As I don't need (and don't want) browser integration, I'll stay with WebDownloader...
Thanks for the input. It is weird to me this many years later there's not a standard bearer for download managers. It just seems like a very basic function that browsers or someone else would manage/maintain, but I guess it remains too specialized a program.
Supporting Net Neutrality - BattleForTheNet | Why this matters | More from EFF.org

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zorro
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Re: HTTP Downloader

#7 Post by zorro » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:43 am

I gave HTTP Downloader another try:
Started with admin rights the pausing of single downloads is finally possible - but what's the point? WebDownloader doesn't require elevated rights for this.
Furthermore I observed a strange behaviour when downloading: the server delivers a constant rate (e.g. 600kB/s), HTTP Downloader starts full speed, then after 2-3 seconds drops to 0, catches up again and repeats this up and down constantly.

To determine if the bitrate display is faulty or the bitrate really drops, I ran a test with the same file from the same server in HTTP Downloader and in WebDownloader. Well, the download of the file (a Video, 468MB, server speed limited to 500kb/s) was about 1,5 minutes slower in HTTP Downloader, so this is no display issue but real behaviour.
...at least on my machine - I don't want to generalize it.

The prog is really promising, and as development is active I'll contact the developer :D

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smaragdus
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Re: HTTP Downloader

#8 Post by smaragdus » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:22 am

The developer clarified that the should work under Windows Vista or higher:
Although I aim to get my programs working on older systems, at a bare minimum, they should work on Windows Vista and newer.
HTTP Downloader may work under Windows XP but it should be tested and confirmed:
As far as it working on Windows XP...it's possible, but I'm not sure as I don't have a system to test it on.
I have an old machine with Windows XP somewhere but I have not used it for quite some time. If someone can test HTTP Downloader under Windows XP I will appreciate it.

Somehow I failed to notice that HTTP Downloader was released under GPL version 3 as it is visible from the last screen-shot.

So far I have not had a single issues using HTTP Downloader (version 1.0.0.7). I use it as a secondary download manager when Free Download Manager fails to download a file. I should have mentioned that on my machine UAC (User Account Control) is disabled.

I saw Gigaget was mentioned in one of the comments above, it was a decent download manager, I remember to have tested it once, what discouraged me from using it was the abominable Chinese-style (FlashGet had similar one) banner (MORE THAN FAST...), I cannot stand such ugliness and waste of space.

Download managers are on the decline, they are less used- the modern average Joe has not heard of such beasts, he uses the primitive download managers built in the browsers. I still use Free Download Manager as a default download manager. The only open source download managers which I am aware of being still developed are AWGG (the latest beta- 0.5.1.5331, is a huge improvement), and HTTP Downloader, which I will continue to use (regular usage is the best testing in my opinion). I may suggest some more features in the future. So far the developer's response to my ideas was fast and immaculate.

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Midas
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Re: Gigaget

#9 Post by Midas » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:59 am

smaragdus wrote: I saw Gigaget was mentioned in one of the comments above, it was a decent download manager, I remember to have tested it once, what discouraged me from using it was the abominable Chinese-style (FlashGet had similar one) banner (MORE THAN FAST...), I cannot stand such ugliness and waste of space.
Believe or not, with my current Windows 7 install being downright ancient, I still found Gigaget installed.

I recall the banner you mention, but it was real easy to disable: just delete its image file from the program folder.

Not that it matters now, but I can't really agree with you accusation of waste of space in Gigaget's case -- apart from that feeble attempt at commercialization, after some minimal tweaking, the UI was a study in understated balance and minimalism (see below).

Image

Image

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smaragdus
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Re: HTTP Downloader

#10 Post by smaragdus » Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:58 pm

@Midas

I have tested Gigaget, it looks decent, as far as I can remember it has skins (I used a warmer one). I know that the image file for the banner can be deleted but even without the image it looks like an empty shelf. By waste of space I meant waste of vertical space because of the abominable banner or its empty place. Just imagine if there was no banner and the tool bar was just below the menu bar. The evil banner is the fly in the ointment which prevented me from using Gigaget (integration with Firefox via FlashGot also worked)- I suppose that with some reverse engineering the whole unholy banner can be completely removed but I cannot do that.

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smaragdus
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Re: HTTP Downloader

#11 Post by smaragdus » Wed Oct 03, 2018 3:27 am

TP109 informed me that HTTP Downloader did not work under WIndows XP.

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Midas
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Re: HTTP Downloader

#12 Post by Midas » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:10 am

smaragdus wrote: I know that the image file for the banner can be deleted but even without the image it looks like an empty shelf. By waste of space I meant waste of vertical space because of the abominable banner or its empty place.
You are absolutely right, of course. :|

I'm usually very sensitive to such wasteful design but was willing to endure it for the sake of Gigaget's superior convenience...

bitcoin
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Re: HTTP Downloader

#13 Post by bitcoin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:52 pm

smaragdus wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:22 am
The only open source download managers which I am aware of being still developed are AWGG (the latest beta- 0.5.1.5331, is a huge improvement), and HTTP Downloader, which I will continue to use (regular usage is the best testing in my opinion).
what about uGet?

https://ugetdm.com/

calls itself "the #1 Open Source Download Manager"

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smaragdus
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Re: HTTP Downloader

#14 Post by smaragdus » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:49 am

@bitcoin
uGet has its own forum thread, I have tested and used the program which is a reliable download manager (although a bit bulky), somehow I forgot about it. I may add all these 3 open source download managers (in alphabetical order- AWGG, HTTP Downloader, uGet) to the database in the future.

browser integration
After getting help from the developer I managed to use the chromium extension with HTTP Downloader. First one needs to enable server:

Image

server settings in program and in browser extension should mach:

Image

when the extension is enabled it creates new context menu with sub-commands:

Image

when one of these commands is executed one gets the following download window:

Image

which has advanced mode:

Image

When 'Download' button is clicked the download is silently passed to HTTP Downloader and the file is automatically downloaded.

When a file added for download already exists, there is a pop-up window which offers different options ('Rename', 'Overwrite', 'Skip' plus 'Remember choice'):

Image

and if the download is skipped it is shown in the program:

Image

I used Cent Browser to test the browser integration of HTTP Downloader .

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smaragdus
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Re: HTTP Downloader 1.0.0.8

#15 Post by smaragdus » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:26 pm

HTTP Downloader at version 1.0.0.8, changes:
Fixed bugs; Added features

Fixed paused downloads not stopping when server doesn't reply.
Fixed flickering status bar when resizing window.
Fixed incorrect size and position being saved when program is closed while minimized.
Fixed speed measurement jumping to 0.
Fixed infinite loop caused by partial digest authorization values.
Various optimizations and bug fixes.
Added option to run one instance of the program.
Added option to display a URL drop window.
Added toolbar to manage (Start, Pause, Stop, etc.) downloads.
Selected downloads can now be renamed.
Selected downloads can now be deleted from disk.
Selected downloads can now be remove with Delete key.
Download history can be saved as a CSV file.
Download history can be imported from and exported as download_history files.
Added -u command-line switch to add a URL.
Drag and drop windows can now accept download_history files.
The developer has also added several new shortcut keys:
Ctrl + A = Select all
Ctrl + D = Delete selected item(s).
Ctrl + R = Rename selected item (one item at a time).
Del = Remove selected item(s).
This is an amazing update which features tool bar, drop box (called URL drop window, which, by the way snaps to screen edges) and export/import download history. For me the the drop box was the most wished feature and I am glad that it is so nicely implemented- it makes adding download links easier and handier. I should also mention that the developer created his own icons for the tool bar buttons. Several screens:

HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.8 - new context menu (static image):

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HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.8 - new options (animated image):

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HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.8 - URL drop window (static image):

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HTTP Downloader version 1.0.0.8 - program in action (animated image):

Image

I am extremely satisfied with the developer's work on HTTP Downloader- within two releases the program has improved incredibly and now it has become a full-featured download manager. Thank you, Eric Kutcher!

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