S: “Is there any mass downloader for Firefox?”
F: “Mass what? ”
S: “Something which lets you download a set of files linked in a page without clicking on each one”
F: “Oh ok… no, there isn’t. But we can write one”
DownThemAll! was born in Italy, in an imaginary wire between Torino and Genova.
Federico just introduced Firefox to Stefano. Soon Federico understood that his joke wasn’t taken as a joke.
The first public version of dTa (0.2.2) was published during the hot italian summer of 2004. It was very tiny and simple. But it worked – most of the times – and Firefox users from all over the world began loving it. It was surprising to see how much people started to take part in the shaping of the project. Thousands of e-mails arrived asking for features, suggesting improvements, and thanking us for creating something useful.
F: Wow, did you read? There’s someone who use it for something serious!
S: I can’t believe it
Due to the unexpected popularity, the improvements was continous and took dTa to his 0.9.4 version – published in the same days that saw the Firefox’s 1.0 birth – which introduced dTaOneClick (was Turbo-dTa), the feature that let you download the files you want just in a click.
Passed the million of downloads the 1.0 version was near, right? Wrong.
F: The next version has to be great. Why don’t we test the betas within a restricted group of testers?
S: Good idea.
What a stupid idea. We started a long time of design and test, with a limited group of testers… We implemented a bunch of new exciting features… when we published that version on December 2005, we saw popping up a lot of troubles and bugs we never seen before.
We got the lesson: don’t try to close the universe, sooner or later you’ll have to open it again, and it will be just like Apocalipse.
Comment on Addons Mozilla: I say, avoid it like a plague!
After a few weeks we recovered our stability, and went on optimizing the performances. dTa changed dramatically since the first versions: from a basic mass downloader it became a download manager and accelerator with great performances, no adware, no spyware, keeping the usual simple user interface and the power of downloading just what you want by a single click.
World: And now?
Now we’re really near to the 1.0 release. The 0.9.8.8 version is the last preview of 1.0 with great internal changes and it’s ready to be translated in every language.
Keep on supporting us, the history goes on.