Safari 5.1 breaks Leech and Safari Guardian

Hot on the heels of our Leech incompatibility in Lion (see our Lion compatibility list), it turns out that Safari 5.1 also breaks Leech and Safari Guardian in Snow Leopard as well.

As with the Lion issue, we’re looking for a solution, but for now if you want browser integration, either don’t upgrade Safari, or use Firefox with the FlashGot extension.

13 Responses to “Safari 5.1 breaks Leech and Safari Guardian”

  1. Tom says:

    Any news meanwhile about when an update to Leech might come? Approximately? I miss it …

  2. Rob Griffiths says:

    No news as of yet. Safari has completely changed how they handle downloads, so we’re starting from scratch to even see if it’s possible.


  3. Tom says:

    Oh. That’s bad news :-(

  4. Tom says:

    2011-09-06 – Almost a month later … any news about progress w/ Leech? Should I forget about it?

  5. Rob Griffiths says:

    We’re still looking at Leech, but it’s not looking good for Safari integration in Lion.


  6. Tom says:

    Oh. This is very disappointing.

    So … I’m moving on to Progressive Downloader which does work with Safari 5.1 and—allegedly—with Lion (can’t test the latter since I’m still on Snow Leopard).

    I’d think if such things are possible for other apps they also should be do-able for you … so I still hope for better news.

  7. Rob Griffiths says:


    I took a look at their tool, and I can’t see that they’ve enabled auto-capture. They have a Safari extension with a contextual menu, but no direct click-and-download-via-Progressive Downloader that I can see (or am I missing something)?

    Also, please keep in mind that there’s a difference between “possible to do” and “reasonable to do.” If we devoted 100% of our time for the next six months to the problem, then sure, I bet we could come up with a solution. But we have a full set of apps that need our attention, and as such, have to make decisions on how to best allocate our resources.

    That’s not to say we’re not trying, or that we’re not interested in finding a solution … but such solution has to fit into our workload, and make economic sense for the time required.


  8. Bill says:

    It appears Speed Download has run into the same roadblock, although they do have a beta out in attempting to find a fix.

  9. Tom says:

    Re: Progressive Downloader: I don’t quite understand how it works, but it also uses a SIMBL thingie, and it works with Snow Leopard and Safari 5.1. Not nearly as elegant as Leech was, but … it works.

    In case you stop thinking about updating Leech (no matter whether “impossible” or “not reasonable”) I’d be very thankful if you told me/us so, so that I can stop pining for Leech and really move on.

    Thanks, Tom

  10. Rob Griffiths says:


    We’ve got a workaround of sorts in place, and should have a release out shortly. There’s no SIMBL plug-in any more, and we can’t capture automatically capture downloads. The best we’re able to do for now is a Safari contextual menu item to download via Leech.


  11. Tom says:

    This might be better than nothing, but … if (and sorry for constantly mentioning a competitor) Progressive Downloader can do it, why should Leech not be able to do so? Forgive me if the answer is clear to you—I am not a programmer and it for sure is not clear to me. I really crave for the elegance and ease with which Leech could auto-download and selectively do things with certain file types.

    • Rob Griffiths says:

      In some ways, I don’t care what our competition is doing, because it’s irrelevant to our business. That may sound odd, but it’s true: we need to make some decisions based on our business, not theirs. As noted in a previous post, there’s a difference between ‘possible to do’ and ‘reasonable to do.’ Leech is very much a niche product and doesn’t generate much in the way of sales. (That’s not to say it’s not very popular with those who use and love it.) And that means we can’t spend an infinite amount of time on it, as much as we’d like to be able to do so.

      In order to support direct downloading from Safari, Peter would have to spend quite a bit of time figuring out what’s changed in 5.1, then rewrite the integration module to work (assuming it is actually possible in Lion). But because Safari doesn’t support what we do (which is why we have to use a SIMBL plug-in), any minor future Safari update may make all of that effort worthless—Safari 5.2 could break what we spent multiple hours fixing in 5.1, for example. Given we’ve had to update the plug-in a few times over the years already, it seems quite likely it will happen again.

      So instead, after looking for a quick fix within Safari 5.1 (which we didn’t find), we’ve decided to focus our efforts on supporting Safari through Apple’s official methods. This means that Leech will have a much better chance of continuing to work in the future, even as Safari changes. We can also then get Leech into the App Store, which may help it become less of a niche product going forward.

      In summary, if you want full integration between your browser and your download assistant, you have two choices:

      1. Switch your download assistant. Use Progressive Downloader, which seems to do what you want. This is probably your best bet, and the one I would recommend given your usage. (Note, however, that I was unable to get Progressive Downloader to actively capture downloads in my testing with Safari 5.1 in Lion. If you eventually upgrade to Lion, you’ll have to solve that issue, which may just be lack of product knowledge on my part.)
      2. Switch your browser. Use Leech with either Firefox (and the FlashGot extension) or Chrome (and the Download Assistant extension). Firefox and FlashGot seems to work 100% of the time in my testing; the Chrome extension is a bit less reliable (though it also has a contextual menu which does work as expected).

      The combination of Leech’s low sales volume, Apple’s lack of official support for download capture, and our desire to get Leech into the App Store mean that switching to a contextual menu-only option in Leech is the best plan for Leech and Safari integration moving forward.

      Sorry if that disappoints you, but there are only two of us, and we need to allocate our time in ways that make the most sense to the business as a whole.


  12. Bill says:

    Re: “We’ve got a workaround of sorts in place, and should have a release out shortly. There’s no SIMBL plug-in any more, and we can’t automatically capture downloads. The best we’re able to do for now is a Safari contextual menu item to download via Leech.”

    Thanks, Rob. That’s much better than opening Leech and pasting in download links.