In our current project we are providing a PDF download that can be customized by the user through an HTML form he submits. It takes several seconds to dynamically generate the PDF and I'd like to visualize this, e.g. by disabling the submit button until the download starts. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a way to detect when the download starts*. So I wouldn't know when to re-enable the submit button.
I already tried to specify an IFrame as the target of my HTML form, hoping that the `onload` event would be triggered. It is not, however -- probably because the PDF is sent with a "`Content-disposition: attachment`" header and it is not actually loaded into the IFrame.
The only solution I can think of right now involves generating the PDF to a temporary file on the server, which I would like to avoid.
*)Let me clarify this: I wouldn't need to know if the download was finished or even if it was really started. I'd like to detect the point at which the browser will ask the user whether to open or to save the file. I guess this happens when the browser receives the HTTP header.
Do you want to know when the download starts or when it completes? Either way, I don't think that a temporary file will make a difference. On the client-side you can't tell if the file was sitting on the server or generated on the fly.