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I think I have found the #1 fastest way to download a file (anything you want). I have been using CURLHandle for a long time, but it started to tick me off and I began to look for better methods. I tested out just the plain ol’ built-in initWithContentsOfURL methods for NSData and NSString, but those weren’t any better (and you have less control of the download - even with NSURLHandle). So I started looking into NSURLDownload and NSURLConnection - people these are the best methods I believe for downloading. NSURLDownload basically downloads a NSURL to a file while NSURLConnection downloads to data (asynchronously or synchronously).

Here’s what I used (in a thread) for CURLHandle:

// “self” is an NSURL, or could be [NSURL URLWithString:@””] - whatever you want CURLHandle *urlHandle = (CURLHandle *)[self URLHandleUsingCache:NO]; NSString *error; NSData *downloadedData;

[urlHandle setURL:self]; [urlHandle prepareAndPerformCurl]; error = [urlHandle curlError];

if (error && [error length]>0) { return [@”Error! “ stringByAppendingString:error]; } else { downloadedData = [urlHandle resourceData]; return [downloadedData autorelease]; }

Now this code works pretty well, however somehow the NSData gets messed up. For example, I would use this code to download some XML and load it using CFXMLTreeCreateFromData but many times that would return nil and I had no idea why (NSData wasn’t nil).

Anyways, if you want to be a n00b and a quick solution for downloading you could use this:

NSData *data = [[NSData alloc] initWithContentsOfURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@””]]; return [data autorelease];

But finally, after struggling with my code’s errors (not syntax), I found the solution. The way I use this is in a thread and it loads synchronously, although you can have it load asynchronously. This method is the fastest by far. I’d say 2x-3x faster then CURLHandle, and the data worked 100% with the CoreFoundation XML classes.

// once again “self” is an NSURL NSError *error; NSURLResponse *response; NSURLRequest *request = [NSURLRequest requestWithURL:self cachePolicy:NSURLRequestReloadIgnoringCacheData timeoutInterval:5]; NSData *data = [NSURLConnection sendSynchronousRequest:request returningResponse:&response error:&error];

return data;

Enjoy! –KevinWojniak

If you use CURLHandle in a thread (NSThread), my experience shows that setting the option CURLOPT_NOSIGNAL helps a lot (my code is more stable, and doesnt crash).

/* From the documentation for libcurl: CURLOPT_NOSIGNAL Pass a long. If it is non-zero, libcurl will not use any functions that install signal handlers or any functions that cause signals to be sent to the process. This option is mainly here to allow multi- threaded unix applications to still set/use all timeout options etc, without risking getting signals. (Added in 7.10) */ curl_easy_setopt([mURLHandle curl], CURLOPT_NOSIGNAL, 1);