Prototype and Scriptaculous in Action

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Overview

Prototype and Scriptaculous are libraries that extend standard Ajax. They make it easier to program Ajax and provide powerful features like drag and drop and animation. In this book, developers learn by playing and see how the libraries work in the real world.

As experience with Ajax increases, developers want the standard Ajax capabilities they repeatedly use to be preprogrammed for them—and that's exactly what Ajax libraries do for them. They reduce the pain of handling ...

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Overview

Prototype and Scriptaculous are libraries that extend standard Ajax. They make it easier to program Ajax and provide powerful features like drag and drop and animation. In this book, developers learn by playing and see how the libraries work in the real world.

As experience with Ajax increases, developers want the standard Ajax capabilities they repeatedly use to be preprogrammed for them—and that's exactly what Ajax libraries do for them. They reduce the pain of handling cross-browser inconsistencies, they add useful language features, and provide sophisticated functionality. Of these, Prototype is the most popular JavaScript and Ajax framework for low-level user interface features such as animation, drag and drop, and pre-built widgets. Together, they free the developer up to concentrate on building the application. They make a rich user experience easy to achieve.

This book guides the reader through the Prototype and Scriptaculous libraries feature-by-feature. In just 350 pages, readers will find over 100 small working examples to help them explore the libraries. As well, they will develop a web-based image gallery that teacher them how to use Prototype and Scriptaculous in the real-world.

Purchase of the print book comes with an offer of a free PDF, ePub, and Kindle eBook from Manning. Also available is all code from the book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933988030
  • Publisher: Manning Publications Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/2007
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Crane is an Ajax authority and lead author of the best-selling Ajax in Action. He is currently senior developer for UK-based Historic Futures Ltd., developing the next generation of socially responsible supply-chain systems using Ajax to link rural cooperatives and multinational corporations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    JavaScript libraries have been in the spotlight the past two years and have been gaining popularity especially the past year with new ones popping up like JQuery, YUI!, Mochikit, etc. Though all of these libraries take after in some form or another the base library Prototype and effect library Scriptaculous. Thomas Fuchs is the main developer of the Scriptaculous library and Sam Stephenson is the developer of ProtoType. Although you can go to web site and go through the documentation at each site, having a book with other people¿s explanations and examples are a great help for the newbie and advanced user. Each library has its own purpose so the authors take them one by one and explain what can be done with each and then show examples as they go. I like how all the example code are pointed out in the text as the author goes through them so you can understand the program flow as you are reading through the explanations. As a preface for people interested in buying this book, you should have a solid foundation on JavaScript or at least have a good understanding of OOP techniques in other languages. Since this book goes through many Ajax implementations as well, knowledge of a server-side language 'PHP, ASP.NET, Java' would also be helpful. I feel that if you are a beginner to JavaScript or programming that this book may well overwhelm you with technical information that you might not fully understand. But enough of that, let¿s get on with the details of the book¿. Chapter 1: A description, history and simple sample usage examples are given to the reader about Prototype and Scriptaculous. Basically Prototype provides a set of language extensions for JavaScript, for the browser environment and for the XMLHttpRequest 'object used for Ajax' object. Scriptaculous 'and other libraries' build on Prototype¿s foundations to create widgets and other end-user stuff. The thing that sounds weird for people like me who don¿t use JavaScript on a day-to-day basis is that JavaScript can be ¿extended¿. I use JavaScript at work on some projects creating some simple DOM scripts but I never knew you could extend the language. JavaScript provides a mechanism known as prototype-based inheritance which allows for this. Prototype doesn¿t really ¿do¿ anything apart from making it easier to create complex client applications. Though it does do a lot in that sense, but the author has to then use these extensions to create their applications. Scrptaculous makes creating cool effects such as drag and drop, animation and such in only a few lines of code. The author expands on this as well as some simple Ajax illustrations using Prototype¿s Ajax.Request class in the first chapter. Chapter 2: A sample application is discussed called QuickGallery that displays a set of images in a photo gallery display using PHP to perform some server-side functions. The author created two versions of this web app 'classic ¿ page refreshing' and the web 2.0 'Ajax version' to show the readers what changes would be made and why. The application is simple enough but has enough detail to make this example a realistic scenario of converting a real web application to a more Ajax-based application. Chapter 3: Some basic techniques of Ajax development are discussed such as content-centric Ajax, script-centric Ajax, and data-centric Ajax. A review of Prototype¿s Ajax classes: Ajax.Base, Ajax.Request as well as using XML and JSON for data storage and transfer. A very good base for general Ajax knowledge. Chapter 4: The web applications is continued to be updated using some of the more advanced Ajax classes in Prototype such as Ajax.Updater, Ajax.PeriodicalUpdater, Ajax.Responders. The author also touches on performance issues with different techniques which really can open your eyes when you are thinking of implementing Ajax in your own web apps. Chapter 5, 6: If you ever have a need for a nice effect 'hiding/showing, highlighting, sliding in any direction

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