Prototype and Scriptaculous in Action

  • ISBN13: 9781933988030
  • Condition: USED – VERY GOOD
  • Notes:

Product Description
“This book should rightly be considered the bible of Prototype and Scriptaculous.”
— JavaLobby 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 repea… More >>

Prototype and Scriptaculous in Action

5 thoughts on “Prototype and Scriptaculous in Action”

  1. Javascript has exploded onto the web development scene in the last few years, and powers much of the web 2.0 and Ajax revolution. Every web developer now needs to know how to do common Ajax tasks. Thankfully, Prototype and Scriptaculous In Action makes it both easy and enjoyable.

    This is a comprehensive book. The size (510 pages) was initially intimidating, but Prototype and Scriptaculous In Action is exceedingly well written and a genuine pleasure to read. The thorough and thoughtful organization of the book provides some real structure to the discussion, making complex subjects easily digestible. This is the defacto bible of Prototype and Scriptaculous, and these days I turn to this book more than anything else on my shelf.

    The book is divided up into four multi-chapter parts, any of which could stand on it’s own as a definitive guide. The chapters are full of useful examples, and there’s strong emphasis given to migrating existing sites to Prototype and Scriptaculous, which is a major plus. You could turn to any section of the book and immediately see how to inject some new behavior into your existing application, but if you take the time to read from cover-to-cover you’ll be rewarded with some deep understanding of both the libraries and Javascript itself.

    I’ll summarize the four parts of the book:

    Part 1, Getting Started, introduces the Prototype and Scriptaculous libraries, focusing heavily on Prototype and Ajax. There’s a lot of information on re-designing an existing site for Ajax. Two full chapters are devoted to Prototype’s Ajax features. You can get up and running VERY quickly after glancing through these chapters. There’s also a lot of depth, and consideration is given to the pervasive effects Ajax has on architectural issues and the new ways that an application will have to manage HTTP traffic.

    Part 2, Scriptaculous Quickly, covers effects, controls and drag-n-drop. This is hands-down the best Scriptaculous documentation currently available, anywhere. The core effects are explored and tweaked, and there’s lot of very practical examples demonstrating some of the niftiest stuff, like running effects in parallel versus sequentially. And the drag-and-drop coverage is incredibly clear, making it easy, almost trivial, to implement. The Scriptaculous coverage is indispensable, and you’ll return to it again and again if you implement Scriptaculous-enabled pages.

    Part 3, Prototype in Depth, explores Prototype’s Javascript-oriented features. There’s a fantastic chapter on functions contexts, and the discussion of closures is one of the best I’ve seen. There’s a lot of information about Javascript fundamentals, and how Prototype can be used to implement inheritance, address arrays, and manipulate the DOM in the browser.

    And finally, Part 4 Advanced Topics, has two unrelated chapters. The first chapter overhauls an example app, giving it a Prototype and Scriptaculous makeover. The last chapter is about integration with Ruby on Rails. Prototype was initially written as the Ajax interface to Rails, so there’s some strong integration.

    As a long-time enterprise web developer, dealing with Javascript has always been a chore. But now I actually (gasp) look forward to tasks that involve Javascript. I’m a convert, and I have Prototype and Scriptaculous in Action to thank.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. I wrote a longer review that Amazon has apparently lost. Oh well. This is an excellent book, very well written. The authors are the rarest kind of technical author: they can actually construct prose that is pleasant to read, not deadly boring, but which works well as a reference book later. The book’s organized thoughtfully–it’s certainly much more than just an API reference. There’s also quite a lot of general advanced Javascript information here, too.

    There’s at least one other book on these libraries in production from Pragmatic Programmers. If you’re considering that, I strongly suggest downloading the sample chapters of both books and comparing. The Crane book is much more appealing to me (not to mention it’s available now, not in six months).
    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. I’m not even halfway through this book yet and I’m already satisfied with my purchase. I look forward to reading about Scriptaculous, but to me the book is already worth it for (a) the treatment of JavaScript in general and the details on object-oriented JavaScript, JSON, and especially JavaScript prototypes and function closures, (b) Prototype, especially how prototype extends JavaScript itself by modifying various object prototypes, and (c) AJAX, including historical perspective, details and gotchas of AJAX request/response versus traditional GET or POST via browser, and the utilities Prototype offers to ease AJAX communication. Additionally, I know this book will make a great reference for it’s coverage of the DOM basics and it’s appendices on HTTP basics and traffic. There’s even some useful contrasting of different server-side options (PHP versus servlets/JSP, etc.) I don’t mean to sound like I’m fawning over this book but it’s exactly what I hoped to find after working for the first time with all these technologies on a recent project; I wish I’d had this book during that project.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  4. I really cannot add much to what other reviewers have already said. This book is, simply put, excellent. It covers prototype and scriptaculous libraries very thoroughly by illustrating various features with relevant examples. Server-side technologies used in some examples use either Java or PHP. No prior experience is required with Java/PHP as enough detail on instructions for running the examples is included in this book. Editors seem to have done a very good job – I could not find any significant errors that are too often presented in some programming books. By reading through the chapters in the book, you can quickly identify areas in your application that can utilize these two libraries. Scratch pad application included in the source code turns to be a nice way to test your own code. I tried the examples and they work as expected.I was once fearful of writing javascript and this book has made it much more palatable and interesting. Highly recommended.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. I was looking for a good intro to Scriptaculous and Prototype and this books is pretty good. There are a few irritating things, however. First, the visual illustrations for Chapter 8 are completely wrong. There is a new Chapter 8 posted on the book website.

    Second, while some of the code is included in the download (also available from the site), not all is – especially all of the “snippets” which take up all of Chapters 8-11. While most of the “snippets” are under 50 lines of code, it is still annoying – especially when they provide a scratchpad application specifically to run the snippets.

    Overall, the problems are not deal-killers, they just show a lack of attention to detail on the part of the book team.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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