Mario's Blog

The journal of a software developer who has a fondness of cheese

Fiddling With Prototype

Today at work I was exposed to the Prototype JavaScript framework for the first time. I’ve written a fair amount of JavaScript before and recently a lot of jQuery which is a real pleasure to work with. jQuery is great for a few reasons. An example is the syntax for all of the methods included is all the same:

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$('element').method();

So once you get your head around the basic selectors .class and #id then you can do almost anything instantly. Another great thing about jQuery is the documentation, the formatting is awesome, easy to find what you want and enough examples to show you what to do.

Looking at it now, I think it would have been easier to pickup prototype without having learnt to use jQuery first. I spent my first 10 minutes trying to find a method similar to jQuery’s text() or html() to set the contents of an element. I almost smacked myself in the head when I realised that the answer in prototype was innerHtml().

By the end of the day I could defiantly see the purpose of prototype. To me it feels more like an extension of JavaScript, throwing in helper methods here and there to make common tasks easy. Although I don’t think i’ll be using it over jQuery if given the choice. jQuery has better documentation, convention and from what I read it’s quicker too.