Book Review: Practical Prototype and Script.aculo.us
In this next installment of Review Fridays, we have a new book from Apress titled, Practical Prototype and script.aculo.us by Andrew Dupont. Andrew is one of the core developers of the Prototype library.
Things have progressed over the past couple years with plenty of new features having gone into the framework. Andrew Dupont goes into depth in covering the major features of Prototype and then script.aculo.us and does it well. His writing style is humourous and comfortable. The pacing is great. This is one of the best technical books I've read.
I never realized just how much functionality is built into Prototype and found myself surprised a few times as I read this book. While plenty of my recent development has shifted to jQuery, Dupont's book has reminded me of the power that lies in the framework. I fully expect to try out Prototype again on future projects.
Chapters two through eight build on top of each other, expanding on the different features of Prototype such as collections, with Array, Hash, and the Enumerable classes. It covers event handling, working with the DOM, Ajax, and provides an in-depth look at the object-oriented approach that Prototype takes.
After stepping through the Prototype library, Andrew delves into script.aculo.us and explains many of the features of the library such as the effects and UI widgets like edit-in-place and auto-complete. I did find myself skimming this part of the book because it provides solutions to specific problems. While the first part explained how to cook, the script.aculo.us part showed recipes.
Thanks for the review. I have added this to my list of books to read in the near future. While I like the simplicity of jQuery syntax, I find that working with Prototype is a little more fluid for me as I am also programming Ruby at the same time. It is very Rubyish - part of what I like about the framework.
I initially had a bad taste for it due to size, and the fact that the usage in the frameworks was mostly obtrusive. Having worked with it for a while now, I find myself checking out the API often to learn more about everything that's going on under the hood to make things easier for me.
Thanks for the review.
Just out of curiosity, which is your preferred language? I use Prototype and YUI and my day job, and for freelancing I've been using Mootools. Your preference is jQuery?
One problem I have with using different frameworks, is trying to use Element.insert() in Mootools, when it's Element.grab()... Happen to you?
Thanks, Jon! I'm really glad you liked it, and I'm thrilled to hear you might be using Prototype more in the future. Looking forward to seeing you at TAE later this month.
Thanks for the review. Just as a side, I was also wondering if you had read any good jquery books as well ?
@Jonathan: Do you learn new frameworks (eg. jQuery, Protoype..) by reading books?
@Mike Spoon, I don't but I know some people do. I learn best by digging through the source code of the framework, the code of others using the framework and most of all, I learn by trying to build something.