The last chapter started by introducing Ajax without library support, then explored how Prototype can help, and ended with a taste of Rails’ helpers. In this chapter, along with Chapters 4 and 5, we dive deep into Prototype and its helpers—from the simplest links to full-blown interactive components with visual effects. This chapter focuses on the helpers that interact with Prototype to create Ajax-enabled links and forms. For a full reference to all of Prototype’s capabilities, see Chapter 10.
For the examples in this chapter, we’ll reuse the Rails application created in Chapter 2, but we’ll generate a new controller. So back to the command line:
script/generate controller chapter3 get_time repeat reverse
That command generates a controller
chapter3 with four actions:
reverse. Take a look at http://localhost:3000/chapter3 and you will see a bare-bones view, as in Figure 3-1.
Figure 3-1. New controller
In the previous chapter, we kept the example views as plain as possible. This time let’s spruce it up a bit with an HTML layout and a CSS file. First create a new layout file, app/views/layouts/application.rhtml, and fill it with a basic XHTML template:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" ...