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Prototype and Scriptaculous: Taking the Pain out of JavaScript by Chris Angus

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Introduction

As the number of interfaces developed using browser technology is increasing, user expectations for UI sophistication are also increasing. Techniques that might be suitable for an occasional-use website or a non-interactive news site quickly become tedious when used on a daily basis. JavaScript helps developers break users out of this tedium, allowing the creation of more powerful user interfaces while still keeping the zero-install advantages of a browser.

JavaScript, however, is neither the easiest language in which to develop nor the most forgiving. Supporting the quirks and API differences of various browsers often drives developers to tear their hair out. Difficulty doing easy things soon leads to near impossibility of doing hard things.

Prototype and Scriptaculous pull JavaScript back from this brink and make it a much stronger technology for creating reasonably complex user interfaces. It offers more powerful abstractions and a consistent API.

This document is a jump-start into using Prototype and Scriptaculous that will allow readers to start using these libraries and provide enough insight to understand the Prototype and Scriptaculous resources available on the Web. As such, is it not meant as authoritative documentation, but more as a guide to what these technologies can do and how to get started using them.

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