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jQuery, Scriptaculous, or Prototype.js?

 
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Now that you've written two books on these three JavaScript frameworks, which would you pick for a new project, for example on a new forum system? Or would you use them each for different aspects of the system?

Congratulations on moving into the author sphere. It's been a long while since I tipped back a glass in the saloon, but not too long to remember that you have put a lot of time into this site and helping the other ranchers, and it's great to see you publishing now!
 
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Thanks David!

I used to be a fan of Prototype, but I no longer recommend it. I've just run into too many problems with the way that it modifies the basic functioning of the JavaScript environment.

Also, having come to posses a deeper understanding of JavaScript as a language, I've grown to rather dislike Prototype's emphasis on trying to make JavaScript look like Ruby, and its focus on an object-oriented approach that's not native to the language.

One of the many things that I have come to appreciate about jQuery is the way that it lets JavaScript be JavaScript, and takes advantage of its power as a functional language.

 
David Harkness
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Thanks for your analysis. I'm reminded of when I started with Python. At first I tried to use it like Java, but once I learned about its functional aspects I became far more productive. You can really shoot yourself in the foot by ignoring the true nature of a language.

What about Dojo? It looked slick back in 2006 when the scene was exploding.
 
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Dojo has matured into a pretty good framework, but to me its focus is different than jQuery, in that it's really aiming at being a complete client-side framework, whereas to me jQuery is lighter-weight and less invasive. You can do all the same things in either framework, but to get the UI functionality of Dojo you have to pick and choose amongst the jQuery UI plugins, which are of varying quality.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Dojo is a fine library, but a bit far-reaching for my tastes. I prefer less page presence.
 
David Newton
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Yep, it definitely wants to be your go-to client-side framework; I equate it more to YUI than jQuery.
 
David Harkness
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Great, that's quite clear now. We use jQuery for the user-facing site here and GWT for our deployment platform. As a backend engineer I am only a little familiar with these libraries. I think I'll pick up this book for myself and another for the junior members on our team.
 
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