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.