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Prototype and Object.prototype: JavaScript Power Tools

Amy Hoy, Lead Interaction Designer, Lime Wire, LLC

Track: Web Applications (client-side and server-side)
Date: Thursday, July 26
Time: 4:30pm - 5:15pm
Location: E145

JavaScript is certainly the most misunderstood child of the World Wide Web. Originally invented at Netscape, JavaScript gained a reputation for being bratty, incompatible, hackish, and far from beautiful. But as time passed, JavaScript has grown into a standard -- and become a language with a remarkably elegant and grown-up design.

The true power of JavaScript lies in its prototype-based object model, and its many functional language features. The extremely popular Prototype.js library, for its part, is made possible by (and named after) the very object model that makes JavaScript so great. Prototype (uppercase) uses Object.prototype (lowercase) to extend and improve JavaScript, make interacting with the DOM more graceful, and provide one of the friendliest, most flexible Ajax solutions around.

This talk will start off quickly with coverage of JavaScript's object model (and functional features), and then hop, skip, and jump through the beautiful thing that is the Prototype.js library.

Talking points will include:

  • A user-friendly explanation of JavaScript's object model
  • A quick run-through of JavaScript's functional language-style features
  • How Prototype extends and improves JavaScript
  • Using Prototype's Class and Object features
  • Controlling the DOM with Prototype
  • Using Prototype for Ajax
  • A brief overview of libraries that use Prototype

The talk is based off the speaker's upcoming book, Web Scripting Power Tools (O'Reilly & Associates, 2007).