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Prototype Releases Version 1.5, New Website, and Documentation

by Scott Delap on Jan 18, 2007 |
The popular Prototype Javascript framework has released version 1.5 which addresses a number of bugs. The biggest change however is a new Prototype website including full documentation.

We’re moving past those times however. We’ve worked really hard to fully document the api. This is something we’ll be improving over time, but it’s a great start. Here are some of the features:

Guessable URLs

The documentation site has guessable urls. For instance, if your looking for documentation on Element.show, then you can find that documentation at a url like : http://prototypejs.org/api/element/show, or if your looking for Form.Element.focus you can find it at: http://prototypejs.org/api/form/element/focus.

Atom feeds

Each Object has it’s own atom feed. This opens the doors for integrated documentation. For instance, if you want the XML file for Form.Element, you can find it at: http://prototypejs.org/feed/api/form/element/atom.xml. This feed will always contain the most up-to-date documentation for Form.Element.

Tips and Tutorials

We’ve also added an article section where you can find tips, tutorials, and a variety of articles for Prototype. We plan on adding many more articles to this area over time, so keep your eyes peeled.

Bloggers have noted that the new website is powered by Mephisto.

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Exciting by Lee John

It's really exciting. Documentation will make it widely used

Size Matters by Sam Smoot

I'm a bit dissapointed to be honest. The new version is more than 50% larger. Is that really necessary? Prototype is one of the nicest libraries out there for developers, but it's also one of the most bloated libraries, and a lot of the functionality (at least in previous versions) was also pretty slow.

I would've rather they trimmed down the size and improve the performance. I think this release may just be the one that makes me take a closer look at mootools and some of the other frameworks.

Re: Size Matters by Christophe Porteneuve

The size argument surfaces now and again on the Rail-Spinoffs GGroup (the official list for Prototype and script.aculo.us), mostly by guys trying to wrench Prototype through jslint or other compressors.

Still, this ignores a variety of factors, including browser cache strategies, actual load time at even low-end DSL bandwidth, and server- and brower-side support for GZipping, which is widely enabled, and makes the current version 19k in transit.

As for performance, it has been vastly improved, and remains a top priority. For instance, there are pending patches just now, on 1.5.1 (trunk), that address critical performance issues such as $$, and minor ones such as Array.uniq(). If you have detailed suggestions as to other areas, go to the Prototype-Core GGroup and let us know :-)

Finally, I assume by "50% larger" you're comparing with 1.4, which is 1+ year old. The size increase is amply justified by the boatload of new features, none of which is actually superfluous. And when you look at the feature/size ratio, I think it's pretty good.

Sincerely,

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