Back in the saddle (client-side javascript that is) again…

It has been a little while since I’ve been in the client-side of UI things, as I have been spending my days debugging quite a mess of an architecture at work.

However, I got a little break and was asked if I could make some UI enhancements to our website. My first question was, can I use Prototype and Scriptaculous? The answer was yes, “we just need it done quickly”.

So, dusting off my DevBoi plugin for Firefox, and updating my Prototype AddOn for it, I was back in the saddle again, coding on the client side (and man have I missed it).

Anyways, after showing it off to a few co-workers (see apology below), I have an example VS2005 project showing some neat site effects using prototype.js, scriptaculous.js, & lightbox.js

Click here to download the VS2005 Project (zip file). (You’re welcome Rob.)

There are three .aspx pages that you can look at (default.aspx, lightbox.aspx, and highlight.aspx).  Please comment if you need some explanation.
Also note as I got back into all of this, I downloaded the latest stable version of prototype.js (1.6.1), and immediately noticed that the framework has grown to 124KB. Wholly CRAP!! I did do some research, and found that Gzip is able to compress Prototype.js by 72.5% (33KB with GZIP level 3), and keep in mind, it’s really a one-time download for the client.

I also used JSMIN on the file, and it reduced it to 91KB or by 25.4% . So I will do some testing to see what GZIP on top of the JSMIN’ed version would give us. So we got that goin’ for us…

And we could tear into the prototype.js file, and remove what we don’t need if we really wanted to get it smaller, but how it would work with those things built on top of it, I’m not sure.

Also, I looked at the size of the files needed for Microsoft Atlas (sorry, I won’t call it Ajax.Net). The MicrosoftAjax.js file is 84KB coupled with the MicrosoftAjaxWebForms.js which is 30KB, thus a resulting 114KB, JUST FOR THE AJAX STUFF. Now add on the WebResource.axd for the PostBackOptions which is 21KB, and your at 135KB. And this doesn’t even make Javascript easier to use.


PS: My apologize go out to my co-workers who have to put up with me “demo’ing” new coding usages, patterns and practices. Please keep in mind, I’m just trying to show you all that coding doesn’t have to be that difficult.


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