Web 2.0 Javascript Framework Review

I was doing well today until I read the Digg blog about using JQuery for their updated comments code. Now I'm trying to learn about all of them Prototype, JQuery, MooTools, script.aculo.us, and Adobe Spry. I've looked into script.aculo.us and prototype before but never needed to use them for any real purpose. Another concern I have with using them is support for non-javascript visitors. A lot of people run without javascript enabled for security reasons, even more so in tightly controlled corporate and government agencies. So using something like the accordian effect is cool and makes for a better page UI, if it doesn't show all by default when javascript is turned off it doesn't do much good. And I know this isn't really up to the framework because its javascript and it would no run so it's up to me the developer to figure out how to work in the noscript tag. Also of concern is the size although most if not all are very small to load and often are smaller than my designer counterparts' foot graphics.

  • Prototype - one of the originals, at least the first one I remember
    • 94k uncompressed
  • jQuery 1.1.2 - great, tons of examples, and documentation
    • 54k and compressed to 24k
  • MooTools.net 1.11 - awesome, tons of examples, and documentation.
    • Core Only 4k and compressed to 3k
    • Everything 87k and compressed to 43 k
  • script.aculo.us 1.7.0 - requires 7 files plus an included version of prototype.js
    • 201k
  • Adobe Spry - beta
    • 398k
MooTools.net has a great download builder. It allows you to have just the core functionality (4k) or choose to add about 30 other classes and plugins (all 87k). Mootools.net also provides a variety of compression methods like no comments and whitespace, no documentation, and packer compression. Both Jquery and MooTools are available with the MIT license which allows for personal and commercial use without restrictions.

I just seriously started reviewing these today but it seems jQuery and Mootools.net are stand outs. jQuery also has the advantage of Digg.com switching from script.aculo.us for their site.

I know this not a complete review and I will add more to the list as I learn about them.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Actually, features like ensuring users can view the entire contents of an accordion if JavaScript is not enabled can be the responsibility of a Framework. See for example the progressive enhancement demo at www.gapjumper.com