Prototype is not the de facto standard

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Ajaxian has a pushback at Prototype criticism. Among the criticism is:

A lot of javascript tutorials written today are based on the prototype framework. So, I thought it would be nice to see how other people use prototype.js . What I found is that the majority of people use it only because they think it is easier when in fact, they use only a couple of prototype functions ($() and the AJAX functions primarily).

This is a good point. If you’re only using Prototype to access a page element or make an Ajaxian server-side call, you’re not using Prototype to the fullest, and you’re better using your own homegrown.

I agree with Ajaxian, though, in that there is documentation on Prototype, though the creator of the library seems to be reluctant to make this known. Where I don’t agree with the writer, Rob, is his statement:

…although I’m disappointed to see that Sergio hasn’t updated his excellent reference since May, there are still so many fantastic howto’s and tutorials written using Prototype. Plus the books out now that base much of their code on Prototype.

Nope. My book, Adding Ajax, doesn’t. Covers it, yes, but also covers other libraries, too. More importantly, I create original JavaScript for all my examples so that a person can ‘see’ what’s happening without having to dig through the cryptic Ajax libraries, or without having to take a ‘leap of faith’. Then I demonstrate the examples using one library or another, Prototype among them, so the reader can learn how to use these, as well as write their own code–or do both. I don’t think a book author is doing the readers a service by making them dependent on one library that could go *poof* if the developer got bored with maintaining it. Yes, even a widespread use library like Prototype that’s open source.

I also dig into the libraries, exploring the code, and that includes Prototype because it does have some very clever implementations and nice use of JS. Still, I don’t just write “we’ll use Prototype for this” without explaining why. I don’t know of a lot of other Ajax books that are completely dependent on Prototype, either. Too much is changing in this environment to make folks dependent on one library or another.

I respect Prototype much more than I originally did when I first started using it. However, I still think that $() is confusing to new JavaScript developers, though it’s too widespread now to change. I also don’t fully understand why there isn’t a link to some form of documentation with the library.


The Giveaway

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I find it humorous that after the Blogger meeting with Bill Gates–where he walked into a room of bloggers, all of whom were using Apple laptops–Microsoft works with Acer to send out Windows laptops to webloggers. As Jeneane notes, primarily male webloggers (and I’ve not seen anything among the ASP.NET webloggers about them receiving anything from the company).

It was a foolish move if, for no other reason, they sent laptops to many people who can easily afford to buy a laptop. More, the same people who get offered so much anyway, creating a strong divide between the tiny haves and the many have-nots. A better approach would have been to provide a random drawing, a contest, or some other event if they wanted to provide webloggers with Windows laptops. Then the event would have generated attention without the acrimony.

That’s that not the point, though. Microsoft wanted to influence the influencers, tossing a few machines to some on the edges more as distraction (“See? Not everyone we gave one to is an A Lister.”) It was a rather amateurish act, and I have to wonder about these PR companies and their inability to get things right.

I don’t begrudge the folks getting one who could not afford such, and more power to them. I hope they keep the machines, because it would cruel to make them give up something that has become a real and unexpected treat. If you know such, then back off and let them enjoy something delightfully unexpected.

I do wonder, though, at those who have so much already who continue to take and take. The words “gluttony” and “greed” come to mind, but I’m sure that such surfacing is purely coincidence, webloggers being the selfless bunch that we are.

I did get a kick out of the Slashdot commentThis is typical MS behaviour – entirely immoral and calculating … and where do I sign up?

No, I did not get a machine. The only times I’ve been offered a freebie is when Clay Shirky and Tim O’Reilly and others offered to pay my plane ticket to an O’Reilly tech conference, though I would have to pay for my own hotel and food. That was back when I first started pointing out the fact that O’Reilly conferences had few women. Blogher did the same, but I think they were working on seeing I was fed and housed, ungrateful pup that I was.

Microsoft did offer to give me the deluxe treatment at the Search Camp Spa, back when I had blogging cred. I declined, forever banishing me to the hinterland of “those who don’t get it”. Literally it would seem.

Oh and folks who followed the old Burningbird weblog site have helped me out from time to time so I could keep the site running. See? It’s all your faults. You could have gotten rid of me years ago.

Ooops. Oops. I forgot, I did get a free gift.

When I wrote about lens cleaning and pointed folks to Copperhill and their lens cleaning kits, they were nice enough to send me a DVD cleaning kit as a note of appreciation. It has the cutest little iPod screen cleaner you’ve ever seen — just like a baby felt covered squeegee.

Oh god, now I’m forever tainted. I’ve failed Scoble’s and Arrington’s criteria for ethical webloggers. I will be known for now and forever as the Woman Who Took the Baby Felt Covered Squeegee and Didn’t Disclose.

This sucks. I feel so ashamed.



Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I can’t say that I’m a fan of either Gerald Ford or James Brown, but in the end I don’t think either gentleman got the credit they deserve for their contributions in life.

Gerald Ford will go down in history as the man who pardoned Nixon, but oddly enough I remember him most for his quirky sense of humor and ability to laugh at himself every time he tripped.

James Brown, the godfather of soul, but also a troubled man too involved with drugs, and too little control over his anger.

They both gave it their best shot, and did more than most, and I can’t think of a better epitaph than that.

Legal, Laws, and Regs

Where’s the harm

I was asked in comments associated with the post on Judge Dierker, what’s the harm in someone saying something offensive.

Read the original story in the Riverfront Times about the woman and the case that forms the basis for the first chapter in Judge Dierker’s book.

Then tell me: do you see harm?



Oh. What a surprise. John Edwards is running for President. And he’s grabbing the Kids of the Kluetrain for all our good internet-driven fund raising.

Wow. Couldn’t have seen that one coming.