In case you didn’t know, Javascript is THE power on the web right now. Sure most games are coded in Flash and Java. Others are just claiming the “browser game” label yet you have to install some proprietary plug-in that won’t be useful to play any other game … Might as well consider any game downloaded through Steam to be browser games as well …

But look at any websites, games’ websites and you will find Javascript. Gone are the days where you only had HTML code to download. Users want an experience as close as possible to a desktop experience and we’re slowly getting there. Not that long ago Javascript was mostly considered just a toy to add some flashy and annoying stuff to your website. Now you can’t take it away from the web. The great thing is that people are appreciating it without knowing it actually exists.

When I started to work on Golemizer I decided to use Prototype. I’m not quite sure why I choose Prototype over anything else but I guess it might have something to do with that was offering some neat stuff I’m not sure others were offering back then (I might be wrong but was released in 2005 so you can almost consider it “old”).

When it comes down to which language or library to choose I just pick what I understand first and fits my needs. I don’t go into wars about X is better than Y (remember, the server of Golemizer is coded in VB.NET while C# seems to be king when speaking about the .NET framework). Prototype was doing what I needed it to do and I discovered it first so I went with it.

I never complained about Prototype and never cared much about benchmark comparison either so it was all fine. Anyway the real bottleneck for Golemizer’s performance is not the Javascript library I use but the browser players are using. Chrome is ultra-fast, Firefox is second followed by Opera and then Safari. IE comes last … like always.

But then I started to do some more fancy stuff. I have limited time (I still want to have a life when I leave the computer) so I rarely code everything from the ground myself. I use a lot of tutorials and extensions. The problem is that for Prototype went sleeping … I’m not blaming the people behind it but I need an active community feeding me code to achieve what I really want to do. I’m not interested to code my own extensions, I want to build games. For that I need people feeding me the code I need. I’m not a Javascript guru and I’m not aiming to become one so it comes to a point where I need to go where there is people thinking for me.

Sure Scripteka appeared but now we’re starting to see more and more dead links there. That’s unfortunate but that’s the reality of the open source world. You get candy as long as the person at the other end is interested and have time to give you some.

Now taking a look at jQuery and I see that it’s very active. There a lot (a LOT … maybe too much) of plug-ins and Microsoft and Nokia are now integrating it in their own platform.

It’s different but it’s not harder to learn than Prototype. I’ll just have to get used to it. All I know is that I find more easily code I’m looking for when I search for jQuery compatible plug-ins than when I look for something similar for Prototype. As I said, I have limited time so the choice is easy to make. The only problem is that the search engine for plug-ins on the jQuery website is terrible … Would it be so hard to sort the plug-ins by popularity or rating? Maybe it’s not a perfect system but so far it served me well for Joomla! and WordPress. I don’t have time to check every single bit of code random Joe coded. I want to know right now the most used piece of code. From there I’ll do the job of judging if it’s right for me or not but I feel like it would improve my chances of finding the right answer faster.

So goodbye Prototype. It was fun but it’s time to move on now. Maybe you’re still the best answer for some people but not for me anymore. It’s just a matter of getting the job done in the least amount of time possible. You are still good and well thought but “it’s your fault, it’s mine” … (hehe, did you ever heard that line?)

Now that doesn’t mean I’ll recode Golemizer using jQuery, that would be silly. I just make sure to always keep me busy so the new lines of code I wrote recently are using jQuery. Besides, you can run jQuery and Prototype together.

Like I said, this is not coming from some kind of Javascript guru telling you that jQuery is better than Prototype. It just comes from a programmer that have needs better answered from the world of jQuery.