Monday, May 5th, 2008

Ajax Pioneer Week: Sam Stephenson of Prototype

Category: Interview, Podcasts, Prototype

We are having a special week at Ajaxian. Ben and I are giving an Ajax talk at JavaOne this week, and decided to put a little video from Ajax pioneers. As we worked out what we wanted to do, we asked the pioneers for a little time to do an interview. Although only a piece of the interview will be used in the live presentation, we wanted to get the full interviews for the community here.

During the week you will hear from:

  • Sam Stephenson of Prototype
  • Bruce Johnson of GWT
  • Alex Russell of Dojo
  • John Resig of jQuery

On Wednesday, we will have a special video that features Ben and I having some fun with a new type of Ajax application.

Let’s cut to the chase, and listen in to Sam Stephenson. Although we couldn’t get to him in person, he kindly recorded himself via his laptop. My voice quality is poor, but we are all hear to listen to his thoughts on:

  • The future of Prototype
  • What excites him about new versions of Prototype, and what problems are they trying to solve
  • Thoughts on the current crop of browsers, and what he wants to see

In the interview he discusses pdoc, a new inline documentation tool, Sprockets, a tool to help package Prototype, and new event delegation techniques.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 11:16 am

4.2 rating from 53 votes


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Opera actually allows uploading multiple files thanks to its Web Forms 2.0 support (see ).

Comment by dbloom — May 5, 2008



Comment by Trevor — May 5, 2008

Trevor: how about a caps lock free talk and I think there are more annoying things out there than overlapping videos.

Comment by Aimos — May 5, 2008

Aimos: sure, there are plenty of things to criticize, and doing so in one instance doesn’t prevent one from doing so in another. And as far as caps lock, well, I’ve posted the same question sans caps about 50 times and no response. So I’m trying to draw more attention to it. It’s frustrating because, as a person in the “web 2.0” biz, I often want to see what other folks are doing, and it’s very often completely impossible to read their code samples completely because they are cropped by the center column width. It would take about ten seconds to fix, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be done. It’s just frustrating that they’ve so far ignored every previous request.

Comment by Trevor — May 5, 2008

Adendum. There are more annoying things out there than caps lock and people complaining about overflowing content.

Comment by Trevor — May 5, 2008

Great idea, interesting to actually see/hear these guys as most of the time they are just names.

Looking forward to the rest.

Comment by bugrain — May 5, 2008

that was great to watch – thanks guys!

I couldn’t agree with Sam more about EOLing IE 6. Microsoft need to be pushing that a lot harder!

Comment by blackmondo — May 5, 2008

Are you going to have Jack Slocum of Ext?

Comment by RobertV — May 5, 2008

Sprockets sounds like JavaScriptMVC’s include plugin.

Comment by ladder — May 6, 2008

Event delegation is a core component of JavaScriptMVC’s Controller plugin. Great to see coming in prototype.

Comment by JustinMeyer — May 6, 2008

I’d like to hear Mochi-Bob.

Comment by Fredrik — May 6, 2008

Perhaps will be a good choice to publish the interview transcriptions

Another question will be: is the plant behind Sam a Marihuana plant? (At least it seems to be)

Comment by Garito — May 6, 2008

Hi there,

I’d love to see an interview with ExtJS’s Jack Slocum as well! If at all possible? I think Ajaxian is a great forum for dialog and inviting Jack for an interview would be a good fit with that.

It would be great to hear his thoughts on the Open Web, HTML5, W3C, Microsoft, other libraries and the “state” of JS libraries in general, and if we could ever get to a standardized interface for plugging widgets into multiple toolkits


Comment by Matt — May 8, 2008

(Have to register for an account w/o OpenID and still put in a Captcha?)

Great video, it’s nice to see a programmer with an eye towards practical enhancements and improvements. Hearing the example of Git’s usage immediately helped me understand why Distributed Source Control is useful.

What was the Scriptecca project mentioned at the end of the video? Couldn’t find any Google results on it, probably due to a misspell or mishear.

Comment by zachleat — May 10, 2008

Scripteka is a place where you can find widgets and tools based on Prototype.

Comment by Chrizzle — May 19, 2008

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