Prototype Reference Widget

I was excited when the first documentation of the Prototype JavaScript Framework was released a couple of weeks ago. In order to get quick access to the documentation I created a simple Dashboard widget. And well… I thought it would be nice to share it with you.

On the official Prototype blog Justin Palmer posted some tools that are of great help when coding Prototype based JavaScript applications. Besides the TextMate plugins I particulary liked the idea of using a bookmarklet to quickly search the documentation. Since it’s just a simple JavaScript, I thought it would be nice to create a tiny Dashboard widget out of it.

Prototype Widget


So what about usage? Well as you might have expected, it’s quite simple: For instance if you are looking for documentation on “Event”, just type “event” - if you want some details on “Event.observe”, just enter “Event.observe”... wow ;) Actually you can also omit the separating dots and just use spaces instead. That’s it. Enjoy.

Update: Version 1.1 is out with tweaked support for Prototype’s $-utilities. For instance you can now search for “$, $$, $a etc.”. A special “thank you” goes out to Andrew Dupont, providing the respective JavaScript code.



What about a Yahoo! Widget for us poor Windows users.

Martin Labuschin

great widget wolfgang! i think it would be better to do an windows port for avedesk, cause its basicly the same as dashboard.


Nice... :) its time to learn some D


I tried it. But it requires that I hit enter before it does anything. Is that the way it is supposed to work.


Great work! Thanks.

Tobie Langel

Martin: Get a mac! ;-) Great work! Thank you so much!


Exactly - just type in the search term and hit "Return" :)


Beautiful work man! Thats going to be handy.

Justin Palmer

This is awesome! If dashboard widgets can parse atom okay, I'll probably add atom urls for articles in Mephisto. This way widget could display the info inline. If atom is a pain, I can add json support then.


Beautiful and very handy widget, really nice

Mike Vitoroulis

Nice and simple, thank you so much :-)

Alexander Graf

Pretty Cool! ;]

Piotr Usewicz

Atom or JSON support would be great idea :) This would reduce lookup times additionally.


Very cool! Thanks allot for making it.

Sophia Teutschler

Pretty sweet tool! thank u!

Alexander Hahn

Very useful, thank you - and beautiful to look at too! Something I've been meaning to ask since the new prototype site went live is whether there's a connection with bartelme design? It seems to include a few ideas from here...

Steve Williams

OK, I'll be the spoil sport... I do wish folks would stop making empty-headed widgets like this. It's just a let-down to enter a search and then find yourself whisked off to your browser for the information. If I wanted to use my browser to search the Prototype docs, I can find it easily enough. What we need (or what I need anyway) is a widget that displays the documentation within itself... Come on, widgets are just little websites (or at least, that's their ultimate best use), and they can be totally ajax- and content-rich. There are good examples of the kind of widget I'm talking about... a couple for PHP and at least one for CSS. They're little reference works in themselves, not just search portals that no one will ever use... If I have time, maybe I'll make it myself... :-) Hey, that does sound like fun! A prototype widget using prototype and!  "Gee, where have I seen one of those before...?": It's got no brains, but it's very pretty!

Leland Scott

Top work! I heart widgets at the moment. I have to agree with Leland somewhat though. I do get a little disappointed when a widget merely does form submit to a website. Awesome nether less.

Scott Mackenzie

I agree with you both - a fully featured widget would be the way to go. But for the time time being I just wanted to get quick access to the documentation. Don't forget that you can place widgets directly on your desktop - outside Dashboard. So it's even faster... :)


Very nice thanks.


yeah die Rückseite sieht gut aus :D aber das Widget is auch nicht schlecht

Wolfgang Klatt

There is bad idea!


Thanks, this was a great introduction for me.

Timo Schmidt

Great Widget....I've been learning 4 different frameworks and my mind is starting to go on overload!! I'm implementing protoype along with Rico and on a mock up online menu and this will be a much used resource.

Zachary Abresch

Nice widget.

Alex Buga

love it!

Jesse Thomas

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