Posts Tagged ‘jquery’

The eternal question: jQuery or MooTools?

June 23rd, 2009

It’s been a while since my last post and even more since I first thought of writing a comparison post between MooTools, Prototype & jQuery. At that time (almost a year ago), I was a huge MooTools fan. Anyone who asked me “Hey I’m starting a new project, what javascript library should I use?” got the following answer: “MooTools, of course”. Nowadays, things have changed a bit and so has my vision on js frameworks.

Although my first intention was to compare Prototype, jQuery & MooTools, I’m going to only mention the last two in this post. Not that Prototype wouldn’t be a good choice, but because I have much more experience with the other two – and also because I’m not a big “fan” of Prototype. Anyway, besides these libraries, there are at least a dozen other full javascript frameworks that you could use, so in case this is your first time you hear of such things (hmm, I doubt it though), you should check out a few of them – Ext JS, YUI, dojo, MochiKit are some of the ones I checked, heard or used.

Back to our js “battle” – I believe I’m not the only one who had to decide which one to use. So, what did I choose? Both! Not in the same project, of course, but some of my projects use jQuery, some others are based on Moo Technology. You’ll probably say this is confusing and not helping you decide which one to use. First of all, I suggest you read this great article on jQuery vs MooTools – it was a great inspirational source for me and it also contains most of the language differences and basic approach. Then, let’s try and emphasis some of the key parts of using either of these two – I’m not going into code elements, you can check the manuals for that.


– very simple to use, so if you’re a designer or don’t have enough experience in programming (or OOP), stick to jQuery

– only one method to access dom elements – $() or jQuery() – this is great because it removes a lot of extra code, so instead of writing something like $$(selectors).each(function(el) {}) (mootools style) you can just write $(selectors).do()

– cool effects are very simple to use and can be applied really quick


– programatic approach, so if you’re a developer or an ex-programmer (and like OOP), this is for you

– two main methods for accessing dom elements – $() and $$() – again, the code is much more simple to understand when using $$(‘#id a.class’).each(), instead of the same $(‘#id a.class’) method as jQuery does. That’s why jQuery is simple, MooTools is “correct”

– the effects part of the library is very complex and allows a lot of chaining, grouping and transition effects. again, the only problem is that it takes a bit longer to write moo-code, than j-code.

Final Thoughts

I believe it’s clear enough what the main difference between jQuery and MooTools is: it’s HOW you write javascript code. No one can really tell jQuery is best, or MooTools rules – both of them are great libraries and both of them can come in handy if you know when to use them. From my own experience, I’d say if you have a small project, more design than development, use jQuery. If you have a more complex project, that involves more javascript code, maybe reusable elements, design patterns, classes, etc – use MooTools.

I remember that I didn’t like jQuery when I first got in touch with Moo, because it was very slow. I believe it sill is slower than Moo, but the difference is not that significant on small projects.

I think it’s best to know at least one js framework and stick to that, if it makes you more productive. But I also believe it’s only to your advantage to understand how others work.



Aaron Newton of Clientcide, the author of “jQuery vs MooTools”, added a disclaimer in his post, so I think it wouldn’t hurt to add one myself, otherwise I might get assaulted by un-happy prototype, extjs, dojo or yui developers 🙂 I’m currently using both MooTools and jQuery, and sometimes writing a few lines of code on Prototype. I don’t intend to promote either of these frameworks, it’s really up to you which one to choose. You could even write your own!

I’d be really glad to hear some of your thoughts on javascript libraries – which ones are you using and why, why you think a is better than b, etc.



Javascript , ,

Custom animation using jCarousel and jQuery

May 12th, 2009

Yet another javascript demo, this time using jQuery. For those of you who haven’t worked or heard of jQuery here’s a quick explanation taken from their website: jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development.. So, first thing you need to do is go to and download the latest version if the library.

Next thing that you need is the jCarousel plugin, written by Jan Sorgalla – visit for more details.

Dont want to read everything? You can view the online demo or jCarousel Animation (2139 downloads)

Now you’re able to add carousel effects to both vertical lists and horizontal lists. I guess 90% of the time, jCarousel is flexible enough and will let you customize a lot of things from styles to behavior. However, today I wanted to add an effect to a list and I couldn’t make the plugin work as needed. Maybe I missed something, but anyway, here’s an example on how to change the default animations for jCarousel.

First, here’s the effect I wanted: on a horizontal carousel, elements auto scroll to the right until they reach the end, then change scroll to the left until they reach the start element. Let’s call this a variant of the circular wrap that can be defined with jCarousel.

Let’s setup the carousel – include style sheets and javascripts:

<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="res/jcarousel/jquery.jcarousel.css" media="screen" />
<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="res/jcarousel/skins/ie7/skin.css" media="screen" />

<script type="text/javascript" src="js/jquery-1.3.2.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="res/jcarousel/jquery.jcarousel.pack.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="js/pcarousel.js"></script>

then create the carousel markup:

<div class="pCarouselWrapper">
<div class="controls">
	<a href="#" class="pCarouselPrev">&laquo; prev</a>
	<a href="#" class="pCarouselStop">stop animation</a>
	<a href="#" class="pCarouselStart">start animation</a>
	<a href="#" class="pCarouselNext">next &raquo;</a>
<ul id="pCarousel" class="jcarousel-skin-ie7">
  <li>item data 1</li>
  <li>item data 2</li>
  <li>item data 3</li>
  <li>item data n</li>

I’ve added my own controls for prev() and next(), as well as a way to stop & start the animation. Now let’s configure the carousel:

jQuery(document).ready(function() {
    wrap: 'left',
    scroll: 1,
    visible: 3,
    initCallback: pCarousel.init,
    easing: 'linear',
    animation: pCarousel.animationSpeed,
    buttonPrevHTML: null,
    buttonNextHTML: null

Some quick comments, on the outcomes – shows 3 elements at once, scrolls only one each time, the movement effect is using linear easing (check out jQuery manual for more info on this) and default jCarousel control buttons are disabled. Everything is initialized via the pCarousel.init callback.

The effect is done by the pCarousel object:

var pCarousel = {
	animationId: null,
	animationDir: 'right',
	//time in miliseconds to wait before scrolling
	animationTimeout: 3000,
	//time in miliseconds for the scrolling transition
	animationSpeed: 250,
	init: function(carousel) {
		// Disable autoscrolling if the user clicks the prev or next button.
		carousel.clip.hover(function() { pCarousel.halt() }, function() { pCarousel.animate(carousel); });
		jQuery('a.pCarouselNext').bind('click', function() {
			return false;
		jQuery('a.pCarouselPrev').bind('click', function() {
			return false;
		jQuery('a.pCarouselStop').bind('click', function() {
			return false;
		jQuery('a.pCarouselStart').bind('click', function() {
			if( pCarousel.animationId ) { //already running
				pCarousel.animationDir = 'right';

			return false;
	animate: function(carousel) {
		pCarousel.animationId = setInterval( function() {
			if( carousel.last == carousel.options.size ) { pCarousel.animationDir = 'left'; }
			else if( carousel.first == 1 ) { pCarousel.animationDir = 'right'; }
			if( pCarousel.animationDir == 'right' ) {; }
			else { carousel.prev(); }
		}, pCarousel.animationTimeout );
	halt: function() {
		if( pCarousel.animationId ) {

Again, a few explanations – there are three methods, animate(), halt() and init(). Inside init(), we’re adding listeners on DOM elements and also a pseudo-listener (via the carousel object) that freezes animation while hovering the mouse over a list item.

The halt() method simply stops the current animation, by clearing the interval. Once again setInterval comes to the rescue!

The entire animation is handled by a setInterval() call, running the animation algorithm at specific intervals – the time that you want to keep the information on the screen (in this case, it’s 3 seconds). Then, the trick is to set a scrolling direction and change it each time the carousel reaches an end. By looking at the direction, you can either call next() or prev().

Nothing fancy, nothing new, but I think it’s a nice and useful animation.

Demo | jCarousel Animation (2139 downloads)

Javascript , ,