I've used javascript sparingly in the last few years, mostly sourcing little samples from those cheesy old sites with blinding advertising and times new romans fonts... I confess that I only know bits and pieces and have never studied anything much in depth.

In the last few days i've become aware of some great javascript frameworks that I previously didn't even know existed. I started with prototype and thought that was the best thing since sliced bread, until I discovered mootools which is so tiny and yet seems to do all the things that I want... which is:

- use an effect called slimbox which is a better alternative than using popups to show full sized images (for e-commerce situations). It also falls back to a direct link to the image should javascript not be enabled.

- do what seems to be the stock standard ajax trick, requesting a url and replacing a div's contents with the result from the page. this has so many implementations im sure but i'm using it for stuff like "add to watch list" where an id is passed to a php page, a db query occurs and the result is shown on the page without a refresh

- and the big one, prototype had a function called PeriodicalUpdater, which can be used to repeatedly call upon something. I want to use this to update details of an auction (eg. current high bidder) without a screen refresh.

I have a couple of questions:

1. I see that mootools can be downloaded compressed or not compressed. I don't quite understand the requirements to run a compressed js file. Is it safe to assume that almost any lamp server will understand it?

2. My current theory for the recurring page update without a page refresh, was to basically run the same process as I would for "add to watch list" functionality except repeating say every 10 seconds or whatever, using mootools Periodical.
a) Does anyone know if mootools has the equivalent of the decay option in PeriodicalUpdater in prototype? You could say the documentation is "lite"
b) has anyone experienced using this function before, and if using with php/mysql the kind of resource usage that may occur?

Sorry for the long-winded post... and to js purists who would lament the idea of using js frameworks without properly knowing the language all I can see is a massive shortcut to getting some cool stuff working!