jQuery is better than Prototype! (10 Reasons)

By Sam Deering


This post is now outdated, It has been kept here for entertainment purposes only.


Both jQuery and Prototype are JavaScript Development Frameworks/Packages that provide functions to make the writing of JavaScript code easier, faster and more efficient. Both have strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages but here on jQuery4u we love jQuery and think it’s the best so this list is all about how jQuery kicks Prototype a$$!

jQuery Official Definition

“jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development. jQuery is designed to change the way that you write JavaScript.” source:

Prototype Official Definition

“Prototype is a JavaScript Framework that aims to ease development of dynamic web applications. Featuring a unique, easy-to-use toolkit for class-driven development and the nicest Ajax library around, Prototype is quickly becoming the codebase of choice for web application developers everywhere.” source:

10 Reasons why is jQuery better than Prototype!


  1. jQuery library size is smaller that Prototype! – jQuery.js is 83K and Prototype.js is 159K (121K when compressed).
  2. jQuery has more plugins available than Prototype! – jQuery has hundreds of unofficial plug-ins in a directory at while Prototype has only a small selection here:
  3. jQuery is better at animation than Prototype! – There is nothing like jQuery.animate function by which you can do any css animation (You have to add scriptaculous.js for some pre-built animation effects!)
  4. jQuery community is far larger than Prototype! – If you measure jQuery and Prototype on metrics like the number of people using it, the number of search queries run on Google, the number of books sold, etc, you’ll see jQuery is ahead by a wide margin.
  5. jQuery is easier to learn than Prototype! – There are more tutorials out there online and you don’t need to know JavaScript inside out to learn it! It is also a widely known fact that Prototype takes longer to learn than jQuery.
  6. jQuery has less conflicts than Prototype! – Prototype has class creation, Try.these and Position, Range.
  7. jQuery has sexier looking syntax than Prototype! – This ones a personal opinion of mine… a very subjective observation!
  8. You can achieve more with less code using jQuery in lots of common tasks (see code example below for proof!)
  9. jQuery loads faster in IE than Prototype! – Proof is below!!!  (results by Slickspeed).
  10. jQuery is updated more regularly than Prototype! – Simply better performance due to more updates and bug fixes from a dedicated team. See The Performance Results Tables.}


Example of code in jQuery

$("html,body").animate({  scrollLeft: ($(' ul li').eq(index).offset().left - leftOffset) + 'px'  }, "slow", "swing");  

Example of code in Prototype

var scrollOffsets = document.viewport.getScrollOffsets();  var elementOffsets = $$(' ul li')[index].cumulativeOffset();  new Effect.Tween(null,scrollOffsets.left,elementOffsets[0] - lo,function(p){window.scrollTo(p,;});  

The summary is the code using prototype.js was 180 lines and the equivalent code using jQuery is now only 160 lines.

Well, I hope this short post helps spread the word that jQuery is better than Prototype! :P

  • Richard Clifford


    I, personally, agree that jQuery is better than Prototype in many different cases, however, this article is very bias towards jQuery.

    You could run tests on various different pieces of code to see the speed. Prototype is also better for somethings over jQuery.

    Prototype requires more knowledge to grasp it’s full excellence, if you just want to get something working out of the box, then jQuery is the way forward, however, if you want flexibility then Prototype is the way forward (out of the box).

  • drow

    Funny… Prototype only needs one reason its better than jQuery. :P



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