jqueryFor the last couple years JavaScript frameworks have been all the rage. Why not? They are fantastic. JavaScript that previously would have taken hours to write can now be achieved in a few minutes using popular frameworks. Many of these frameworks can help with various animations, streamlining DOM manipulation, speeding up the process of writing AJAX, and will also help clean up your code all while saving time. Below I have selected the top 11.26 JavaScript libraries. I say .26 because swfObject isn’t a complete library but is instead a set of JavaScript tools for embedding Flash. Even though it is not a complete library it is now hosted by Google and is the most widely used Flash embeding method so I felt it deserved to make my list. Enjoy!

jQuery

URL: http://www.jquery.com/
Hosted at Google: Yes
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.

Prototype

URL: http://www.prototypejs.org/
Hosted at Google: Yes
Prototype is a JavaScript Framework that aims to ease development of dynamic web applications. It features 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.

MooTools

URL: http://www.mootools.net/
Hosted at Google: Yes
MooTools is a compact, modular, Object-Oriented JavaScript framework designed for the intermediate to advanced JavaScript developer. It allows you to write powerful, flexible, and cross-browser code with its elegant, well documented, and coherent API.

Dojo

URL: http://dojotoolkit.org/
Hosted at Google: Yes
The Dojo Toolkit is an open-source JavaScript toolkit for building great web applications. It shortens the time between idea and implementation by providing a well conceived API and set of tools for assisting and fixing the issues experienced in everyday web development. It is lightning fast, extremely robust, and supplies a solid set of tools for DOM manipulation, Animations, Ajax, Event and keyboard normalization, Internationalization (i18n) and Accessibility (a11y).

script.aculo.us

URL: http://script.aculo.us/
Hosted at Google: Yes
script.aculo.us is a set of JavaScript libraries to enhance the user interface of web sites. It provides an visual effects engine, a drag and drop library (including sortable lists), a couple of controls (Ajax-based autocompletion, in-place editing, sliders) and more.

Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI)

URL: http://www.mochikit.com/
Hosted at Google: Yes
The YUI Library is a set of utilities and controls, written in JavaScript, for building richly interactive web applications using techniques such as DOM scripting, DHTML and AJAX. YUI is available under a BSD license and is free for all uses. The YUI project includes the YUI Library and two build-time tools: YUI Compressor (minification) and YUI Doc (documentation engine for JavaScript code).

Spry Framework

URL: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/
Hosted at Google: No
The Spry framework for Ajax is a JavaScript library that provides easy-to-use yet powerful Ajax functionality that allows designers to build pages that provide a richer experience for their users. It is designed to take the complexity out of Ajax and allow designers to easily create Web 2.0 pages.

MochiKit

URL: http://www.mochikit.com/
Hosted at Google: No
MochiKit is a powerful set of JavaScript tools. It offers tools to assist with event handling, AJAX, and DOM Manipulation. It is very well documented and generally well designed.

Railto

URL: http://rialto.improve-technologies.com/
Hosted at Google: No
Railto is a toolkit which focuses on aiding the development of AJAX based cross browser JavaScript in corporate environments. It is deisgned for use on corporate web applications and not general internet websites.

ASP.NET Ajax Framework

URL: http://asp.net/ajax/
Hosted at Google: No
ASP.NET AJAX is a free framework for quickly creating efficient and interactive Web applications that work across all popular browsers.

Clean Ajax Framework

URL: http://sourceforge.net/projects/clean-ajax/
Hosted at Google: No
Easy to use AJAX framework that provides message queue, XSLT, XPath, encryption (SHA1, MD5), web service access (SOAP, XMLRPC), JSON-RPC, cross browser AJAX, AJAX history and cache control.

SWFObject

URL: http://blog.deconcept.com/swfobject/
Hosted at Google: Yes
SWFObject is a small Javascript file used for embedding Adobe Flash content. The script can detect the Flash plug-in in all major web browsers (on Mac and PC) and is designed to make embedding Flash movies as easy as possible. It is also very search engine friendly, degrades gracefully, can be used in valid HTML and XHTML 1.0 documents*, and is forward compatible, so it should work for years to come.