DOM Popup Kit

The DOM Popup Kit is a useful JavaScript class created by Stuart Rackham. To quote the documentation for the utility:

This single class can create tooltips, dropdown menus, modal and non-modal popup elements. Popups can be draggable and have auto-close or click-to-close functionality. Scriptaculous effects can be applied when opening and closing popups. Behavior can be customized with over a dozen options, but the defaults are reasonable and options are often not required.

The class uses the Prototype JavaScript library, which is one of the most popular open source JavaScript libaries. It also uses the Scriptaculous JavaScript library for various effects; this open source library is also built on top of Prototype.

Conveniently, both Prototype and Scriptaculous are already included with standard Rails installations, so integration with Rails is a breeze. Integration with other technologies will obviously require the installation of the other JavaScript libraries as prerequisites.

More information on the free DOM Popup Kit, plus a download link, can be found at the following URL:

I've found the DOM Popup Kit to be extremely useful when combined with the AJAX capabilities supported by Rails. Within a single page, I was able to use the DOM Popup Kit to create modal popup "panels" with form fields to collect information from users. Upon submission, I was able to A) make the popup disappear, and B) use AJAX to update elements of the web page with updated information. This allowed me to create a very nice "thick client" experience for my end users.


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