Provides functionality for working with JavaScript in your views.

Ajax, controls and visual effects

Including the JavaScript libraries into your pages

Rails includes the Prototype JavaScript framework and the Scriptaculous JavaScript controls and visual effects library. If you wish to use these libraries and their helpers (ActionView::Helpers::PrototypeHelper and ActionView::Helpers::ScriptaculousHelper), you must do one of the following:

  • Use <%= javascript_include_tag :defaults %> in the HEAD section of your page (recommended): This function will return references to the JavaScript files created by the rails command in your public/javascripts directory. Using it is recommended as the browser can then cache the libraries instead of fetching all the functions anew on every request.
  • Use <%= javascript_include_tag 'prototype' %>: As above, but will only include the Prototype core library, which means you are able to use all basic AJAX functionality. For the Scriptaculous-based JavaScript helpers, like visual effects, autocompletion, drag and drop and so on, you should use the method described above.
  • Use <%= define_javascript_functions %>: this will copy all the JavaScript support functions within a single script block. Not recommended.

For documentation on javascript_include_tag see ActionView::Helpers::AssetTagHelper.


JAVASCRIPT_PATH = File.join(File.dirname(__FILE__), 'javascripts')


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