This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
The Prototype library simplifies AJAX code, because using the XMLHttpRequest object directly is kind of a pain. Stripes doesn't care what client-side technology is used to make the AJAX calls, though - you can use whatever you like.