Although you can anon actualize a JPanel that’s managed by FormLayout, the Forms library provides the com.jgoodies.forms.builder.PanelBuilder chic for simplifying this task—it builds and allotment a JPanel for you. The class methods calmly let you specify a absence bound for, add labels (with mnemonics) to, and acquaint a appellation for the console (and so on). I took advantage of this chic in a FormLayout adaptation of the abode book application—check out Listing 1.
Listing 1 reveals my use of the afterward band to set the GUI border:
instead of PanelBuilder’s method:
By invoking setBorder(), the appliance yields a GUI that’s very agnate to the GUI in Figure 1, which we created in allotment 2 of this series. Slightly altered agreement (resulting from the use of chat units) between apparatus is the alone absolute difference.
Figure 1 Design-by-GridBagLayout abode book GUI.
Listing 1 additionally reveals the afterward acceptable class:
This branch chic consists alone of changeless methods that are invoked to build frequently acclimated on bars. Basically, a on bar is a console that holds OK and Cancel ons, and automatically sizes and lays out these ons according to GUI standards for the operating system. (For example, agreement the OK on to the larboard of the Cancel on is actual for Windows, but not for Linux.)
Finally, Listing 1 reveals the one disadvantage PanelBuilder has when compared to the GridBagLayout and GridBagConstraints classes: It’s a altercation to acquaint new apparatus (such as email characterization and argument fields) into the filigree because the adjustment of anniversary basic charge be defined explicitly, which can crave chiral changes to abounding adjustment values. GridBagLayout avoids this altercation back GridBagConstraints.RELATIVE is acclimated for gridx.
Fortunately, the Forms library provides this class, which is a added advanced console builder:
This architect combines frequently acclimated panel-building steps:
This affection abundantly simplifies the architecture of a layout. To illustrate the accessibility provided by DefaultFormBuilder, I’ve created a third adaptation of the abode book application. Listing 2 presents the antecedent code.
DefaultFormBuilder provides assorted append() methods that automatically actualize JLabel apparatus and accessory them with their data-entry components. There’s no best a charge to alarm setLabelFor(Component c) to accomplish this association. For example, builder.append (“&Name:”, txtName, 7); in Listing 2 performs a lblName.setLabelFor (txtName); and causes txtName to span seven columns, starting in cavalcade 3.
Listing 2 declaratively specifies columns via “l:p, 2dlu, p, 2dlu, p, 2dlu, p, 2dlu, p:g”. In contrast, rows are added to the architect through append() adjustment calls. Back a basic is added, the architect determines whether addition row is necessary. If so, a new spacer and row with the appropriate adopted admeasurement are added automatically. If a row contains a yet-to-be-filled corpuscle (such as the corpuscle afterward the cardinal argument acreage on the buzz line), the builder’s accessible abandoned nextLine() adjustment is alleged to move to the next row.
AB1’s dumpLayoutInfo() adjustment provides bound debugging advice by sending some advantageous abstracts to accepted output. Listing 2 uses more-sophisticated classes to acrylic filigree bound (if and alone if the panel’s blueprint administrator is FormLayout), as apparent in Figure 2:
Figure 2 FormDebugPanel highlights the layout’s row and cavalcade borders.
These classes additionally dump coercion ethics (and added data) to standard output:
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