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Actions: Borders ImageIcon
Look and Feel Using Thread Timer
Box Layout  GridBagLayout 



Other Swing Features

Actions:
Actions are ActionListener that are used to provide a centralized control for multiple components in a ToolBar, Menu, PopupMenu. They are generally created as a subclass of AbstractAction. Adding an Action into a Menu or PopupMenu returns a MenuItem whereras adding it to a ToolBar returns a Button. Icon and ToolTipText can be added to the returned components. If the Action is disabled, all of the multiple components are also disabled.

Example of creating an Action:
        leftAction = new AbstractAction("Go left", new ImageIcon("images/left.gif")) {
              public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
                  displayResult("Action for first button/menu item", e);
              }
          };

API : setEnabled(boolean), MenuItem add(Action) ,Insert(Action, int) -- Menu and PopupMenu, JButton add(Action) -- ToolBar etc



Borders

Set border of components using setBorder method.

Simple borders:
BorderFactory.createLineBorder(Color.black);
BorderFactory.createEtchedBorder();
BorderFactory.createRaisedBevelBorder();
BorderFactory.createLoweredBevelBorder();
BorderFactory.createEmptyBorder();

Matte Borders:
BorderFactory.createMatteBorder(-1, -1, -1, -1, icon);
BorderFactory.createMatteBorder(1, 5, 1, 1, Color.red);
BorderFactory.createMatteBorder(0, 20, 0, 0, icon);

Titled Borders:
Border titBor = BorderFactory.createTitledBorder([aborder], "titlestring",[titleJust],[titlePosi]);
titBor.setTitleJustification(TitledBorder.constant);
titBor.setTitlePosition(TitledBorder.constant)

Compund Border:
BorderFactory.createCompundBorder(border1, border2);



ImageIcon

Swing uses ImageIcon to represent image. It contains a Image Object and a MediaTracker. The Mediatracker is used to maintian the status of loading of all imageicon in the program. The ImagIcon constructor returns only after the image is loaded.  Image can be loaded in the background by using a separate thread from the main GUI thread so that the user an view the GUI even when the image is being loaded (e.g use SwingWorker provided in the Tutorial). The source of the image can be provided as a filename or a URL. In an application the URL can be created using the ClassLoader.getSystemResource() method. In an applet the image source are relative to the Codebase where the applet class file is stored in the server.

An image icon be customized to draw it own different images depending upon its state. This might prove to be faster than loading an image from an URL and painting the same. For example, instead of specifying a enabled and disabled image icon for a button, we can provide a custom icon that paints itself differently depending on its enable or diable state.



Look and Feel

The Swing UI manager checks whether a L&F has been specified.
This could be specified in the program. If not set in the program then the UI manager checks in a file called: swing.properties in the lib directory of the java release. An entry of this file might look like this:
swing.defaultlaf=com.sun.java.swing.plaf.motif.MotifLookAndFeel.
If not specified or the specified L&F is invalid, the Java L&F is used.

Setting the Look and Feel from within the program:

     public static void main(String[] args) {
              try {
                    UIManager.setLookAndFeel(
                      UIManager.getCrossPlatformLookAndFeelClassName());
              } catch (Exception e) { }

              new SwingApplication(); //Create and show the GUI.
          }

Other arguments the setLookAndFeel can use includes :UIManager.getSystemLookAndFeelClassName(), "javax.swing.plaf.metal.MetalLookAndFeel" , "com.sun.java.swing.plaf.windows.WindowsLookAndFeel",
"com.sun.java.swing.plaf.motif.MotifLookAndFeel" , "javax.swing.plaf.mac.MacLookAndFeel".

Even after some GUI has been realized, the setLookAndFeel method can be called. To reflect the new L&F to the already realized components, call SingUtilities.updateComponentTree(aTopLevelContainter) on each top-level container.



Using Thread

If a time-consuming activity is to be performed then sublclass the SwingWorker class and put the code in the construct() method. If some code is to be executed in th event-dispatching thread after the thread has finished its activities, then put them in the finished() method.
invokeLater and invokeAndWait takes in Runnable as argument.



Timer

     public final static int ONE_SECOND = 1000;
          ...
          timer = new Timer(ONE_SECOND, new ActionListener() {
              public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent evt) {
                  //...Perform a task...
              }
          });

     Starting the timer:
          timer.start();

    Stop the timer:
          timer.stop();



Layout Manager

BoxLayout is the only layout manager that supports alignment and maximum size.

To bring into effect the changes on a component to the container hierarchy call revalidate() method of the component. To show the change on the component call the repaint() method on the component. Both of this 2 methods are thread-safe.

Box Layout

     When a BoxLayout lays out components from top to bottom, it tries to size each component at the
     component's preferred height. If the amount of vertical space is not ideal, the box layout tries to adjust each
     components' height so that the components fill the available amount of space. However, the components
     might not fit exactly, since BoxLayout respects each component's requested minimum and maximum
     heights. Any extra space appears at the bottom of the container.

     A top-to-bottom box layout tries to make all of its container's components equally wide -- as wide as the
     largest preferred width. If the container is forced to be wider than that, then the box layout tries to make all
     the components as wide as the container. If the components aren't all the same width (due to restricted
     maximum size or to any of them having strict left or right alignment), then X alignment comes into play.

     Restricted maximum size and same X alignment: (LEFT, CENTER, RIGHT)



    Restricted Maximum size and different alignment:

   No Maximun size restriction but same X alignment : All components are as wide as the container

   No Maximum Size and different X alignment: One with intermediate alignment is as wide as the container

 Invisible Components as Fillers:

 Provided by Box or Border.

 Rigid Area:
Use this when you want a fixed-size space between two components. For example, to put 5 pixels  between two components in a left-to-right box, you can use this code:

               container.add(firstComponent);
               container.add(Box.createRigidArea(new Dimension(5,0)));
               container.add(secondComponent);

Glue:
Use to specify where the extra space in the Layout should go. The following makes 2 components in left-to-right Boxlayout as far apart as possible:

               container.add(firstComponent);
               container.add(Box.createHorizontalGlue());
               container.add(secondComponent);

Box.Filler:
Use this to specify a component with whatever minimum, preferred, and maximum sizes you want. For example, to create some filler in a left-to-right layout that puts at least 5 pixels between two  components and ensures that the container has a minimum height of 100 pixels, you could use this code:

               container.add(firstComponent);
               Dimension minSize = new Dimension(5, 100);
               Dimension prefSize = new Dimension(5, 100);
               Dimension maxSize = new Dimension(Short.MAX_VALUE, 100);
               container.add(new Box.Filler(minSize, prefSize, maxSize));
               container.add(secondComponent);

Alignment Problem:

* A group of Buttons laid out left-to-right have their centers aligned by default. To make their bottoms align use the following code:
          button1.setAlignmentY(Component.BOTTOM_ALIGNMENT);
          button2.setAlignmentY(Component.BOTTOM_ALIGNMENT);


GridBagLayout

    gridx, gridy
          Specify the row and column at the upper left of the component. The leftmost column has address
          gridx=0 and the top row has address gridy=0. Use GridBagConstraints.RELATIVE (the
          default value) to specify that the component be placed just to the right of (for gridx) or just below
          (for gridy) the component that was added to the container just before this component was added.
          We recommend specifying the gridx and gridy values for each component; this tends to result in
          more predictable layouts.

     gridwidth, gridheight
          Specify the number of columns (for gridwidth) or rows (for gridheight) in the component's
          display area. These constraints specify the number of cells the component uses, not the number of
          pixels it uses. The default value is 1. Use GridBagConstraints.REMAINDER to specify that the
          component be the last one in its row (for gridwidth) or column (for gridheight). Use
          GridBagConstraints.RELATIVE to specify that the component be the next to last one in its row
          (for gridwidth) or column (for gridheight).

          Note: GridBagLayout doesn't allow components to span multiple rows unless the component is in
          the leftmost column or you've specified positive gridx and gridy values for the component.

     fill
          Used when the component's display area is larger than the component's requested size to determine
          whether and how to resize the component. Valid values (defined as GridBagConstraints
          constants) are NONE (the default), HORIZONTAL (make the component wide enough to fill its display
          area horizontally, but don't change its height), VERTICAL (make the component tall enough to fill its
          display area vertically, but don't change its width), and BOTH (make the component fill its display
          area entirely).

     ipadx, ipady
          Specifies the internal padding: how much to add to the minimum size of the component. The default
          value is zero. The width of the component will be at least its minimum width plus ipadx*2 pixels,
          since the padding applies to both sides of the component. Similarly, the height of the component will
          be at least its minimum height plus ipady*2 pixels.

     insets
          Specifies the external padding of the component -- the minimum amount of space between the
          component and the edges of its display area. The value is specified as an Insets object. By
          default, each component has no external padding.

     anchor
          Used when the component is smaller than its display area to determine where (within the area) to
          place the component. Valid values (defined as GridBagConstraints constants) are CENTER (the
          default), NORTH, NORTHEAST, EAST, SOUTHEAST, SOUTH, SOUTHWEST, WEST, and
          NORTHWEST.

     weightx, weighty
          Specifying weights is an art that can have a significant impact on the appearance of the components a
          GridBagLayout controls. Weights are used to determine how to distribute space among columns
          (weightx) and among rows (weighty); this is important for specifying resizing behavior.

          Unless you specify at least one nonzero value for weightx or weighty, all the components clump
          together in the center of their container. This is because when the weight is 0.0 (the default), the
          GridBagLayout puts any extra space between its grid of cells and the edges of the container.

          Generally weights are specified with 0.0 and 1.0 as the extremes: the numbers in between are used
          as necessary. Larger numbers indicate that the component's row or column should get more space.
          For each column, the weight is related to the highest weightx specified for a component within that
          column, with each multicolumn component's weight being split somehow between the columns the
          component is in. Similarly, each row's weight is related to the highest weighty specified for a
          component within that row. Extra space tends to go toward the rightmost column and bottom row.