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How can we learn Java Swing?

Hi, Java Swing is very popular Library in Java to develop Desktop GUI applications.

Before you learn let take short description of Java Swing.

Java swing is well known for developing Desktop application and quite easy for beginers . Before Swing, the only option that Java GUI developers had was to use AWT (Abstract Widget Toolkit). However, because of limitations in AWT, such as the number of components and portability issues, Sun introduced Swing. Swing is built on AWT components, and also uses its event model. While AWT provides heavyweight components, Swing provides lightweight components and adds advanced controls such as tables because it does not require the use of native resources within the operating system.

Requirement to Learn Java Swing :

  1. Learning nature

  2. Core Java Knowledge

If you have Core Java Knowledge , then follow the below steps:

Step 1 : Brush Up your Java Skills

  • Basics like if else, looping, Oops concepts and collections

  • JDBC,Applets and AWT bascis

Step 2 : First thing to learn is the layout managers. This is the big hurdle, they are finicky things and you have to master them.

  • java.awt.FlowLayout

A flow layout arranges components in a directional flow one after the other, moving onto a new line when no more components fit on the current line. Direction is determined by the container’s componentOrientation property and may be one of two values: ComponentOrientation.LEFT_TO_RIGHT or ComponentOrientation.RIGHT_TO_LEFT

Flow layout is the default layout manager for AWT and Swing components.

  • java.awt.GridLayout

GridLayout lays out a container’s components in a rectangular grid. The container is divided into equal-sized rectangles, and one component is placed in each rectangle. Typically, a GridLayout is constructed by specifying the number of rows and columns.

  • java.awt.BorderLayout

BorderLayout lays out the components in five regions: NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST and CENTER. As each component is added to a container with a border layout, the location is specified similar to: container.add(component, BorderLayout.CENTER);

  • java.awt.CardLayout

CardLayout acts as an organisation of stacked components on a container, with only one card being visible at a time. The first component added is the visible component when the container is first displayed. Methods exist to go through the stack sequentially or to access a particular card.

  • javax.swing.BoxLayout

BoxLayout allows multiple components to be laid out vertically (Y_AXIS) or horizontally (X_AXIS). Components do not wrap, so when the frame is resized the components remain in their initial arrangement. Components are arranged in the order that they are added to the layout manager.

  • java.awt.GridBagLayout

GridBagLayout is the most flexible layout manager, maintaining a dynamic, rectangular grid of cells. Each component can occupy one or more cells, and has an instance of GridBagConstraints to specify how a component should be displayed in its display area.

Step 3 : Listeners, without them nothing happens.

Standard click events on Swing components are handled using the java.awt.event.ActionListener interface. Implemented action handlers need to implement the public voidactionPerformed(ActionEvent e), provided the component has registered the action listener using the addActionListener() method.

Three interfaces are provided to handle mouse events on components:

InterfaceMethods java.awt.event.MouseListener

Alternatively, you can extend the java.awt.event.MouseAdapter class, which packages all three interfaces into a single abstract class to make it easier to handle particular mouse events.

Attaching Mouse Listeners

Mouse listeners can be added to your component by simply using the appropriate method (addMouseListener, addMouseWheelListener, addMouseMotionListener).

Step 4 : JComponents themselves

  • javax.swing.JButton

  • javax.swing.JCheckBox

  • javax.swing.JComboBox

  • javax.swing.JList

  • javax.swing.JMenu

  • javax.swing.JRadioButton

  • javax.swing.JSlider

  • javax.swing.JSpinner

  • javax.swing.JTextField

  • javax.swing.JToolbar

  • javax.swing.JTabbedPane

  • javax.swing.JPasswordField

  • javax.swing.JColorChooser

  • javax.swing.JEditorPane

  • javax.swing.JTextPane

  • javax.swing.JFileChooser

  • javax.swing.JTable

  • javax.swing.JTextArea

  • javax.swing.JTree

you will slowly learn them as you go along. I would recommend using NetBeans GUI builder to play with them and get a feel for them.

Note that most JComponents have different models you can use rather then the default.

Also the only difference between JPanels and JComponents that I can find is that JPanels have layout managers.

You got all the importent steps to learn Java Swing.

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