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  Making reconfigurable / rearrangeable GUIs  (Read 3564 times)
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Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Posted 2006-09-14 18:38:52 »

I'm looking for some pointers for doing reconfigurable guis, much like Eclipse or Visual Studio let you drag around and rearrange all the various windows so you get a layout that you like.

I've got an app ( picture ) which I'm converting to Swing, but I'm finding that I need lots of different mini-windows, similar to how Eclipse has lots of displays for projects/packages/classes/overview/etc. and I need at least two or three more than what I've got in that picture. The only support for this in Swing that I know of is the JToolbar stuff, but from past experience that tends to get horribly confused as soon as theres more than one 'tearable' window, and relies on BorderLayout (so you can't stack windows either).

Is there support for this in Swing somewhere? Maybe an additional library I've missed? I've only just ported this lot over to Swing, I don't particularly like the idea of converting to SWT just to get this feature, but it looks like I may have to...

Edit: Netbeans seems to have this kind of behaviour, what in the heck is it using? It doesn't look like the JToolbar stuff I remember using.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline AndersDahlberg

Junior Member





« Reply #1 - Posted 2006-09-14 18:50:08 »

Perhaps one of these will help: http://www.java2s.com/Product/Java/Swing/Docking.htm 

Have fun Smiley
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #2 - Posted 2006-09-14 19:48:27 »

Aha, dockable, thats the magic word I've been missing.

Unfortunately everything on that list sucks. Or is commercial. Or both. Except flexdoc, which looks quite promising...

Edit: Except that it's dead, and too buggy to pick up without any plans for fixes unfortunately. Bah! Cry

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
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Offline dsellars

Junior Member




Need to write more games


« Reply #3 - Posted 2006-09-14 20:45:53 »

If you weren't to worried about it being swing you could try and make an eclipse plugin!

I believe* it's not too difficult once you get the hang of how it works.

It's somthing new to learn Smiley

Dan.

*I've not actually tried it myself, I just think that's what I was told. Smiley not really selling this am I?

Offline ryanm

Senior Member


Projects: 1
Exp: 15 years


Used to be bleb


« Reply #4 - Posted 2006-09-14 22:27:35 »

The easy option would be just to stick everything in JInternalFrames. It's not perfect, but you get essentially the same functionality for very little time investment
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #5 - Posted 2006-09-14 22:32:45 »

Internal frames aren't really the same thing though - they're internal for a start, so they can't be detached into free floating windows, they don't move when the entire app is resized, and they don't allow for window stacking.

Porting the whole thing to SWT or C# is becomming more and more likely...

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline cylab

JGO Ninja


Medals: 45



« Reply #6 - Posted 2006-09-14 22:53:53 »

Take a look at the NetBeans Platform. You can build an application on top of the module and windowing system. All other stuff from NetBeans can be left out. See the various tutorials.

But to really get going you have to lay out the basic application from within netbeans ( but you can configure eclipse shortcuts Smiley )

Mathias - I Know What [you] Did Last Summer!
Offline Herko_ter_Horst

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #7 - Posted 2006-09-17 12:15:27 »

Someone has separated the docking framework from Netbeans: https://jdocking.dev.java.net/
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #8 - Posted 2006-09-17 14:35:10 »

Hmm... considering that the developers can't even get their own demo app to run under webstart, that doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. Roll Eyes

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #9 - Posted 2006-09-19 02:57:06 »

I haven't used it, but doesn't NetBean's Matisse GUI builder do that stuff?  I think that I read that the makers of netbeans used it to get their GUI, so if you like that then Matisse could be for you.

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline cylab

JGO Ninja


Medals: 45



« Reply #10 - Posted 2006-09-19 08:15:16 »

I haven't used it, but doesn't NetBean's Matisse GUI builder do that stuff?  I think that I read that the makers of netbeans used it to get their GUI, so if you like that then Matisse could be for you.
I don't think so. The docking framework is specific to the netbeans codebase and is an evolutional step from their old MDI windowing system. I would really suggest to take a look into Netbeans RCP development, since it offers a lot of otherwise tedious to implement features.

Another option might be to use the Eclipse RCP framework, but I don't know much about it and the features of their docking framework.

Mathias - I Know What [you] Did Last Summer!
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #11 - Posted 2006-09-19 08:41:19 »

At the moment I've decided to go with creating an Eclipse plug-in, which I may package up as a standalone RCP app for actual distribution. I'm having a hard time fitting my head around how plug-ins work, but I think I should be able to do everything I want to with them.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline tortoise

Junior Member




<3 Shmups


« Reply #12 - Posted 2006-09-19 16:05:40 »

a well integrated eclipse plugin that plays well with others is far more desirable than a stand alone application.
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #13 - Posted 2006-09-19 19:06:18 »

Not everyone uses Eclipse though. Wink

Unless I'm way off, I should be able to develop a plugin and distribute it as both a plugin and a standalone app, which is nice.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline nonnus29

Senior Member




Giving Java a second chance after ludumdare fiasco


« Reply #14 - Posted 2006-09-19 22:56:10 »

At the moment I've decided to go with creating an Eclipse plug-in,

Great!  So long!  See you in 6 months to a year when you get that all worked out!

Anyway, I was researching the eclipse rcp a while back and it does seem to be pretty straightforward.  The main thing is the architecture has changed a few time, even between 3.0 and 3.2 iirc.  But there are wizards and tutorials about which should be helpful.  Plus theres a swt/opengl widget too.  Finally, normally I'd post some links, but since I trashed my xp install (+bookmarks) in hard drive partitioning mishap, I don't feel like googling all over again.
Offline ENC

Junior Member





« Reply #15 - Posted 2006-10-18 01:54:32 »

Hmmm... maybe you can use panels instead and place the on the JLayedPane of the JFrame... then just configure the movement of the panels via mouse click.. you own homemade JInternalFrame... lolz.. you can customize the look too... ^^
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