Sunday, June 14, 2009

JTable vs database table

Logically and Implementation-wise, a Jtable consists of a small number of columns. In contrast, the jtable can contain unlimited rows. As an analogy, a couple can have a small number of kids, and unlimited number
of books. Adding a child is a big deal, just like adding a jtable column, just like adding a database table column. At the core and from the onset, jtable's basic design and implementation resemble database tables.

In a typical business application, a database RECORD maps to an entity bean. A jtable displays an unlimited number of entity beans, each with a known number of attributes. Each attribute occupies a jtable/database column, therefore each jtable/database column has a data type, and a distinct meaning with a title. What if all the fields of the bean have the same meaning ....[1]?

In any GUI framework, if we create a UI component capable of manipulating a single column of data, resizing, editing, firing events ... then we are 90% close to creating a table. Therefore, most of the capabilities of Jtable probably "come from" the column thingy, even though I'm not familiar with the TableColumn.java and
TableColumnModel.java classes.

Each column (not "each row") has its data type, width, color, renderer(!), editor(!), position among other columns... It's like a small kingdom within a large federation.

[1]A: Then the jtable is a grid.

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