Monday, August 19, 2013

swing box layout - hearsay

To overcome the first Box layout confusions, Let's start with Y-axis layout - top-down insertion of JComponents.  (X-axis alignment would mean left-to-right insertion).

Each JComponent calls myComponent.setAlignmentX() in Y-axis layout. Note the X vs Y. They must be that way. This is a bit confusing. Here's my explanation -- Top-down insertion means inserting a new component underneath the last component, but if new component is tiny shall we push it to the left or to the right? The new component must specify "Put me to left" or "Put me to the right".

setAlignmentX(Component.RIGHT_ALIGNMENT) actually uses a float constant == 1.0. In fact, all setAlignmentX/Y methods take a float input. 0.5 always means center. LEFT_ALIGNMENT (== 0.0) means "push me to far Left".

(Now hold your breath -- in X-axis layout, 0.0 means "push me to the top". This confused the hell out of me initially.)

The above is the box layout behavior when all components in the layout share the Same alignment number (be it 0.5, 1.0 or whatever). The behavior is completely different when the alignment numbers are non-uniform.

Popular combinations --
-- right-justified:
new BoxLayout(..., Y_AXIS);
everyJComp.setAlignmentX(1.0)

-- centered:
new BoxLayout(..., Y_AXIS);
everyJComp.setAlignmentX(0.5)

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