Re: Understanding modal dialogs

"Andrew Thompson via" <u32984@uwe>
Tue, 03 Apr 2007 03:38:17 GMT
MikeB wrote:

On Apr 1, 9:29 pm, "Andrew Thompson via" <u32984@uwe>


Best asked an an 'ancillary thread' with an appropriate title.
Something like 'adding jars to netbeans project' will probably
attract the atention of those who could be bothered instructing
people how to use their own IDE's (I couldn't).

I think you misunderstood my question here.

After reviewing your words, I agree. I went off on
a slight tangent because I was not paying close
attention. I think I now have a better understanding
of what is the immediate problem.

..I wasn't asking how to use
the IDE, although I don't see why that would not be a fair question.

(shrugs) Does it matter if somebody asks an 'unfair'
question? 'Fair'ness or otherwise is not that important
to me, as for example, technically oriented, well
researched questions - 'smart' questions.

What I don't know is how to create graphical elements outside the GUI.

So I tried to create a small sample program inside the GUI, but I
couldn't execute it outside of the GUI, running java from the command

OK. I am going to take a wild leap and guess that you
are using the Netbeans Form editor?
As I vaguely recall, there was an org.jdesktop class mentioned
in that initial post. These are commonly associated with the
form editor.

I searched all the places I thought the import would be located, but
no dice. I'm not clued up enough to figure out if/how to ship a jar
with a small sample program.

The program may be small, but how small is the jar
archive containing the jdesktop classes? How small
can it be reduced if extraneuos classes are removed?
Is it truly needed at all?

On an unrelated matter.

Do you disapprove of using an IDE?

No. But..*

..The way you phrase your statement
above made me think you do.

* Best path to learning Java.
- 'HelloWorld' prog. from the command line (to check the
SDK tools set-up, if nothing else).
- A few prgs. with simple data types, extending into
conditional and looping structures. Threading and..
(all the other core language things mentioned, pretty
much in order in the Java Tutorial for the core, basic
- Dealing with classes in packages, and getting
used to access specifiers.
- creating jars and adding other jars and resources
to a project, possibly delving into more advance build
tools such as Ant.
- A GUI'd application, at least one in AWT (to get an idea
of what it is missing, and what it can do, get a bit used
to layouts, events, possibly D'n'D. Then a number of
small apps. that delve into Swing components/PLAFS's/
Swing events & layouts.
- ..around this point (especially with a knowledge
of Ant) you should be able to get up and running
fairly quickly with any number of poular IDE's, NetBeans,
Eclipse, JBuilder..

In fact, if you need to add a resource to your project
in your IDE, you can generally hit 'F1', type 'classpath'
and quickly find your way to instructions as to how to
add resources to the project (which might well be simply
added as resources in the Ant build file, if the IDE
manufacturer is offering good Ant support).

My point is, if somebody understands the underlying
principles of Java, they are far less likely to need
help with any IDE. OTOH, to ask a question wher there
is any need to mention the IDE, strongly indicates the
questioner has gone about learning Java in a way, using
a path, very different to the one described above. Those
people have generally 'jumped in at the deep end'.

IDE's are good for a great many productivity based
parts of Java development for seasoned developers
that understand the language they are dealing with,
and its idiosyncracies, but most IDE's are not designed
as 'teaching tools', and therefore leave the less
experienced developer lost in their arcane tutorials,
looking for answers that are not there (why should the
IDE try to teach you basic Java, when the Java Tutorial
specialises in teaching exactly that?).

...Could you tell me why you think using an
IDE is a bad thing?

OK.. coming back to the form editor in NB.

Before I go off on yet another tangent, I should
point out that code I have had more than a little to
do with (but did not myself write) can be designed
in the NB form editor, yet it does not require any
packages external to the J2SE, in order to run.
The netbeans form editor can be used to good
effect, to produce code without external dependencies,
if used by someone that understands both Java
GUI programming (and to a lessser extent the form
editor itself).

For some reason, apparently, the code you wrote
was not like that, but introduced a dependency on this
jdesktop package (it might be due to using some type
of netbeans specific or custom layout). As a result
of the way the code was designed, it introduced (what
is probably) an unnecessary dependency, that might
require a sizable jar to be distributed along with the
application, so it will work for the end user.

I see *that* as rather unfortunate, and posit that if
you had gone through the steps above, you might
now have GUI code that relies only on standard
classes, and can be compiled by ..any IDE, Ant,
from the command line, using no external resources
(such as a jar of the jdesktop classes).

Even assuming you found it faster and easier to
use the form editor along with its dependencies
(if developing hundreds of screens for a small user
base of people with fast connections - that may
be the best way to go, but for many other uses,
it would be best to put extra effort into reducing
the need for as many 'external' archives as
practical), the learning path described above,
would leave you well placed to understand what
needed to be done to allow an application, dependant
on the jdesktop jar, to run correctly for the end user.

The questions
"How do I fix a compilation error of 'class not found'?"
..or the logical follow on question
"How do I add resources to an application at run time?"
are both questions that need no mention of an IDE,
to be solved.

So, as I see it, if you start working through the
Java Tutorial, from the basics on.., you will be
able to answer the questions of 'how to create a gui',
'how to add resources..' and the only questions left
about IDE's are trivial things like "how do I get the
'Widget' view to update on blah..?" "What function key
to invoke JDPA debugging from a breakpoint..?"
which are the sorts of questions best handled on a
forum that specialises in *that* IDE.

Of course, any number of people about the place
are quite willing to help out on 'I have to mention my
brand of IDE' type questions, if any of them jump in,
I usually leave them to it.

The problems you describe though, are of a more
fundamental nature of understanding how to code a
layout (or nested layout) add components, get it
to be the best size (with automatic scrollpanes,
should they be required) and get it on-screen.

( Then of course is the part that is also important to
learn, for one reason or another, 'adding resources
at compile and run-time. )

If you want help with GUI prorgamming, you would
be best off consulting this first..
Or for the tutorial on resources, see...
..after a bit of crash-banging around Sun's site,
I failed to spot anything specifically relating to
resources in the JavaTutorial - perhaps I overlooked

Note that I doubt 'adding resources' is the best
way to approach this problem - I really think
you should figure how to rework the GUI first..
The best way to do that is to put the powerful IDE
(and its form editor) aside for the moment, and use
a simpler editor (that gives you complete control
over the code) and work through the GUI Tut.

In any case, I've probably rambled far too much,
with far too little sleep, so I will end this message
here in the hope that I have conveyed *anything* that
might (now or in the future) be of some value to you..

Perhaps if you can clarify a direction ..
1) simplify GUI to remove dependency
2) figure how to add resource dependency to run-time
project (I do not have enough information to rule that
out as a logical strategy - for this app.)
.. we might be ably to kick this back towards more
technically oriented suggestions.

Andrew Thompson

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