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JavaOne Tokyo '05: Layout Managers

Posted by joconner on November 9, 2005 at 7:09 PM PST




Joshua Marinicci and Scott Violet explained layout managers in their session Layout Roundup and Futures. Both shared the speaking duty as they described the various layout manager types available for desktop applications. You already know many of the most common ones:

  • FlowLayout
  • BorderLayout
  • GridLayout
  • GridbagLayout

Nothing particularly exciting there. However, they did describe a few newer, easier to use, layout managers:

  • Packer
  • Form
  • Group

The impressive part of the session is simply this: using some of these newer layouts can substantially decrease the code you write. In some cases, you're going to write less than half the code you would if you used GridbagLayout for example.

The Packer layout manager is developed as a java desktop project on java.net. If you like GridbagLayout's power, but think it's too difficult to master, you're going to like Packer.

The Forms layout comes from the JGoodies site as freeware.

Finally, the Group layout is available as the "Matisse" layout in NetBeans. It may be the best reason yet to try NetBeans as an IDE.

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