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Java AWT

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9.2 Lists

Like the Choice component, the List provides a way to present your user with a fixed sequence of choices to select. However, with List, several items can be displayed at a time on the screen. A List can also allow multiple selection, so that more than one choice can be selected.

Normally, a scrollbar is associated with the List to enable the user to move to the items that do not fit on the screen. On some platforms, the List may not display the scrollbar if there is enough room to display all choices. A List can be resized by the LayoutManager according to the space available. Figure 9.2 shows two lists, one of which has no items to display.

List Methods

Constructors

public List ()

This constructor creates an empty List with four visible lines. You must rely on the current LayoutManager to resize the List or override the preferredSize() (version 1.0) or getPreferredSize() (version 1.1) method to affect the size of the displayed List. A List created with this constructor is in single-selection mode, so the user can select only one item at a time.

public List (int rows)

This constructor creates a List that has rows visible lines. This is just a request; the LayoutManager is free to adjust the height of the List to some other amount based upon available space. A List created with this constructor is in single-selection mode, so the user will be able to select only one item at a time.

public List (int rows, boolean multipleSelections)

The final constructor for List creates a List that has rows visible lines. This is just a request; the LayoutManager is free to adjust the height of the List to some other amount based upon available space. If multipleSelections is true, this List permits multiple items to be selected. If false, this is a single-selection list.

Content control

public int getItemCount () (New)
public int countItems () (Deprecated)

The getItemCount() method returns the length of the list. The length of the list is the number of items in the list, not the number of visible rows.

countItems() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public String getItem (int index)

The getItem() method returns the String representation for the item at position index. The String is the parameter passed to the addItem() or add() method.

public String[] getItems () (New)

The getItems() method returns a String array that contains all the elements in the List. This method does not care if an item is selected or not.

public synchronized void add (String item) (New)
public synchronized void addItem (String item) (Deprecated)

The add() method adds item as the last entry in the List. If item already exists in the list, this method adds it again.

addItem() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public synchronized void add (String item, int index) (New)
public synchronized void addItem (String item, int index) (Deprecated)

This version of the add() method has an additional parameter, index, which specifies where to add item to the List. If index < 0 or index >= getItemCount(), item is added to the end of the List. The position count is zero based, so if index is 0, it will be added as the first item.

addItem() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public synchronized void replaceItem (String newItem, int index)

The replaceItem() method replaces the contents at position index with newItem. If the item at index has been selected, newItem will not be selected.

public synchronized void removeAll () (New)
public synchronized void clear () (Deprecated)

The removeAll() method clears out all the items in the list.

clear() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

NOTE:

Early versions (  Java1.0) of the clear() method did not work reliably across platforms. You were better off calling the method listVar.delItems(0, listVar.countItems()-1), where listVar is your List instance.

public synchronized void remove (String item) (New)

The remove() method removes item from the list of available choices. If item appears in the List several times, only the first instance is removed. If item is null, remove() throws the run-time exception NullPointerException. If item is not found in the List, remove() throws the IllegalArgumentException run-time exception.

public synchronized void remove (int position) (New)
public synchronized void delItem (int position) (Deprecated)

The remove() method removes the entry at position from the List. If position is invalid--either position < 0 or position >= getItemCount()--remove() throws the ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException run-time exception with a message indicating that position was invalid.

delItem() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public synchronized void delItems (int start, int end) (Deprecated)

The delItems() method removes entries from position start to position end from the List. If either parameter is invalid--either start < 0 or end >= getItemCount()--delItems() throws the ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException run-time exception with a message indicating which position was invalid. If start is greater than end, nothing happens.

Selection and positioning

public synchronized int getSelectedIndex ()

The getSelectedIndex() method returns the position of the selected item. If nothing is selected in the List, getSelectedIndex() returns -1. The value -1 is also returned if the List is in multiselect mode and multiple items are selected. For multiselection lists, use getSelectedIndexes() instead.

public synchronized int[] getSelectedIndexes ()

The getSelectedIndexes() method returns an integer array of the selected items. If nothing is selected, the array will be empty.

public synchronized String getSelectedItem ()

The getSelectedItem() method returns the label of the selected item. The label is the string used in the add() or addItem() call. If nothing is selected in the List, getSelectedItem() returns null. The return value is also null if List is in multiselect mode and multiple items are selected. For multiselection lists, use getSelectedItems() instead.

public synchronized String[] getSelectedItems ()

The getSelectedItems() method returns a String array of the selected items. If nothing is selected, the array is empty.

public synchronized Object[] getSelectedObjects ()

The getSelectedObjects() method returns the results of the method getSelectedItems() as an Object array instead of a String array, to conform to the ItemSelectable interface. If nothing is selected, the returned array is empty.

public synchronized void select (int index)

The select() method selects the item at position index, which is zero based. If the List is in single-selection mode, any other selected item is deselected. If the List is in multiple-selection mode, calling this method has no effect on the other selections. The item at position index is made visible.

NOTE:

A negative index seems to select everything within the List. This seems more like an irregularity than a feature to rely upon.

public synchronized void deselect (int index)

The deselect() method deselects the item at position index, which is zero based. deselect() does not reposition the visible elements.

public boolean isIndexSelected (int index) (New)
public boolean isSelected (int index) (Deprecated)

The isIndexSelected() method checks whether index is currently selected. If it is, isIndexSelected() returns true; otherwise, it returns false.

isSelected() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public boolean isMultipleMode () (New)
public boolean allowsMultipleSelections () (Deprecated)

The isMultipleMode() method returns the current state of the List. If the List is in multiselection mode, isMultipleMode() returns true; otherwise, it returns false.

allowsMultipleSelections() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public void setMultipleMode (boolean value) (New)
public void setMultipleSelections (boolean value) (Deprecated)

The setMultipleMode() method allows you to change the current state of a List from one selection mode to the other. The currently selected items change when this happens. If value is true and the List is going from single- to multiple-selection mode, the selected item gets deselected. If value is false and the List is going from multiple to single, the last item physically selected remains selected (the last item clicked on in the list, not the item with the highest index). If there was no selected item, the first item in the list becomes selected, or the last item that was deselected becomes selected. If staying within the same mode, setMultipleMode() has no effect on the selected items.

setMultipleSelections() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public void makeVisible (int index)

The makeVisible() method ensures that the item at position index is displayed on the screen. This is useful if you want to make sure a certain entry is displayed when another action happens on the screen.

public int getVisibleIndex ()

The getVisibleIndex() method returns the last index from a call to the method makeVisible(). If makeVisible() was never called, -1 is returned.

Sizing

public int getRows ()

The getRows() method returns the number of rows passed to the constructor of the List. It does not return the number of visible rows. To get a rough idea of the number of visible rows, compare the getSize() of the component with the results of getPreferredSize(getRows()).

public Dimension getPreferredSize (int rows) (New)
public Dimension preferredSize (int rows) (Deprecated)

The getPreferredSize() method returns the preferable Dimension (width and height) for the size of a List with a height of rows. The rows specified may be different from the rows designated in the constructor.

preferredSize() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public Dimension getPreferredSize () (New)
public Dimension preferredSize () (Deprecated)

The getPreferredSize() method returns the Dimension (width and height) for the preferred size of the List. Without the rows parameter, this version of getPreferredSize() uses the constructor's number of rows to calculate the List's preferred size.

preferredSize() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public Dimension getMiminumSize (int rows) (New)
public Dimension minimumSize (int rows) (Deprecated)

The getMinimumSize() method returns the minimum Dimension (width and height) for the size of a List with a height of rows. The rows specified may be different from the rows designated in the constructor. For a List, getMinimumSize() and getPreferredSize() should return the same dimensions.

minimumSize() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

public Dimension getMiminumSize () (New)
public Dimension minimumSize () (Deprecated)

The getMinimumSize() method returns the minimum Dimension (width and height) for the size of the List. Without the rows parameter, this getMinimumSize() uses the constructor's number of rows to calculate the List's minimum size.

minimumSize() is the Java 1.0 name for this method.

Miscellaneous methods

public synchronized void addNotify ()

The addNotify() method creates the List peer. If you override this method, call super.addNotify() first, then add your customizations for the new class. You will then be able to do everything you need with the information about the newly created peer.

public synchronized void removeNotify ()

The removeNotify() method destroys the peer of the List and removes it from the screen. Prior to the List peer's destruction, the last selected entry is saved. If you override this method for a specific List, issue the particular commands that you need for your new object, then call super.removeNotify() last.

protected String paramString ()

When you call the toString() method of List, the default toString() method of Component is called. This in turn calls paramString(), which builds up the string to display. At the List level, the currently selected item (getSelectedItem()) is appended to the output. Using Figure 9.2 as an example, the results would be the following:

java.awt.List[0,34,107x54,selected=null]

List Events

The primary event for a List occurs when the user selects an item in the list. With the 1.0 event model, double-clicking a selection causes an ACTION_EVENT and triggers the action() method, while single-clicking causes a LIST_SELECT or LIST_DESELECT event. Once the List has the input focus, it is possible to change the selection by using the arrow or keyboard keys. The arrow keys scroll through the list of choices, triggering the KEY_ACTION, LIST_SELECT, LIST_DESELECT, and KEY_ACTION_RELEASE events, and thus the keyDown(), handleEvent(), and keyUp() methods (no specific method gets called for LIST_SELECT and LIST_DESELECT). action() is called only when the user double-clicks on an item with the mouse. If the mouse is used to scroll through the list, no mouse events are triggered; ACTION_EVENT is generated only when the user double-clicks on an item.

With the 1.1 event model, you register an ItemListener with addItemListener() or an ActionListener with the addActionListener() method. When the user selects the List, either the ItemListener.itemStateChanged() method or the ActionListener.actionPerformed() method is called through the protected List.processItemEvent() method or List.processActionEvent() method. Key, mouse, and focus listeners are registered through the three Component methods of addKeyListener(), addMouseListener(), and addFocusListener(), respectively. Action

public boolean action (Event e, Object o)

The action() method for a List is called when the user double-clicks on any item in the List. e is the Event instance for the specific event, while o is the label for the item selected, from the add() or addItem() call. If List is in multiple-selection mode, you might not wish to catch this event because it's not clear whether the user wanted to choose the item just selected or all of the items selected. You can solve this problem by putting a multi-selecting list next to a Button that the user presses when the selection process is finished. Capture the event generated by the Button. The following example shows how to set up and handle a list in this manner, with the display shown in Figure 9.3. In this example, I just print out the selections to prove that I captured them.

import java.awt.*;
import java.applet.*;
public class list3 extends Applet {
   List l;
   public void init () {
        String fonts[];
        fonts = Toolkit.getDefaultToolkit().getFontList();
        l = new List(4, true);
        for (int i = 0; i < fonts.length; i++) {
            l.addItem (fonts[i]);
        }
        setLayout (new BorderLayout (10, 10));
        add ("North", new Label ("Pick Font Set"));
        add ("Center", l);
        add ("South", new Button ("Submit"));
        resize (preferredSize());
        validate();
   }
   public boolean action (Event e, Object o) {
        if (e.target instanceof Button) {
             String chosen[] = l.getSelectedItems();
             for (int i=0;i<chosen.length;i++)
                System.out.println (chosen[i]);
        }
        return false;
   }
}
Keyboard

Ordinarily, List generates all the KEY events once it has the input focus. But the way it handles keyboard input differs slightly depending upon the selection mode of the list. Furthermore, each platform offers slightly different behavior, so code that depends on keyboard events in List is not portable. One strategy is to take advantage of the keyboard events when they are available but allow for another way of managing the list in case they are not.

public boolean keyDown (Event e, int key)

The keyDown() method is called whenever the user presses a key while the List has the input focus. e is the Event instance for the specific event, while key is the integer representation of the character pressed. The identifier for the event (e.id) for keyDown() could be either KEY_PRESS for a regular key or KEY_ACTION for an action-oriented key (i.e., arrow or function key). If you check the current selection in this method through getSelectedItem() or getSelectedIndex(), you will actually be told the previously selected item because the List's selection has not changed yet. keyDown() is not called when the user selects items with the mouse.

public boolean keyUp (Event e, int key)

The keyUp() method is called whenever the user releases a key while the List has the input focus. e is the Event instance for the specific event, while key is the integer representation of the character pressed. The identifier for the event (e.id) for keyUp() could be either KEY_RELEASE for a regular key or KEY_ACTION_RELEASE for an action-oriented key (i.e., arrow or function key).

Mouse

Ordinarily, the List component does not trigger any mouse events. Double-clicking the mouse over any element in the list generates an ACTION_EVENT. Single-clicking could result in either a LIST_SELECT or LIST_DESELECT, depending on the mode of the List and the current state of the item chosen. When the user changes the selection with the mouse, the ACTION_EVENT is posted only when an item is double-clicked. List

There is a special pair of events for lists: LIST_SELECT and LIST_DESELECT. No special method is called when these events are triggered. However, you can catch them in the handleEvent() method. If the List is in single-selection mode, a LIST_SELECT event is generated whenever the user selects one of the items in the List. In multiple-selection mode, you will get a LIST_SELECT event when an element gets selected and a LIST_DESELECT event when it is deselected. The following code shows how to use this event type.

public boolean handleEvent (Event e) {
    if (e.id == Event.LIST_SELECT) {
        System.out.println ("Selected item: " + e.arg);
        return true;
    } else {
        return super.handleEvent (e);
    }
}
Focus

Normally, the List component does not reliably trigger any focus events. Listeners and 1.1 event handling

With the 1.1 event model, you register listeners, and they are told when the event happens.

public void addItemListener(ItemListener listener) (New)

The addItemListener() method registers listener as an object interested in being notified when an ItemEvent passes through the EventQueue with this List as its target. The listener.itemStateChanged() method is called when these events occur. Multiple listeners can be registered.

public void removeItemListener(ItemListener listener) (New)

The removeItemListener() method removes listener as an interested listener. If listener is not registered, nothing happens.

public void addActionListener(ActionListener listener) (New)

The addActionListener() method registers listener as an object interested in being notified when an ActionEvent passes through the EventQueue with this List as its target. The listener.actionPerformed() method is called when these events occur. Multiple listeners can be registered.

public void removeActionListener(ActionListener listener) (New)

The removeActionListener() method removes listener as a interested listener. If listener is not registered, nothing happens.

protected void processEvent(AWTEvent e) (New)

The processEvent() method receives all AWTEvents with this List as its target. processEvent() then passes them along to any listeners for processing. When you subclass List, overriding processEvent() allows you to process all events yourself, before sending them to any listeners. In a way, overriding the method processEvent() is like overriding handleEvent() using the 1.0 event model.

If you override processEvent(), remember to call super.processEvent(e) last to ensure that regular event processing can occur. If you want to process your own events, it's a good idea to call enableEvents() (inherited from Component) to ensure that events are delivered even in the absence of registered listeners.

protected void processItemEvent(ItemEvent e) (New)

The processItemEvent() method receives all ItemEvents with this List as its target. processItemEvent() then passes them along to any listeners for processing. When you subclass List, overriding processItemEvent() allows you to process all events yourself, before sending them to any listeners. In a way, overriding processItemEvent() is like overriding handleEvent() to deal with LIST_SELECT and LIST_DESELECT using the 1.0 event model.

If you override processItemEvent(), remember to call the method super.processItemEvent(e) last to ensure that regular event processing can occur. If you want to process your own events, it's a good idea to call enableEvents() (inherited from Component) to ensure that events are delivered even in the absence of registered listeners.

protected void processActionEvent(ActionEvent e) (New)

The processActionEvent() method receives all ActionEvents with this List as its target. processActionEvent() then passes them along to any listeners for processing. When you subclass List, overriding processActionEvent() allows you to process all action events yourself, before sending them to any listeners. In a way, overriding processActionEvent() is like overriding action() using the 1.0 event model.

If you override processActionEvent(), remember to call the method super.processActionEvent(e) last to ensure that regular event processing can occur. If you want to process your own events, it's a good idea to call enableEvents() (inherited from Component) to ensure that events are delivered even in the absence of registered listeners.


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