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This is a sample program that I intend to post as part of a series of beginner level Java tutorials. Please provide any feedback on improvements that would make example more clear or illustrate/emphasize best practices. The example drawns a ball object to a panel on a mouse click and then moves it randomly with another mouse click.

Class BouncingBall

import java.awt.BorderLayout;
import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;
import java.awt.event.ActionListener;
import javax.swing.JButton;
import javax.swing.JFrame;
import javax.swing.JPanel;

/*
 * this class will add a red ball to a canvas or play area, when a button is clicked and 
 * then move about randomly when another button is clicked
 * 
 * jmergenthaler 10/1/2011
*/

public class BouncingBall {

private JFrame frame = new JFrame();
private JPanel actionPanel = new JPanel();
private JPanel playarea = new JPanel();
private JButton btnNew = new JButton("Add Red Ball");
private JButton movebtn = new JButton("Move it");

//constructor
BouncingBall(){
    buildTheGUI();  
}

public void buildTheGUI(){
    frame.setLayout( new BorderLayout());
    btnNew.addActionListener( new ButtonClickHandler() );
    movebtn.addActionListener( new MoveButtonClickHandler() );
    actionPanel.add(btnNew);
    actionPanel.add(movebtn);
    frame.add(BorderLayout.NORTH,actionPanel);
    frame.add(BorderLayout.SOUTH,playarea);
    frame.setSize(500, 500);
    frame.setVisible(true); 
}

public static void main(String args[]){
    new BouncingBall();
}

class ButtonClickHandler implements ActionListener{
    public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e){ 

        //create initial Ball object add to the frame
        frame.add(new Ball() );
        //draw
        frame.validate();
    }
}

class MoveButtonClickHandler implements ActionListener{
    public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e){

        //polymorphic behavior, calling the Ball constructor differently
        frame.add(new Ball(1) );
        //redraw
        frame.validate();
    }
}// end class MoveButtonClickHandler
}//end class BouncingBall

class 2 - the Ball class

import java.awt.Color;
import java.awt.Graphics;
import java.util.Random;
import javax.swing.JPanel;

class Ball extends JPanel{

//private instance variables avail. only avail to methods in this class
private int x,y,w,h;

//constructor
Ball(){
    this.x = 200;
    this.y = 200;
    this.w = 100;
    this.h = 100;
}   

//constructor with different behavior
Ball(int a){
    Random rand = new Random();

    this.w = 100;
    this.h = 100;
    this.x = rand.nextInt(300);
    this.y = rand.nextInt(300);
}

//draw the ball
//@override
public void paintComponent(Graphics g){
    super.paintComponent(g);
    g.setColor(Color.RED);
    g.fillOval(x, y, h, w); 
}

}//end class Ball
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2
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  • Swing GUIs should be built inside the EDT, e.g. using SwingWorker.invokeLater(). See http://leepoint.net/JavaBasics/gui/gui-commentary/guicom-main-thread.html for details.
  • I think calling a JPanel descendant "Ball" is just confusing. If you really want that a panel can handle only one Ball, call it BallPanel or so. But it would be more flexible if you had a DrawPanel, which accepts a number of objects to draw, and the objects themself. That makes it much easier to extend the system later:

.

public class DrawPanel {
   private List<Drawable> drawables = new ArrayList<Drawable>();
   ...
   public void addDrawable(Drawable d) { drawables.add(d); }

   public void paintComponent(Graphics g){
     super.paintComponent(g);
     for(Drawable d : drawables) {
        d.draw(g, getWidth(), getHeight()); 
     }  
   }
   ...
   //for animation a timer task, calling Drawable.update
}

interface Drawable {
   public void draw(Graphics g, int width, int height);

   //when you need animation  
   public void update(long ms);  
}

public class Ball implements Drawable {
  ...
}

This is only one possibility to split view and model, the "right" way depends on your needs. But keeping both model and view in one class is a receipt for trouble.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ help me with this, im an old procedural programmer... \$\endgroup\$ – jamesTheProgrammer Oct 18 '11 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Class DrawPanel would be the "view", Class Ball and Interface Drawable would be the "model"? I am trying to implement the feedback provided, but i am struggling with parts of it \$\endgroup\$ – jamesTheProgrammer Oct 18 '11 at 17:35
0
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@Landei - this is what i have now. I am trying to understand and implement your ideas...

import java.awt.Graphics;

public interface Drawable {

   //this is an interface method - no body
   public void draw(Graphics g, int w, int h);  

   public void update(long ms);

}

Next class

import java.awt.Color;
import java.awt.Graphics;
import java.util.Random;

class Ball implements Drawable{

//private instance variables avail. only avail to methods in this class
private int x,y,w,h;

//constructor
Ball(){
    this.x = 200;
    this.y = 200;
    this.w = 100;
    this.h = 100;
}   

//constructor with different behavior
Ball(int a){
    Random rand = new Random();

    this.w = 100;
    this.h = 100;
    this.x = rand.nextInt(300);
    this.y = rand.nextInt(300);
}


@Override
public void draw(Graphics g, int w, int h) {
    //super.paintComponent(g);
    g.setColor(Color.red);
    g.fillOval(x, y, w, h);     
}

@Override
public void update(long ms) {
    // TODO Auto-generated method stub

}

}//end class Ball

3rd class

import java.awt.BorderLayout;
import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;
import java.awt.event.ActionListener;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import javax.swing.JButton;
import javax.swing.JFrame;
import javax.swing.JPanel;
import javax.swing.SwingUtilities;


public class DrawPanel {

private ArrayList drawable = new ArrayList<Drawable>();
private JFrame frame = new JFrame();
private JPanel actionPanel = new JPanel();
private JPanel playarea = new JPanel();
private JButton btnNew = new JButton("Add Red Ball");
private JButton movebtn = new JButton("Move it");

//constructor
DrawPanel(){
    buildTheGUI();  
}

public void addDrawable(Drawable d){
    drawable.add(d);
}

public void buildTheGUI(){
    frame.setLayout( new BorderLayout());
    btnNew.addActionListener( new ButtonClickHandler() );
    movebtn.addActionListener( new MoveButtonClickHandler() );
    actionPanel.add(btnNew);
    actionPanel.add(movebtn);
    frame.add(BorderLayout.NORTH,actionPanel);
    frame.add(BorderLayout.SOUTH,playarea);
    frame.setSize(500, 500);
    frame.setVisible(true); 
}

public static void main(String args[]){
    //launch GUI on the EDT (event dispatch thread) - per best practice
    SwingUtilities.invokeLater(new Runnable(){
        public void run(){
            new DrawPanel();
        }
    }
);

}

class ButtonClickHandler implements ActionListener{
    public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e){ 

        //create initial Ball object add to the frame
        addDrawable( new Ball() ) ;
        //draw
        frame.validate();
    }
}

class MoveButtonClickHandler implements ActionListener{
    public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e){

        //polymorhic behavior, calling the Ball constructor differently
        addDrawable( new Ball(1) ) ;
        //redraw
        frame.validate();
    }
}// end class MoveButtonClickHandler
}//end class DrawPanel
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