LayoutManager : Java Glossary

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LayoutManager
The interface implemented by all layouts such as GridBagLayout. You don’t often use it explicity. You just pass a LayoutManager parameter.
// AWT
this.setLayout( new GridBagLayout() );

// Swing
Container contentPane = this.getContentPane();
contentPane.setLayout( new GridBaglayout() );

Writing your own LayoutManager is much easier than you might expect. A custom LayoutManager is much better than resorting to absolute positioning. See StarLayout for the source code for a simple LayoutManager. Basically all a LayoutManager has to do is assign a size to each Component in the Container, usually based on Component.getMinimumSize, getPreferredSize and getMaxiumumSize, and also assign each Component’s position relative to the top left corner of the Container.

There are two major benefits to writing your own LayoutManager.

  1. You neatly separate business from layout logic making maintenance easier.
  2. You can easily reuse the LayoutManager elsewhere without having to remember how it works.

Learning More

Oracle’s Javadoc on LayoutManager class : available:
Oracle’s Javadoc on LayoutManager class : available:

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