Launching new Frames (Swing)

I want to change the style of an application of mine. I changed the main window to be a relatively small JFrame, and through its buttons, to launch other separate screens (as modal windows/jframes).

I saw that my code (the events and action listeners parts) are going to get v complex soon. I need a very general skeleton/description on how to proceed from scratch. Also, can I have those extra frames running as separate threads?

Note: those extra frames I have in mind, I'm thinking totally separate, not excel/word-style contained within the main window (like in that SwingDemo example). Not a must; just a style preference.

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It looks like you're mixing up some concepts here.

>> (as modal windows/jframes)

If the windows are modal, the idea is that they block the Swing thread for the main window (so you couldn't press any other buttons to open further windows.

>> can I have those extra frames running as separate threads?

If you run them in separate thread, the modal idea goes out of the window (Sorry.  What a dreadful pun :-( )

Your main concern seems to be the action listeners.  Each window (JFrame/JDialog) should manage it's own action events.  You could do this by implementing the ActionListener interface:

public class MyOtherFrame extends JFrame implements ActionListener

or you could use anonymous listeners for each JButton/JMenuItem etc.:

JButton myButton = new JButton("Button");
myButton.addActionListener(new ActionListener()
    public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e)
        System.out.println("Button has been pressed");

The main problem you might face with anonymous listeners is the scope of attributes that they can deal with.
 You can use a jtabbedpane and have each frame (or panel) in a separate tab. Then in each tab you can have subtabs and so on.

> Also, can I have those extra frames running as separate threads?

  Yes you can.
piouAuthor Commented:
Ok, let's drop the thread issue. Let say I want to launch a new JFrame by pressing a button.

Should it be like this:

button's action listener() {
  newframe = new JFrame();
  call some lengthy method to prepare the panels, functionality etc... (time consuming?)
  newframe.put contents, pack, set visible etc

or is there another (better) approach?
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Create the new frame in a separate method (if it's not too complex), or create a new class that extends JFrame if you want to include lots of elements (eg. if it's a standard form of some sort).
i used to create application in such way as <piou> intend to do back to some ages ago.

perhaps what you can do is, create on MainFrame that contains some buttons that will trigger other frame.
inside the MainFrame, initialize the "other" frames by passing a reference of database object(which connect to the database, and perform some simple method).

For each and every "other" frames, create a new Listener class for them.

so whenever you need to perform some operation related to the database in any of your "other" frames, you can just perform it locally (without have to go back to the main class,bla bla..)


public class MainFrame extends JFrame{
 Database db = new Database();
 OtherFrame oFrame = new OtherFrame();

 public MainFrame(){}


public class Database{

  //connec to database


public class OtherFrame extends JFrame{

   OtherFrame(Database db){
     OtherFrameListener listener = new OtherFrameListener(db);
     JButton b = new JButton("hehe");
     getContentPane().add(b, BorderLayout.NORTH);

public class OtherFrameListener implements ActionListener{

  public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e){}

i dont know what other experts will say, but i find it very easy to monitor, maintain my data flow ;)

for the OtherFrame and its Listener class, you can do like this:

public class OtherFrame extends JFrame{

   OtherFrame(Database db){

     OtherFrameListener listener = new OtherFrameListener(db, this);
     JButton b = new JButton("hehe");
     JButton c = new JButton("hehehe");

     getContentPane().add(b, BorderLayout.NORTH);
     getContentPane().add(c, BorderLayout.NORTH);

public class OtherFrameListener implements ActionListener{
  OtherFrame of;
  Database dtb;

  public OtherFrameListener(Database db, JFrame frame)
    of = frame;
    dtb = db;

  public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e){
    if(e.getSource() == of.b){}
    if(e.getSource() == of.c){}

hope this helps ;)

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piouAuthor Commented:
Thank you all.

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