TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Java Events
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:12
Column Tag:Getting Started

Java Events

By Dave Mark

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

Originally I was planning to cover double-buffering in this month’s column. I started writing a cool banner animator, then I got a little side-tracked playing with Java’s event-handling mechanism. As I explored (and as my animation applet took on a life of its own!), I realized that we never really covered events. Since events are the heart and soul of your applet’s user interaction, and since I ended up writing this nifty little event doodad anyway, I thought we would dive into events now and put off animation for the moment.

The Ultimate Event Handler

This month’s applet is called eventHandler. For you Primer readers, eventHandler is similar to eventTracker. As you click, drag, and type, the events associated with those actions are displayed in a scrolling list. Figure 1 shows eventHandler running in the Metrowerks Java applet viewer. One thing I learned from this exercise is that no two applet viewers behave exactly the same way. For example, the Metrowerks Java viewer swallows keyUp events. In Netscape Gold 3.0 (see Figure 2), the keyUp events show up, but mouseMove events are not reported properly. The Sun JDK Applet Viewer 1.0.2 (not shown) doesn’t handle clipping correctly. <sigh>. Well, at least these applet viewers are much better than their predecessors!

Figure 1. eventHandler running in Metrowerks’ Applet Viewer. Notice that keyUp events are swallowed. See Figure 2.

Figure 2. eventHandler running in Netscape Gold 3.0. The keyUp events are there, but mouseMove events (not shown) don’t work right.

eventHandler consists of two major areas (each with its own label). On the top is a Canvas with a yellow background. All the events trapped by this Canvas are listed in the scrolling TextArea on the bottom. When the keyboard focus is on the Canvas, its border is drawn in red. When the Canvas loses the keyboard focus, the border is redrawn as yellow.

If you click or drag in the Canvas, the appropriate events get listed in the scrolling list. If you type while the focus is in the Canvas, the actual key names are listed when the keyDown event is reported. Note that I don’t report the mouseMove event, which is supposed to occur when you move the mouse. Unfortunately, the Metrowerks viewer is the only one that handles this correctly. Both Netscape and the Sun viewer report a steady stream of mouseMove events, even when the mouse is perfectly still! This can be a real pain, since any other events tend to get swept away in a flood of incorrectly reported mouseMove events. Add a mouseMove handler to the code below, just to see this for yourself.

The eventHandler Source Code

Create a new project using the Java Applet stationery. Create a source code file named eventHandler.java and add it to the project. Here’s the source code:

import java.awt.*;

public class eventCanvas extends Canvas
{
 booleanhasFocus;
 
 eventCanvas( int width, int height )
 {
 setBackground( Color.yellow );
 resize( width, height );
 
 hasFocus = false;
 }
 
 public boolean mouseUp( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseUp” );
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean mouseDown( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseDown” );
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean mouseDrag( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseDrag” );
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean mouseEnter( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseEnter” );
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean mouseExit( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseExit” );
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean keyDown( Event e, int key )
 {
 String eventString = “keyDown: “;
 String keyName, modifierName;
 
 modifierName = getModifierName( e );
 if ( modifierName != null )
 eventString += modifierName;
 
 keyName = getKeyName( key );
 
 if ( keyName != null )
 eventString += keyName;
 else if (( key >= 32 ) && ( key <= 127 ))
 eventString += new Character( (char)key ).toString();
 else
 eventString += key;
 
 eventHandler.reportEvent( eventString );
 
 return true;
 }
 
 public String getModifierName( Event e )
 {
 if ( e.controlDown() )
 return( “Control-” );
 if ( e.metaDown() )
 return( “Meta-” );
 if ( e.shiftDown() )
 return( “Shift-” );
 
 return null;
 }
 
 public String getKeyName( int key )
 {
 switch ( key )
 {
 case Event.F1: return “F1”;
 case Event.F2: return “F2”;
 case Event.F3: return “F3”;
 case Event.F4: return “F4”;
 case Event.F5: return “F5”;
 case Event.F6: return “F6”;
 case Event.F7: return “F7”;
 case Event.F8: return “F8”;
 case Event.F9: return “F9”;
 case Event.F10: return “F10”;
 case Event.F11: return “F11”;
 case Event.F12: return “F12”;
 case Event.HOME: return “HOME”;
 case Event.END: return “END”;
 case Event.LEFT: return “Left Arrow”;
 case Event.RIGHT: return “Right Arrow”;
 case Event.UP: return “Up Arrow”;
 case Event.DOWN: return “DownArrow”;
 case Event.PGUP: return “Page Up”;
 case Event.PGDN: return “Page Down”;
 }
 
 return null;
 }
 
 public boolean keyUp( Event e, int key )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “keyUp” );
 
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean gotFocus(Event e, Object what)
 {
 hasFocus = true;
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “gotFocus” );
 repaint();
 
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean lostFocus(Event e, Object what)
 {
 hasFocus = false;
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “lostFocus” );
 repaint();
 
 return true;
 }
 
 public void paint( Graphics g )
 {
 Rectangler;
 
 r = bounds();
 g = getGraphics();
 
 if ( hasFocus )
 g.setColor( Color.red );
 else
 g.setColor( Color.yellow );
 
 g.drawRect( 0, 0, r.width-1, r.height-1 );
 g.drawRect( 1, 1, r.width-3, r.height-3 );
 }
}

public class eventHandler extends java.applet.Applet
{
 eventCanvaseCanvas;
 static TextArea tArea;
 
 public void init()
 {
 add( new Label( “Click and type in this Canvas:” ) );
 
 eCanvas = new eventCanvas( 200, 100 );
 add( eCanvas );
 
 add( new Label( “Here’s a list of canvas events:” ) );
 
 tArea = new TextArea( 10, 30 );
 add( tArea );
 }
 
 public static void reportEvent( String eventString )
 {
 tArea.appendText( eventString + “\r” );
 }
}

Now create a file named eventHandler.html and add it to the project as well. Here’s the HTML:

<title>Event Handler</title>
<hr>
<applet codebase=”eventHandler Classes” code=”eventHandler.class” width=290 
height=320>
</applet>
<hr>
<a href=”eventHandler.java”>The source.</a>

Now go into the Project Settings dialog (Under CW10, select Project Settings... from the Edit menu. See Figure 3. Earlier versions, Preferences from the Edit menu) and click on Project/Java Project. Select Class Folder from the Project Type popup and type “eventHandler Classes” as the File Name. Note that we’re no longer using non-ASCII characters (like ƒ) in our Java-specific file and folder names. Though some environments can deal with these special characters, other environments, like Netscape, don’t recognize them and won’t be able to locate your class files.

Figure 3. The CW10 Project Settings dialog.

A terrific feature introduced with CW10 (there are a bunch of them) is the Set... button in the Project Settings dialog, which lets you select the application to which your html will be sent when you select Run from the Project menu. So if you like, you can use Netscape to test your applet or, if you prefer, use the applet viewer that ships with the JDK or with CW10. No matter which applet viewer you choose, be aware of any class caching schemes used by the viewer. If the viewer caches your class, it won’t replace the class each time you run with a new version unless you quit the viewer each time you run. As I write this, I don’t know of any work-arounds for this. On the other hand, by the time you read this, maybe this won’t be an issue anymore.

Running eventHandler

Once your source is entered, build your .class file and drop your html file on your favorite viewer. If you are using CodeWarrior, select Run from the Project menu. Once your applet appears, generate some events. Try dragging the mouse within the Canvas to generate a stream of mouseDrag events. Click on the Canvas to generate a gotFocus event, then click outside the Canvas to lose the focus. Click on the Canvas to regain the focus, then bring the Finder to the front. Notice that the focus is lost, then regained when you bring the applet viewer to the front.

Experiment!

The eventHandler Source Code

eventHandler is broken into two classes. The eventCanvas class implements the yellow canvas area, adding to it the various event handlers. The hasFocus variable is a boolean that specifies whether the Canvas currently has the keyboard focus. The constructor takes a width and height, sets the background color to yellow, resizes the Canvas, and sets the focus to false.

import java.awt.*;

public class eventCanvas extends Canvas
{
 booleanhasFocus;
 
 eventCanvas( int width, int height )


 {
 setBackground( Color.yellow );
 resize( width, height );
 
 hasFocus = false;
 }

Each of the event handlers overrides a default Canvas event handler. Each one reports its event by calling the static eventHandler function reportEvent(). We will get to that when we explore the eventHandler class in a bit. Each handler returns true, signifying that it has dealt with the event. mouseUp() and mouseDown() are called when the mouse button is pressed or released within the eventCanvas component.

 public boolean mouseUp( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseUp” );
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean mouseDown( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseDown” );
 return true;
 }

mouseDrag() is called when the mouse is dragged within the eventCanvas, and mouseEnter() and mouseExit() are called when the mouse enters or leaves the eventCanvas boundaries.

 public boolean mouseDrag( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseDrag” );
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean mouseEnter( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseEnter” );
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean mouseExit( Event e, int x, int y )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “mouseExit” );
 return true;
 }

keyDown() is called when a key is pressed, ONLY IF the eventCanvas has the focus. The keyDown() code basically builds a string reflecting the name of the key that was pressed. getModifierName() checks to see if the control, meta, or shift keys were down and, if so, adds the appropriate modifier name to the string. getKeyName() does a lookup on some standard Java key names. This table should be larger, but these are the only keynames I could find in the documentation. For example, I couldn’t find a TAB constant.

If the key was an ASCII between 32 and 127, the character name is used, otherwise the key number is used. keyDown() is very simple-minded. After you experiment with it a bit, you might want to add more complexity to it to handle the other key types.

 public boolean keyDown( Event e, int key )
 {
 String eventString = “keyDown: “;
 String keyName, modifierName;
 
 modifierName = getModifierName( e );
 if ( modifierName != null )
 eventString += modifierName;
 
 keyName = getKeyName( key );
 
 if ( keyName != null )
 eventString += keyName;
 else if (( key >= 32 ) && ( key <= 127 ))
 eventString += new Character( (char)key ).toString();
 else
 eventString += key;
 
 eventHandler.reportEvent( eventString );
 
 return true;
 }
 
 public String getModifierName( Event e )
 {
 if ( e.controlDown() )
 return( “Control-” );
 if ( e.metaDown() )
 return( “Meta-” );
 if ( e.shiftDown() )
 return( “Shift-” );
 
 return null;
 }
 
 public String getKeyName( int key )
 {
 switch ( key )
 {
 case Event.F1: return “F1”;
 case Event.F2: return “F2”;
 case Event.F3: return “F3”;
 case Event.F4: return “F4”;
 case Event.F5: return “F5”;
 case Event.F6: return “F6”;
 case Event.F7: return “F7”;
 case Event.F8: return “F8”;
 case Event.F9: return “F9”;
 case Event.F10: return “F10”;
 case Event.F11: return “F11”;
 case Event.F12: return “F12”;
 case Event.HOME: return “HOME”;
 case Event.END: return “END”;
 case Event.LEFT: return “Left Arrow”;
 case Event.RIGHT: return “Right Arrow”;
 case Event.UP: return “Up Arrow”;
 case Event.DOWN: return “DownArrow”;
 case Event.PGUP: return “Page Up”;
 case Event.PGDN: return “Page Down”;
 }
 
 return null;
 }
 
 public boolean keyUp( Event e, int key )
 {
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “keyUp” );
 
 return true;
 }

gotFocus() sets hasFocus to true, reports the event, and forces a redraw. lostFocus() sets hasFocus to false and does the same.

 public boolean gotFocus(Event e, Object what)
 {
 hasFocus = true;
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “gotFocus” );
 repaint();
 
 return true;
 }
 
 public boolean lostFocus(Event e, Object what)
 {
 hasFocus = false;
 eventHandler.reportEvent( “lostFocus” );
 repaint();
 
 return true;
 }

paint() sets the drawing color to red if the eventCanvas has the focus (yellow otherwise), then draws the bordering rectangle based on the bounding rectangle of the eventCanvas. Another peculiarity I ran into was trying to draw a pair of rectangles, one inside the other. I expected to use r.width-2 and r.height-2 as parameters to the second drawRect call. Somehow this didn’t produce the results I expected. I tried this with all the viewers, and got different results with each one. I’m guessing that this is a flaw in the viewer implementation, though of course that assumption is pretty dangerous! If anyone sees a bug in this code, let me know <dmark@aol.com>.

 public void paint( Graphics g )
 {
 Rectangler;
 
 r = bounds();
 g = getGraphics();
 
 if ( hasFocus )
 g.setColor( Color.red );
 else
 g.setColor( Color.yellow );
 
 g.drawRect( 0, 0, r.width-1, r.height-1 );
 g.drawRect( 1, 1, r.width-3, r.height-3 );
 }
}

The eventHandler class implements the applet itself. The reportEvent() method is static so it can be called from outside the class without having a specific eventHandle object reference. This is one way to solve this problem. There are certainly others. We could have retrieved the current applet from within the eventCanvas class, coerced that reference to an eventCanvas and used it to call reportEvent(). I think the first way is better. Any other ideas? Let me know.

The TextArea variable tArea was also made static so it could be referenced from within the static reportEvent. The disadvantage here is that this approach limits you to single occurances of the applet. Again, I’m definitely interested in hearing any other ideas you might have.

public class eventHandler extends java.applet.Applet
{
 eventCanvaseCanvas;
 static TextArea tArea;
 
 public void init()
 {
 add( new Label( “Click and type in this Canvas:” ) );
 
 eCanvas = new eventCanvas( 200, 100 );
 add( eCanvas );
 
 add( new Label( “Here’s a list of canvas events:” ) );
 
 tArea = new TextArea( 10, 30 );
 add( tArea );
 }
 
 public static void reportEvent( String eventString )
 {
 tArea.appendText( eventString + “\r” );
 }
}

Till Next Month...

This was one of the most interesting applets I’ve worked on, both because of the nature of the problem the applet solved, and because of the many differences between the various applet viewers. Java is still evolving rapidly and the tools will be playing catch-up for a while. Have a very happy holiday season and I look forward to seeing you all in 1997.

 
AAPL
$102.50
Apple Inc.
+0.25
MSFT
$45.43
Microsoft Corpora
+0.55
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
+2.40

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LaunchBar 6.1 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Rhonna Designs Magic (Photography)
Rhonna Designs Magic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Want to sprinkle *magic* on your photos? With RD Magic, you can add colors, filters, light leaks, bokeh, edges,... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: August 25-29, 2014
Shiny Happy App Reviews   | Read more »
Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to... | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most... | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Add...
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Adds Lots of New Stuff Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... Read more
A&D Medical Launches Its WellnessConnecte...
For consumers and the healthcare providers and loved ones who care for them, A&D Medical, a leader in connected health and biometric measurement devices and services, has launched its... Read more
Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech
Anand Lal Shimpi, whose AnandTech Website is famous for its meticulously detailed and thoroughgoing reviews and analysis, is packing it in. Lal Shimpi, who founded the tech site at age 14 in 1997,... Read more
2.5GHz Mac mini, Apple refurbished, in stock...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2.5GHz Mac minis available for $509, $90 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.