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Thinking in Java
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Tracking multiple events

To prove to yourself that these events are in fact being fired, and as an interesting experiment, it’s worth creating an applet that tracks extra behavior in a JButton (in addition to whether it has been pressed). This example also shows you how to inherit your own button object because that’s what is used as the target of all the events of interest. To do so, you can just inherit from Jbutton.[82]

The MyButton class is an inner class of TrackEvent, so MyButton can reach into the parent window and manipulate its text fields, which is what’s necessary to be able to write the status information into the fields of the parent. Of course, this is a limited solution, since MyButton can be used only in conjunction with TrackEvent. This kind of code is sometimes called “highly coupled”:

// Show events as they happen.
// <applet code=TrackEvent width=700 height=500></applet>
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import java.util.*;
import com.bruceeckel.swing.*;

public class TrackEvent extends JApplet {
  private HashMap h = new HashMap();
  private String[] event = {
    "focusGained", "focusLost", "keyPressed",
    "keyReleased", "keyTyped", "mouseClicked",
    "mouseEntered", "mouseExited", "mousePressed",
    "mouseReleased", "mouseDragged", "mouseMoved"
  private MyButton
    b1 = new MyButton(Color.BLUE, "test1"),
    b2 = new MyButton(Color.RED, "test2");
  class MyButton extends JButton {
    void report(String field, String msg) {
    FocusListener fl = new FocusListener() {
      public void focusGained(FocusEvent e) {
        report("focusGained", e.paramString());
      public void focusLost(FocusEvent e) {
        report("focusLost", e.paramString());
    KeyListener kl = new KeyListener() {
      public void keyPressed(KeyEvent e) {
        report("keyPressed", e.paramString());
      public void keyReleased(KeyEvent e) {
        report("keyReleased", e.paramString());
      public void keyTyped(KeyEvent e) {
        report("keyTyped", e.paramString());
    MouseListener ml = new MouseListener() {
      public void mouseClicked(MouseEvent e) {
        report("mouseClicked", e.paramString());
      public void mouseEntered(MouseEvent e) {
        report("mouseEntered", e.paramString());
      public void mouseExited(MouseEvent e) {
        report("mouseExited", e.paramString());
      public void mousePressed(MouseEvent e) {
        report("mousePressed", e.paramString());
      public void mouseReleased(MouseEvent e) {
        report("mouseReleased", e.paramString());
    MouseMotionListener mml = new MouseMotionListener() {
      public void mouseDragged(MouseEvent e) {
        report("mouseDragged", e.paramString());
      public void mouseMoved(MouseEvent e) {
        report("mouseMoved", e.paramString());
    public MyButton(Color color, String label) {
  public void init() {
    Container c = getContentPane();
    c.setLayout(new GridLayout(event.length + 1, 2));
    for(int i = 0; i < event.length; i++) {
      JTextField t = new JTextField();
      c.add(new JLabel(event[i], JLabel.RIGHT));
      h.put(event[i], t);
  public static void main(String[] args) { TrackEvent(), 700, 500);
} ///:~

In the MyButton constructor, the button’s color is set with a call to SetBackground( ). The listeners are all installed with simple method calls.

The TrackEvent class contains a HashMap to hold the strings representing the type of event and JTextFields where information about that event is held. Of course, these could have been created statically rather than putting them in a HashMap, but I think you’ll agree that it’s a lot easier to use and change. In particular, if you need to add or remove a new type of event in TrackEvent, you simply add or remove a string in the event array—everything else happens automatically.

When report( ) is called, it is given the name of the event and the parameter string from the event. It uses the HashMap h in the outer class to look up the actual JTextField associated with that event name and then places the parameter string into that field.

This example is fun to play with because you can really see what’s going on with the events in your program.
Thinking in Java
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   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire