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Thinking in Java
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Message boxes

Windowing environments commonly contain a standard set of message boxes that allow you to quickly post information to the user or to capture information from the user. In Swing, these message boxes are contained in JOptionPane. You have many different possibilities (some quite sophisticated), but the ones you’ll most commonly use are probably the message dialog and confirmation dialog, invoked using the static JOptionPane.showMessageDialog( ) and JOptionPane. showConfirmDialog( ). The following example shows a subset of the message boxes available with JOptionPane:

// Demonstrates JoptionPane.
// <applet code=MessageBoxes width=200 height=150></applet>
import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import java.awt.*;
import com.bruceeckel.swing.*;

public class MessageBoxes extends JApplet {
  private JButton[] b = {
    new JButton("Alert"), new JButton("Yes/No"),
    new JButton("Color"), new JButton("Input"),
    new JButton("3 Vals")
  private JTextField txt = new JTextField(15);
  private ActionListener al = new ActionListener() {
    public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
      String id = ((JButton)e.getSource()).getText();
          "There's a bug on you!", "Hey!",
      else if(id.equals("Yes/No"))
          "or no", "choose yes",
      else if(id.equals("Color")) {
        Object[] options = { "Red", "Green" };
        int sel = JOptionPane.showOptionDialog(
          null, "Choose a Color!", "Warning",
          JOptionPane.WARNING_MESSAGE, null,
          options, options[0]);
        if(sel != JOptionPane.CLOSED_OPTION)
          txt.setText("Color Selected: " + options[sel]);
      } else if(id.equals("Input")) {
        String val = JOptionPane.showInputDialog(
            "How many fingers do you see?");
      } else if(id.equals("3 Vals")) {
        Object[] selections = {"First", "Second", "Third"};
        Object val = JOptionPane.showInputDialog(
          null, "Choose one", "Input",
          null, selections, selections[0]);
        if(val != null)
  public void init() {
    Container cp = getContentPane();
    cp.setLayout(new FlowLayout());
    for(int i = 0; i < b.length; i++) {
  public static void main(String[] args) { MessageBoxes(), 200, 200);
} ///:~

To be able to write a single ActionListener, I’ve used the somewhat risky approach of checking the String labels on the buttons. The problem with this is that it’s easy to get the label a little bit wrong, typically in capitalization, and this bug can be hard to spot.

Note that showOptionDialog( ) and showInputDialog( ) provide return objects that contain the value entered by the user.
Thinking in Java
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   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire