JavaTM 2 Platform
Std. Ed. v1.4.2

javax.swing
Interface Action

All Superinterfaces:
ActionListener, EventListener
All Known Implementing Classes:
AbstractAction

public interface Action
extends ActionListener

The Action interface provides a useful extension to the ActionListener interface in cases where the same functionality may be accessed by several controls.

In addition to the actionPerformed method defined by the ActionListener interface, this interface allows the application to define, in a single place:

Certain containers, including menus and tool bars, know how to add an Action object. When an Action object is added to such a container, the container:
  1. Creates a component that is appropriate for that container (a tool bar creates a button component, for example).
  2. Gets the appropriate property(s) from the Action object to customize the component (for example, the icon image and flyover text).
  3. Checks the initial state of the Action object to determine if it is enabled or disabled, and renders the component in the appropriate fashion.
  4. Registers a listener with the Action object so that is notified of state changes. When the Action object changes from enabled to disabled, or back, the container makes the appropriate revisions to the event-generation mechanisms and renders the component accordingly.
For example, both a menu item and a toolbar button could access a Cut action object. The text associated with the object is specified as "Cut", and an image depicting a pair of scissors is specified as its icon. The Cut action-object can then be added to a menu and to a tool bar. Each container does the appropriate things with the object, and invokes its actionPerformed method when the component associated with it is activated. The application can then disable or enable the application object without worrying about what user-interface components are connected to it.

This interface can be added to an existing class or used to create an adapter (typically, by subclassing AbstractActio). The Action object can then be added to multiple action-aware containers and connected to Action-capable components. The GUI controls can then be activated or deactivated all at once by invoking the Action object's setEnabled method.

Note that Action implementations tend to be more expensive in terms of storage than a typical ActionListener, which does not offer the benefits of centralized control of functionality and broadcast of property changes. For th is reason, you should take care to only use Actions where their benefits are desired, and use simple ActionListeners elsewhere.

See Also:
AbstractAction

Field Summary
static String ACCELERATOR_KEY
          The key used for storing a KeyStroke to be used as the accelerator for the action.
static String ACTION_COMMAND_KEY
          The key used to determine the command string for the ActionEvent that will be created when an Action is going to be notified as the result of residing in a Keymap associated with a JComponent.
static String DEFAULT
          Not currently used.
static String LONG_DESCRIPTION
          The key used for storing a longer description for the action, could be used for context-sensitive help.
static String MNEMONIC_KEY
          The key used for storing an int key code to be used as the mnemonic for the action.
static String NAME
          The key used for storing the name for the action, used for a menu or button.
static String SHORT_DESCRIPTION
          The key used for storing a short description for the action, used for tooltip text.
static String SMALL_ICON
          The key used for storing a small icon for the action, used for toolbar buttons.
 
Method Summary
 void addPropertyChangeListener(PropertyChangeListener listener)
          Adds a PropertyChange listener.
 Object getValue(String key)
          Gets one of this object's properties using the associated key.
 boolean isEnabled()
          Returns the enabled state of the Action.
 void putValue(String key, Object value)
          Sets one of this object's properties using the associated key.
 void removePropertyChangeListener(PropertyChangeListener listener)
          Removes a PropertyChange listener.
 void setEnabled(boolean b)
          Sets the enabled state of the Action.
 
Methods inherited from interface java.awt.event.ActionListener
actionPerformed
 

Field Detail

DEFAULT

public static final String DEFAULT
Not currently used.

See Also:
Constant Field Values

NAME

public static final String NAME
The key used for storing the name for the action, used for a menu or button.

See Also:
Constant Field Values

SHORT_DESCRIPTION

public static final String SHORT_DESCRIPTION
The key used for storing a short description for the action, used for tooltip text.

See Also:
Constant Field Values

LONG_DESCRIPTION

public static final String LONG_DESCRIPTION
The key used for storing a longer description for the action, could be used for context-sensitive help.

See Also:
Constant Field Values

SMALL_ICON

public static final String SMALL_ICON
The key used for storing a small icon for the action, used for toolbar buttons.

See Also:
Constant Field Values

ACTION_COMMAND_KEY

public static final String ACTION_COMMAND_KEY
The key used to determine the command string for the ActionEvent that will be created when an Action is going to be notified as the result of residing in a Keymap associated with a JComponent.

See Also:
Constant Field Values

ACCELERATOR_KEY

public static final String ACCELERATOR_KEY
The key used for storing a KeyStroke to be used as the accelerator for the action.

Since:
1.3
See Also:
Constant Field Values

MNEMONIC_KEY

public static final String MNEMONIC_KEY
The key used for storing an int key code to be used as the mnemonic for the action.

Since:
1.3
See Also:
Constant Field Values
Method Detail

getValue

public Object getValue(String key)
Gets one of this object's properties using the associated key.

See Also:
putValue(java.lang.String, java.lang.Object)

putValue

public void putValue(String key,
                     Object value)
Sets one of this object's properties using the associated key. If the value has changed, a PropertyChangeEvent is sent to listeners.

Parameters:
key - a String containing the key
value - an Object value

setEnabled

public void setEnabled(boolean b)
Sets the enabled state of the Action. When enabled, any component associated with this object is active and able to fire this object's actionPerformed method. If the value has changed, a PropertyChangeEvent is sent to listeners.

Parameters:
b - true to enable this Action, false to disable it

isEnabled

public boolean isEnabled()
Returns the enabled state of the Action. When enabled, any component associated with this object is active and able to fire this object's actionPerformed method.

Returns:
true if this Action is enabled

addPropertyChangeListener

public void addPropertyChangeListener(PropertyChangeListener listener)
Adds a PropertyChange listener. Containers and attached components use these methods to register interest in this Action object. When its enabled state or other property changes, the registered listeners are informed of the change.

Parameters:
listener - a PropertyChangeListener object

removePropertyChangeListener

public void removePropertyChangeListener(PropertyChangeListener listener)
Removes a PropertyChange listener.

Parameters:
listener - a PropertyChangeListener object
See Also:
addPropertyChangeListener(java.beans.PropertyChangeListener)

JavaTM 2 Platform
Std. Ed. v1.4.2

Submit a bug or feature
For further API reference and developer documentation, see Java 2 SDK SE Developer Documentation. That documentation contains more detailed, developer-targeted descriptions, with conceptual overviews, definitions of terms, workarounds, and working code examples.

Copyright 2003 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved. Use is subject to license terms. Also see the documentation redistribution policy.


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