java validate() method doesnt work properly

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I have a JFrame inside of which is a jpanel that im using as the content pane.

So basically im using the jpanel to load content into on click. New content is returned as a Jpanel also so its ends up being jpanel -> inside jpanel -> inside Jframe. When i need to load in new content i clear the panel, load the new content and validate() the jframe & jpanel and the new content displays.

My problem is that when the new content displays its clear that the validate method is working because i can see the new interface but i can also see the old interface as if its become the background; i can resize the window and it just disappears and looks as it should.

Is this just the way validate works or can i fix it?

Edit: this worked. The problem was i wasn't calling repaint manually.

public BaseWindow setContent(JComponent comp){
    contentPane.add(comp);
    contentPane.revalidate();
    contentPane.repaint();
    return this;
}

Generally the code for adding/removing one or two components from a panel is:

panel.remove(..);
panel.add(...);
panel.revalidate();
panel.repaint(); // sometimes needed

However, if you are replacing all the components on the panel, then the better approach is to use a Card Layout.

You have already stated the revaliate() followed by repaint() doesn't work so the only suggestion I have is to post your SSCCE that demonstrates the problem.

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Don't use validate. Use revalidate() instead.

Revalidate first calls invalidate() followed by a validate(). In Swing, you would rarely use validate().

Note: I also feel that maybe the old panel is not cleared/removed.Check again!

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Validate() is for causing components to re arrange themselves according to the layoutmanager that you have installed. This is not really what you should be using.

I can't see your code, so I'm not sure exactly what you are doing. I could speculate that calling repaint() on your "inner panel" will solve the problem you are having...but really, if you are doing things properly, you shouldn't need to call repaint() or validate().

Make two JPanels, one with content A (e.g. your buttons), and one with content B (e.g. your "static" field). Use the "add()" and "remove()" methods on the parent container (the JFrame's content pane?) to swap these two JPanels with each other whenever you want to switch the content that is displayed in that part of the JFrame.

Then you shouldn't need to do anything else; it should just work.

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I don't know if validate() makes any promise about fully repainting the container. You might have to call repaint() yourself to make it behave as you want to.

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Here's another possible solution:

Put both JPanels in at the same time, side by side, and then make sure only one of them is ever visible at any one time:

JPanel p = new JPanel(new BorderLayout());
p.add( panelA, BorderLayout.EAST );
p.add( panelB, BroderLayout.WEST );
panelA.setVisible(true);
panelB.setVisible(false);

Then when the user clicks the button to switch panels:

panelA.setVisible(false);
panelB.setVisible(true);

The setVisible() method and BorderLayout should take care of validating, layout, and calls to repaint() for you.

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Comments
  • incidently i did actually try doing this although i didnt mention this in the original question, i also tried invalidate followed by validate manually
  • are u sure that those components are really removed. Can u print the component tree and try to check wehter they ar eactually removed or not. I am so pretty sure that they are not removed.
  • I wont have the opportunity to until monday now but im sure they are as they disappear when i resize the screen a little
  • Basically what im doing already. I use the removeAll() method to clear the JPannel(the one thats, by default inside my JFrame and is used as a content pane) and the add() method to add a JPannel of content from one of my "screen" classes(i.e. ChoiceScreen/ScreenWithStaticButton)
  • Are both JPanels opaque? ( setOpaque(true) ) Also, have you tried calling repaint on the container after you remove and add your panel to it? It looks like the container isn't being properly triggered to repaint() itself, but if that was the case, repainting the container should solve the problem easily enough. Though it shouldn't be necessary, since add() and remove() will trigger repaints on their own.
  • If you post some code (as brief as possible), it would be easier to make suggestions.
  • Wrong! The validate() logic internally ends up firing repaint
  • @Suraj: actually, validate() will only end up firing repaint() if the container has first been invalidated(). So you could call revalidate(), or invalidate() + validate(). But that's a very inefficient way to indirectly call repaint().
  • @Xantos But alas! repaint() won't fix his problem
  • -1, that is not a solution that is a hack. Swing supports the dynamic adding/removing of components so there is no need to resort to hacks. The problem is with the posters code.
  • @camickr: please explain how the proposed code is "a hack"? It works well, doesn't rely on any esoteric or undocumented behaviour, has no side-effects, is quite robust in the face of changes, and it is clear and very easy to understand. Making components selectively appear and disappear is a perfectly legitimate use of setVisible()...and there's no reason that I'm aware of to prefer removing components over hiding them.
  • in some cases using visibility is reasonable. In this case the OP wants to replace entire panels. The example only talks about two panels. Your suggestion is to use east and west to hold these panels. But what if the application requires more than 2 panels to be swapped in and out? This obviously can't be done with your suggestion. Even if you use a different layout manager you would still have problems managing which panels are visible as it is not a simple make one visible, make one invisible. The better design is to have one panel for one function an swap panels based on function.
  • That only makes this a (debatably) less-than-ideal solution for some other problems that are similiar to the one that the OP is trying to solve. It does not make this a "hack", or even a poor solution in all cases. (Though I'll grant you that for more complex GUIs, add/remove would indeed work better than setVisible, for the reasons you've pointed out.)
  • I'm voting this back to neutral; i feel that while its not a solution for me it is still a solution that another reader with similar problems to mine might discard due to a silly -1