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Developing Java Beans by Robert Englander

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Chapter 10. Property Editors and Customizers

One of the most important aspects of a visual programming tool is that it allows you to modify the properties and behaviors of components. Instead of having to write code, you are provided with some kind of user interface that presents the options that can be specified for a given instance of an object. The most common form of this interface is a property sheet, which is used to set the values of the component’s properties. Each property is listed along with a user interface element for viewing and altering its value. These user interface elements are called property editors.

For most simple Beans, the property sheet is sufficient. For more complex Beans, however, the property sheet may not be enough. Perhaps it’s just a matter of presenting the information to the user in a different way; in other cases there may be configuration options that are not exposed as properties, and these options may have a degree of complexity that requires a more sophisticated user interface in order to be configured correctly. Whatever the reason, Beans may have their own custom user interfaces that exist just for this purpose. These user interfaces are known as customizers.

Property Editors

It’s pretty safe to say that almost every visual development tool that deals with components will have a property sheet, or something like it. Even the BeanBox test tool has a property sheet. When you select a Bean on the form, the property sheet updates its contents to ...

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