Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies
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You will probably find times when programming with Java that you need to display a window on your computer screen. This code has very little logic of its own. Instead, this code pulls together a bunch of classes from the Java API.


import javax.swing.JFrame;
import javax.swing.ImageIcon;
import javax.swing.JLabel;
class ShowPicture {
 public static void main(String args[]) {
  var frame = new JFrame();
  var icon = new ImageIcon("androidBook.jpg");
  var label = new JLabel(icon);
You can create an instance of the Purchase class with the line
var purchase1 = new Purchase();
So in the code, you can do the same kind of thing. You can create instances of the JFrame, ImageIcon, and JLabel classes with the following lines:
var frame = new JFrame();
var icon = new ImageIcon("androidBook.jpg");
var label = new JLabel(icon);
Here’s some gossip about each of these lines:
  • A JFrame is like a window (except that it’s called a JFrame, not a “window”). The line

    var frame = new JFrame();

    creates a JFrame object, but this line doesn’t display the JFrame object anywhere. (The displaying comes later in the code.)

  • An ImageIcon object is a picture. At the root of the program's project directory, there is a file named androidBook.jpg. That file contains the picture. The line

    var icon = new ImageIcon("androidBook.jpg");

    creates an ImageIcon object — an icon containing the androidBook.jpg picture.

    You can use almost any .gif, .jpg, or .png file in place of the (lovely) Android book cover image. To do so, drag your own image file to Eclipse's Package Explorer. (Drag it to the root of this example's project folder.) Then, in Eclipse's editor, change the name androidBook.jpg to your own image file's name. That's it!

  • You need a place to put the icon. You can put it on something called a JLabel. The line

    var label = new JLabel(icon);

    creates a JLabel object and puts the androidBook.jpg icon on the new label’s face.

If you read the previous bullets, you may get a false impression. The wording may suggest that the use of each component (JFrame, ImageIcon, JLabel, and so on) is a logical extension of what you already know. “Where do you put an ImageIcon?

Well of course, you put it on a JLabel.” When you’ve worked long and hard with Java’s Swing components, all these things become natural to you. But until then, you look everything up in Java's API documentation.

You never need to memorize the names or features of Java’s API classes. Instead, you keep Java’s API documentation handy. When you need to know about a class, you look it up in the documentation. If you need a certain class often enough, you’ll remember its features. For classes that you don’t use often, you always have the docs.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Dr. Barry Burd holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois. Barry is also the author of Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies, Java for Android For Dummies, and Flutter For Dummies.

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