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NX: GUI Layout

 
Terry Martinson
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In Max's book, the client GUI is shown with the JTable of data on the top and the buttons beneath (see p. 202). He also explains that it should be set up like this.
However, in Alain Trottier's Exam Cram book, he shows a GUI display of the Flight Reservation system with the Reserve/Search Seat button panels at the top with the JTable of data beneath.
My understanding is that according to Human Interface standards, the most important stuff should be placed upper left, since the user typically reads left to right, up to down.
My question --- which should be considered most important and therefore placed at the top - the data or the action buttons?
Any ideas appreciated.
TJ
 
Nathaniel Stoddard
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I think it really depends on the wording of the specs.
In my case, I am filling the entire frame with the JTable and placing all the other stuff through menus. If you have a good reason and document it, you should be okay. My justification was some subtle wording in my spec that says something close to "the user should not be negatively impacted when future enhancements to the program are made."
It's all going in my choices document.
 
Ken Krebs
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Terry,
You are partially correct.
IMO, the JTable should be above the buttons. The most important item(s) should follow the user's typical reading and usage order, i.e. top-to-bottom.
While most cultures also use a left-to-right reading order, which should be used for the assignment, some use right-to-left. I believe that this true for Hebrew and Arabic languages. Take a look at the Javadoc for java.awt.ComponentOrientation for more information about this issue. Some LayoutManagers provide support for this.
 
Terry Martinson
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Thanks guys. I'm going to keep my JTable above the buttons like in the Max book. Thanks for the culture points too Ken
TJ
 
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