need guidance in component placement
I've posted on this before, got sidetracked.
I created an rpn calculator as an exercise to learn GUI, and it was my first attempt at using swing.
What I am finding is that there is a great deal of ambiguity in component placement as opposed to what I am used to coding using the tools of the evil empire (visual studio - mfc and visual basic), where I have exact control over size and placement. Html is similarly ambiguous, and I can sort of understand that Java might do the same thing. But Java can also be used to develop stand alone applications and I would like more control for desktop apps.
The url shows my two attempts, one using netbeans and the other handcoded using gridbag layout manager.
The netbeans is reasonably close to what I want, but everytime I change the size or location of one item, other items change size and location. Properties doesn't seem to have locations and only preferred sizes. I feel like I am chasing my tail.
Grid bag gives me even less control. An answer to a previous post suggested that it is not something people like to use, but the sun tutorial indicates it has more flexibility than other methods do.
What strategies should I use for getting more control over this particular layout, and what fuctions, classes, or techniques should I be studying to gain this level of control?
I did notice that there is a forms document with netbeans. I took a quick look at it, but didn't study it. Is it an option to edit that file, assuming I can decipher it.
General question on posting: Can I post an image directly? If I have to access an image via a url, I just as well write and post a web page.