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  1. #1
    angus is offline Member
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    Default Seeking help - Java GUI software design recommendations

    Id like to ask your recommendation on making some high-level software design decisions to build a GUI as described below. My programming background is C/C++. I know a little Java and am willing to learn more to get the job done.

    1. The application will need to run in a Windows environment.
    2. The application will need to load a map of some sort. Maybe just a jpeg file of a city roadmap, for example.
    3. Once the map is loaded and displayed, Id like to drag and drop various icons onto the map. For example, I might select a gas
    station icon, automobile, building, etc. Ill need to somehow associate attributes with the icons. For example, if I grab an automobile
    icon I would need to manually enter fields for make/model/color, etc.
    4. Selecting an icon on the map will cause the attributes to be displayed (popup or some predefined location in the application frame).
    5. When I press Save the map coordinates which describe where the icons are located along with the other manually entered attributes
    mentioned attributes will need to get saved to a file or database of some sort (Excel file, Access database, or maybe just a text file)
    as a configuration file. The icon location would need to describe where the center of the icon is located on the map on some
    arbitrary X-Y grid.
    6. Upon reloading the application I should be able to either create a new map with icons or reload a previously created configuration file.

    Im not sure how much effort this will required. I've seen some Java apps which lead me to think that Java might be a good choice? Should I be using Java or should I use another programming language? Please post your comments/suggestions. I'd appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

    -Angus

  2. #2
    quad64bit's Avatar
    quad64bit is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Seeking help - Java GUI software design recommendations

    So, java will do all these things. If this is going to do a lot of map stuff though, have you considered the google maps api? It's stupid simple to use, and has tons of stuff built in, like address resolution, gps coords, custom icons, styles, drop downs, effects, zoom, etc...

    It would be hard for me to consider much else for mapping type apps.

    However, if you don't want to go that route, yes, you can do all the things you said with java, it is just a lot more work.

  3. #3
    angus is offline Member
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    Default Re: Seeking help - Java GUI software design recommendations

    quad64bit,

    Thanks for the feedback. Maybe for a geographic map like I described, Google maps is the way to go. Please describe the IDE and other tools I may need to pull this off.

    I'd also like to explore this same type of exercise with say just a generic jpeg file of anything. For example, instead of a full-up map of a city, I could have a 2-D picture of the inside of a stadium. The icons I would place inside the stadium would represent things like people, fixtures, etc. Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Angus

  4. #4
    DarrylBurke's Avatar
    DarrylBurke is offline Forum Police
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    Default Re: Seeking help - Java GUI software design recommendations

    Ah, homework. I suggest you start gaining the knowledge you seek here: The Java Tutorials

    When you have a specific question, a forum like this is a good place to seek a specific answer.

    db
    If you're forever cleaning cobwebs, it's time to get rid of the spiders.

  5. #5
    angus is offline Member
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    Default Re: Seeking help - Java GUI software design recommendations

    This isn't homework. I've been out of college for over 10 years!

    My background is in algorithmic programming - mostly various types of DSP-related adaptive filters. I just don't have any GUI skills - yet. My post was intended to be generic. I just need to learn how to place icons on an image (any image, any icons) to help others more easily configure and run my applications at work.

    The reason why I posted here was that I wasn't asking how to write lines of code or have someone debug my code. I was just seeking general software design suggestions. Do you still want me to move the post to another section? If so, how do I do this?

    -Angus

  6. #6
    JosAH's Avatar
    JosAH is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Seeking help - Java GUI software design recommendations

    Have a look at quad trees; a node in quad tree represents a coordinate in a 2D plane and you can store anything you want in a Coordinate object (you have to build a Coordinate class yourself ;-)

    kind regards,

    Jos
    cenosillicaphobia: the fear for an empty beer glass

  7. #7
    angus is offline Member
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    Default Re: Seeking help - Java GUI software design recommendations

    ok,thanks.

  8. #8
    quad64bit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seeking help - Java GUI software design recommendations

    I'd also like to explore this same type of exercise with say just a generic jpeg file of anything. For example, instead of a full-up map of a city, I could have a 2-D picture of the inside of a stadium. The icons I would place inside the stadium would represent things like people, fixtures, etc. Any ideas?
    Yeah, I mean, I would just start modeling it and coding it out. You can load any arbitrary image into java (most common formats anyway) with ImageIO and the work with bufferedImages. You can use MouseListeners and MouseMotionListeners to handle use mouse input. You could model things of interest and then signify them on the map with point coordinates. Popups could be done either with java2d as an in-window onscreen popup, as a new window popup, or as an inspector refresh in a dedicated inspector window. Saving could be done with a real database, a local database like sqlite, or a text file, or object serialization, etc...

    Someone that knew what they were doing could get a rough prototype together in a day. If java is new to you but you're an experience programmer, maybe a week or less. If it is all new to you, maybe a couple/few months. You could use any IDE you wanted to, Eclipse is the most popular, followed by netbeans, and then a bunch of others. I started with eclipse, moved on to netbeans for a few years, and now have become a recent fan of intelliJ Idea from jetbrains. All of them work - netbeans and intellij have GUI builders built in, and eclipse has something similar in the form of a really shoddy plugin. For a simple GUI like this though, you could code it by hand without too much trouble.

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