[kepler-dev] [Bug 3471] New: - custom input boxes in actor configuration dialog

bugzilla-daemon at ecoinformatics.org bugzilla-daemon at ecoinformatics.org
Fri Aug 15 09:06:19 PDT 2008


           Summary: custom input boxes in actor configuration dialog
           Product: Kepler
           Version: 1.0.0
          Platform: Other
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: enhancement
          Priority: P1
         Component: interface
        AssignedTo: berkley at nceas.ucsb.edu
        ReportedBy: jones at nceas.ucsb.edu
         QAContact: kepler-dev at ecoinformatics.org

Report from Peter Reutemann:

I've encountered a similar problem as mentioned in the following thread:


Though using Kepler, I needed to modify the underlying Ptolemy
framework in order to allow custom input boxes in actor dialogs. But
instead of hacking the ptolemy.gui.Query and
ptolemy.actor.gui.PtolemyQuery classes whenever I'd need another
custom query box, I modified those two classes (and added
classes/interfaces) to make it a bit more flexible.

In order to get a new query box into Ptolemy, you need to modify the
following places:
- ptolemy.gui.Query
 ~ set(String,String)
 ~ getStringValue(String)

 in those two methods the type of custom query chooser, e.g.,
 QueryColorChooser is used to determine how to obtain/set the
 string representation.

- ptolemy.actor.gui.PtolemyQuery
 ~ addStyledEntry(Settable)

 here the type of Parameter defines what query chooser is added
 for the attribute, e.g., a QueryColorChooser in case of a

To decouple this a bit, I've come up with an interface called
"CustomQueryBoxParameter", to be implemented by types derived from
Parameter that need a custom query box. The interface consists of only
one method:
 javax.swing.Box createQueryBox(PtolemyQuery query, Settable att)
This method returns a custom query box (fully configured), based on
the current query and attribute this query belongs to. This swing
element contains all the necessary logic to manipulate the data, e.g.,
a button for popping up another dialog, etc. The addStyledEntry method
of the PtolemyQuery class obtains a box from an attribute implementing
CustomQueryBoxParameter and attaches it (via the _addPair method).

The query box being returned, is a custom class derived from
javax.swing.Box, which implements another interface called
"SettableQueryChooser". This interface is used in the
set/getStringValue methods of ptolemy.gui.Query to set/get the current
string value. The actual query chooser class turns that into whatever
internal representation it uses. This interface avoids having to add
new logic to the Query class, whenever a new custom QueryChooser is

Since I'm apparently not the only user who encountered this problem,
I'd like to contribute my code (which will hopefully trickle down to
Kepler at one stage, in case it gets accepted). Not exactly sure how
contributions work around here.

Note: my original post *with* attachments didn't come through
apparently (never showed up in the Google group), you can find my
original post including the attachments on my homepage:

There are several files available for download from this web page:
- ptolemy-patch.zip
 contains patches for the Query/PtolemyQuery classes
 (run against subversion repository August 14, 2008)
- ptolemy-additional_classes.zip
 additional classes/interfaces necessary for my proposed changes
- examples-classes.zip
 contains a simple actor that uses a custom query box with a button
 that pops up a JOptionPane for the user to enter some text; this is
 just to demonstrate how the slightly modified framework would work
- examples.kar
 a kepler archive - I know, this is not exactly the right place, but
 I thought some Kepler people/developers read this mailing list as well
 and might be interested in this

Hopefully, my ramblings made some sense, otherwise the code hopefully
speaks for itself. ;-)

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