org.openide.explorer. Classes pertaining to the Property Sheet (which displays properties of explored nodes) may be found in
org.openide.explorer.propertysheet. A set of standard Explorer Views is available in
A given Explorer view instance will be some visual component (such as a Swing panel) displaying some representation of a Node and its children. The topmost node being displayed is said to be the root of the Explorer.
The API permits you to use the prebuilt views, and also to create your own if you need to.
NodeOperation.explore(...). This will simply show a node and its subtree (if any) in a new window using the normal tree-style Explorer view. It does not permit any customization of the UI, however - it creates a standard window with the usual buttons, etc.
If you want to use a special view, it is first necessary to understand the structure of a live Explorer instance:
ExplorerManager.Provider. Often in NetBeans it will be a subclass of TopComponent. This topmost container does not really do anything; it just makes sure that an
ExplorerManagercan be found by its children. Follow the instructions in
ExplorerUtils, to create such a panel. The container that implements ExplorerManager.Provider may contain non-Explorer components - add whatever components you like to it, set layout appropriately. When an Explorer view is added as a descendant of this panel, it will find this panel by searching the component hierarchy.
ExplorerManageritself handles the control of the Explorer view or views it is attached to. It provides the external interface by which the selection of nodes, e.g., can be examined or set, and permits multiple views to be synchronized (for example, creating a master/detail view is very easy).
ExplorerUtils, will be attached to the component to make sure they are correctly enabled or disabled according to the current node selection. Follow the example in
Once you have created an Explorer component, your code will not typically interact directly with it - rather it will call methods on its ExplorerManager to set selection, etc.
org.openide.explorer.viewcontains a number of prebuilt views which you may use. Of special note are the
BeanTreeView, which is the standard tree view used to implement the Explorer window proper; and
MenuView, which is of interest because it actually implements a view using popup menus, rather than a static display. The best way to familiarize yourself with the standard views, and to test any custom view you might build, is probably to create an
ExplorerPanelwhich adds some or all of them; the views will be automatically synchronized, which will be helpful in understanding how they behave.
PropertySheetViewto the container. It is an Explorer view which does not actually display any nodes, but rather displays a list of properties for the node or nodes which are selected according to the ExplorerManager.
Since views by default will share the same manager if they are added to the same manager-providing container, just adding a regular Explorer view and a Property Sheet to the same container will result in the Property Sheet being sensitive to the node selection in the regular view, which is usually the desired effect.
Children.Keys. Generally nodes may allow their children to be reordered.
Node.getContextMenu(), etc. are typically used to build an event-handling system for the visual representation of the nodes.
Node.getPasteTypes(...), and so on affect other UI components (such as toolbars) which may hold action presenters.
Node.getPropertySets()is of course used by the Property Sheet view.
Consider providing a custom UI where possible, rather than relying on the user having the Property Sheet visible to work with your module.
Node.PropertySetcan specify that it should be displayed in a tab: It must return an internationalized string from
PropertySet.getValue("tabName"). If multiple property sets belonging to a single node specify the same tab name in this manner, all of them will be included on a tab with the specified name*.
* Note that for this functionality to function properly, the NetBeans Window System must be installed. Further information on how to work use this functionality in a stand-alone application can be found here.
PropertyDescriptor. This is described in detail here.