An Oracle blog about NetBeans Profiler

ComponentListener vs. HierarchyListener

Did you ever need to tweak component properties immediately after it appears on the screen? It seems to be quite trivial task but it took me a while till I found the right way how to do it.

The problem was to obtain a notification that the component has been shown. I used java.awt.event.ComponentListener (ComponentAdapter) and its componentShown event - it worked quite fine but never reported the event for the very first time the component was shown.

    component.addComponentListener(new ComponentAdapter() {public void componentShown(ComponentEvent e) {
System.out.println("Component shown");

What's the cause? The componentShown event is fired every time component's visibility - value of java.awt.Component.isVisible() - is changed. When the component is created, its isVisible() returns true, so no change happens when it's displayed for the first time.

The correct property I needed to listen on is java.awt.Component.isShowing(). Its value is false unless the component is really showing on the screen. But there didn't seem to be any appropriate listener - ComponentListener.componentShown() actually does "componentMadeVisible()", but where is the real "componentShown()" implemented?

After some time of googling I finally found a solution: java.awt.event.HierarchyListener. It has just one event hierarchyChanged which doesn't seem to be much useful, but all the magic is hidden in java.awt.event.HierarchyEvent which is passed to the method. Among other pure hierarchy-related stuff there is a SHOWING_CHANGED flag which "Indicates that the HIERARCHY_CHANGED event was generated due to a change in the showing state of the hierarchy". In other words it's a listener for Component.isShowing() property.

    component.addHierarchyListener(new HierarchyListener() {public void hierarchyChanged(HierarchyEvent e) {if ((e.getChangeFlags() & HierarchyEvent.SHOWING_CHANGED) != 0) 
System.out.println("Component shown");

Now I was finally able to change anything about the component after it was shown for the first time.

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