Graphical User Interfaces
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The com.sun.star.awt API-module is used to access and design user interface features. The concepts that this module are based on are similar to java.awt. This module provides services and interfaces to create and handle the large set of GUI elements that are demanded by today's modern components. This chapter is directed to extension developers who want to add functionality to their Apache OpenOffice application and want to create a consistent user interface.
You can use the UNO module Abstract Window Toolkit (UNO-AWT) to create a graphical user interface. The concept of UNO-AWT is based on Java/AWT. Java provides the AWT and Swing user interface design packages within its Java Foundation Classes class library. The implementation of java.awt components is based on the implementation of the peer components of the operating system. This is known as a "heavyweight" implementation. com.sun.star.awt components are lightweight controls because their implementation is based solely on Apache OpenOffice. This gives you platform independence. The functionality of heavyweight controls may only be as high as the lowest common denominator of all involved operating systems, however, Apache OpenOffice UI components are meant to emulate the design of the corresponding components of the operating system. The layer responsible for this is called VCL or Visual Class Library. The layer on top of the VCL is the Toolkit layer. This layer maps all interfaces of com.sun.star.awt to VCL.
The basic concepts that are used in com.sun.star.awt are described in previous chapters:
- Event Model describes how to use event listeners at controls. With Event-Listeners at controls you can determine how a window reacts to mouse or keyboard driven events.
- Exceptions explains how to handle errors as Exceptions.
- Introduction describes factories.
- Data Types describes the basic UNO types, and provides information about how to convert these types to and from various target languages.
- OpenOffice Basic provides information for developers who want to implement Basic macros.
- Accessing Dialogs explains how dialogs created with the dialog engine can be embedded within Apache OpenOffice extensions.
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