Why can't I access my panel's getWidth() and getHeight() functions?

I'm writing a simple program to test out basic GUI. The program prints a letter in the middle of the screen and allows the user to move it with the arrow keys. Everything works fine, but when I try to center the letter at the start of the program, it seems that the getWidth and getHeight functions aren't returning the proper numbers.

Here's the snippet containing my Panel class

static class LinePanel extends JPanel{
    int xCenter = getWidth() /2;
    int yCenter = getHeight() /2;

    private int x = xCenter;
    private int y = yCenter;
    private char keyChar = 'A';

    public LinePanel(){
        addKeyListener(new KeyAdapter(){
            public void keyPressed(KeyEvent e) {
                switch (e.getKeyCode()) {
                    case KeyEvent.VK_DOWN: y += 10; break;
                    case KeyEvent.VK_UP: y -= 10; break;
                    case KeyEvent.VK_LEFT: x -= 10; break;
                    case KeyEvent.VK_RIGHT: x += 10; break;
                    default: keyChar = e.getKeyChar();
                }

                repaint();

            }
        });
    }

    protected void paintComponent(Graphics g){
        super.paintComponent(g);

        g.setFont(new Font("TimesRoman", Font.PLAIN, 24));
        g.drawString(String.valueOf(keyChar), x, y);
    }
}

Why are my getWidth and getHeight functions returning '0'?

Thanks for any help

Answers


I cannot tell the reason but:

A way to avoid this is to override your getPreferredSize() function and return your preferred size.


Swing components have no width or height until they've been rendered. This occurs if you call pack() or setVisible(true) on a root container. Consider placing your x y int initialization code in the componentResized method of a ComponentListener that is added to your JPanel.

e.g.,

import java.awt.event.*;
import java.awt.*;

import javax.swing.*;

public class TestLinePanel {
   private static void createAndShowGui() {
      LinePanel mainPanel = new LinePanel();

      JFrame frame = new JFrame("TestLinePanel");
      frame.setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);
      frame.getContentPane().add(mainPanel);
      frame.pack();
      frame.setLocationByPlatform(true);
      frame.setVisible(true);
   }

   public static void main(String[] args) {
      SwingUtilities.invokeLater(new Runnable() {
         public void run() {
            createAndShowGui();
         }
      });
   }

   static class LinePanel extends JPanel {
      private static final int PREF_W = 400;
      private static final int PREF_H = PREF_W;
      private char keyChar = 'A';
      private int x;
      private int y;
      private boolean xySet = false;

      public LinePanel() {
         setFocusable(true);
         addKeyListener(new KeyAdapter() {
            public void keyPressed(KeyEvent e) {
               switch (e.getKeyCode()) {
               case KeyEvent.VK_DOWN:
                  y += 10;
                  break;
               case KeyEvent.VK_UP:
                  y -= 10;
                  break;
               case KeyEvent.VK_LEFT:
                  x -= 10;
                  break;
               case KeyEvent.VK_RIGHT:
                  x += 10;
                  break;
               default:
                  keyChar = e.getKeyChar();
               }

               repaint();

            }
         });

         addComponentListener(new ComponentAdapter() {

            @Override
            public void componentResized(ComponentEvent e) {
               if (!xySet) {
                  int xCenter = getWidth() / 2;
                  int yCenter = getHeight() / 2;

                  x = xCenter;
                  y = yCenter;

                  requestFocusInWindow();
                  xySet = true;
               }
            }

         });
      }

      @Override
      public Dimension getPreferredSize() {
         return new Dimension(PREF_W, PREF_H);
      }

      protected void paintComponent(Graphics g) {
         super.paintComponent(g);
         g.setFont(new Font("TimesRoman", Font.PLAIN, 24));
         g.drawString(String.valueOf(keyChar), x, y);
      }
   }
}

You'll also want to use key bindings rather than a KeyListener to capture your key strokes.


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