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Bug 33281 - Rewrite TreeTableView
Summary: Rewrite TreeTableView
Alias: None
Product: platform
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Outline&TreeTable (show other bugs)
Version: 3.x
Hardware: All All
: P2 blocker (vote)
Assignee: Stanislav Aubrecht
Depends on: 22998 24892 33186 34181 19266 22822 22996 24893 27696 28561 28962 29031 29534 29612 29717 29855 30539 31016 31501 31621 32567 34169 34170 34171 34172 34173 34175 34177 34178 34182 34184 34185 35836 37802 38434 133929
Blocks: 43660 136655 136660 136663 136664 36781 37100 38478 39160 39523 40130 41579 41612 44856 76522 108861 136653 136654 136656 136658 136659 136661 136662
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Reported: 2003-04-28 16:10 UTC by Jiri Rechtacek
Modified: 2008-12-22 13:39 UTC (History)
11 users (show)

See Also:
Issue Type: TASK
Exception Reporter:


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Description Jiri Rechtacek 2003-04-28 16:10:25 UTC
TreeTableView is often buggy, a UI spec (expected
behavior is not clearly), source is rarely
documented. The reported defects should be solved
in common, not case by case. Also the asked
enhancements should be evaluated together. It's
umbrella issue for keep a overview about.
Comment 1 Jiri Rechtacek 2003-04-28 16:22:59 UTC
UI specification (issue 31621) should be done first.
Comment 2 Jiri Rechtacek 2003-06-05 11:18:17 UTC
TreeTableView and connected classes must be re-engineered and
simplified a lot to make it maintainable and ready for next
development. Because the changes in nodes/visualizer are supposed to
performance reasons (reduce count of logic layer between a user data
and its visualization, i.e. with using Looks API) thus TTV
re-engineering should wait for new concept to avoid to resources
waste. Also, a deep work on TTV have to wait to UI spec.
TTV re-engineering is not supposed to start in a short time, the noted
tasks block it for now.
The most buggy areas in TreeTableView.
1) selections - there is spaghetti code of posting/reposting event
from TreeSelectionModel to ListSelectionModel, multiply transformation
mouse events. It must be cleaned a lot to make it maintainable.
Issues: issue 28962, issue 29534, issue 29855, issue 34182, issue 34184
2) focus movement/keyboard control - A11Y is broken in TTV, it's
unusable move focus around all table cells and edit them. Issues:
issue 19266, issue 28561, issue 31501, issue 33641, issue 34169, issue
3) performance - TTV generates <flown> of events with a impact to
performance and responsiveness. Issues: issue 32567, issue 32462
4) UI layout. Issues: issue 22996, issue 29612, issue 30539, issue
34172, issue 34173, issue 34175, issue 34178
Comment 3 Jiri Rechtacek 2003-06-05 11:32:28 UTC
Tim's comment from 32462:
"I was digging through the TTV code the other day, to try to
solve that strange selection problem when the renderer was
changed.  It's pretty terrifying *and* heavyweight 
(embedding a JTree as a cell renderer and doing strange
tricks to keep the other columns in sync).

FWIW, it could probably be written infinitely more simply
as a JTable with its own handling for expanding/closing/
indenting nodes - similar to the new PropertySheet."
Comment 4 _ tboudreau 2003-06-05 12:24:18 UTC
FWIW, here is how it could be approached, since the property sheet
does a lot of the necessary stuff:

1. Recycle PropertySetModel - it really supplies a list of 
FeatureDescriptors, which is also parent class of nodes.

2. Recycle SheetTableModel - it's a tree model driven by the
PropertySetModel, which fires events when the model changes 
(things are expanded/collapsed)

3. Add a method to get the nesting depth from the revised 
PropertySetModel.  When painting, just set the border/insets
of the renderer to some multiple of the nesting depth.

4. Recycle SheetTable - just about all of it is pretty 
similar, including code to insert editors.  Treat edit
requests as expansion requests if they occur in column 0.

The only bummer is that we can't reuse the rendering/editing
stuff that is package private to the propertysheet package - the
code would be almost exactly the same as the value editing code
for PropertySheet.  

Maybe we can find a way - I could expose a very neutral 
PropertyRenderer class that just paints a property using
PropertySheet's renderers, and maybe something that supplies
an editor also using that infrastructure.
Comment 5 Tim Lebedkov 2003-10-12 15:37:14 UTC

I wrote my own TreeTable implementation based on the code from the
Swing connection web site.

It's here and may be used to reimplement TreeTable.

Comment 6 _ tboudreau 2003-10-13 08:22:03 UTC
Interesting.  I'm not sure the Swing Connection article takes the
right approach for scalability/reliability, though - IMO using a
table/tree as a cell renderer is a sort of strange hack that happens
to work if you translate events back and forth accurately.

At the same time, doing it right involves a heroic amount of effort -
you basically need to write a TableModel backed by a TreeModel, and
implement all of the expanded path management code from JTree in that
model.  There are some helper classes (FixedHeightLayoutCache, et.
al.) that could possibly help, but it would be a pretty massive effort
- I played with prototyping such a thing for a few hours this weekend
to explore the problem space, and I figure it would be a solid month
of work to get everything solid in such a beast.

Comment 7 Tim Lebedkov 2003-10-13 17:37:09 UTC
> ------- Additional Comments From Tim Boudreau 2003-10-13 00:22 PDT > 
> -------
> Interesting.  I'm not sure the Swing Connection article takes the
> right approach for scalability/reliability, though - IMO using a
> table/tree as a cell renderer is a sort of strange hack that happens
> to work if you translate events back and forth accurately.

As far as I know the current implementation uses another "hack". It 
places 2 components in a JPanel: a tree and a table.

> At the same time, doing it right involves a heroic amount of effort -
> you basically need to write a TableModel backed by a TreeModel, and
> implement all of the expanded path management code from JTree in that
> model.  There are some helper classes (FixedHeightLayoutCache, et.
> al.) that could possibly help, but it would be a pretty massive 
> effort
> - I played with prototyping such a thing for a few hours this weekend
> to explore the problem space, and I figure it would be a solid month
> of work to get everything solid in such a beast.

Well, in fact I already use my reimplementation in tasklist/compiler.

Comment 8 _ tboudreau 2003-10-14 00:50:00 UTC
Yes, the current implementation is rather nightmarish (note the number
of bugs that can't be fixed without rewriting it).

By all means, we should try yours - anything would be an improvement.

The main places I can imagine strange corner cases are the same ones
that have been huge headaches rewriting the property sheet - focus
management and event synchronization (the latter is only a really big
problem if the look and feel takes a "throw it on the event queue and
pray" approach [this is how you get combo boxes that try to show their
popups after they're offscreen & such]).

Jirka, it's your baby, it's up to you...I'd welcome some change - 
my rewrite of property panel works well, but all of the focus and
event gobbledygook going on in there makes the result less reliable
than it could be when actually put into use.
Comment 9 Jiri Rechtacek 2003-10-14 17:22:31 UTC
Hi Tim,
thanks a lot for your concern about TreeTableView, I'm interested I'll
read over your TTV implementation. Tim B. right marked current TTV as
my nightmare, really needs improve (but small correction: it wasn't
not my own child but was adopted ;-)
I currently don't work on TreeTableView improvement I'm assigned to
other work, code of TTV should be solve in timeframe investigating the
explorer's views. I'll concern about it as soon as my time allows.
Thanks and regards,
Comment 10 _ tboudreau 2003-12-01 12:13:35 UTC
Taking this issue, as I now own TreeTableView.
Comment 11 _ tboudreau 2004-01-27 12:53:29 UTC
Some notes, mainly for myself, or whoever ends up rewriting TTV:

A good approach would be to share some pieces of infrastructure between TTV and 
the property sheet - both are tables that show properties; the list of properties is a 
separate model that drives the table model, so it wouldn't be much work to have TTV 
simply alter that model to change the contents of the TTV properties columns as 
nodes are expanded.

More or less, we have a bunch of code already dedicated to showing properties, their 
inline editors, etc. in a table, managing the assorted focus issues, etc., which should 
be reused in both places.

General things to do:
 - Move SheetTable, et. al. from org.openide.explorer.propertysheet to 
org.netbeans.modules.openide.explorer, so the necessary classes can be public 
without being part of the APIs, and TTV and the property sheet can share them.

 - TreeTable should subclass BaseTable (right now it duplicates a lot of code there), 
which is a generic table that does the row selection, painting logic, ensuring combos 
get opened on the first click, etc.

 - Refactor the property sheet a bit so that the properties come from the columns  
rather than directly from the model, and modify its table model to use strings fetched 
from the properties in the second column as values for the first column (right now 
getValue() on either column returns a Property or PropertySet, and renderers for one 
column display the name, and the other the value).  This will make it possible to plug 
in a treemodel or table model that supplies nodes as the first column contents.  This 
will also get us a rewrite of ListTableView (cousin of TTV and completely broken now) 
nearly for free.

Making this task a P1 for Promo-D - I don't think we should let it slide much longer.
Comment 12 _ tboudreau 2004-01-29 01:29:53 UTC
FYI, there is now the beginnings of a TTV replacement in contrib/ttv (JTable based, 
and trying to be very simple straightforward in use and implementation).  There's a 
simple file tree test app which is works there as well.

It's basically just a JTable that takes a combined TableModel/TreeModel, a couple 
support classes, and model implementation and a convenience sub-model that makes 
it really easy to implement the part that fetches values for the non-tree columns 
based on the value in the tree column.

General to-do's:
 - Large model support doesn't work yet - there are a bunch of places you have to
   explicitly tell FixedHeightLayoutCache that something has changed, and not all of  
   them are implemented
 - There's an interface for providing display name/tooltip/icon, but the renderer
   doesn't use it yet
 - Updating the layout when the model data changes
 - Haven't tested editing support yet, but it should already work - comes for free
   with the JTable
 - Some extraneous things you can do with a JTable like expanding all nodes at once
   and so forth - we'll do those if there's a genuine need.

TaskList folks, what I'd like to do re your tree table implementation is to continue with 
both for the time being, then test the performance and scalability of both approaches.  
I've described elsewhere what I dislike about starting with a JTable and doing strange 
things to make it behave like a table.  But my taste in engineering approach doesn't 
matter here - what will work better, perform better and be more scalable and 
maintainable are the important things.
Comment 13 Tim Lebedkov 2004-01-29 18:18:36 UTC
Hi Tim (Tim Boudreau),

let me know if I can help with my TTV-implementation.

Comment 14 Tim Lebedkov 2004-02-18 20:10:47 UTC
Hi Tim,

did you already decided which approach you'll take?
Comment 15 _ tboudreau 2004-02-18 20:56:33 UTC
Nope, I haven't touched it in a few weeks - just concentrating on fixing bugs for 3.6 until 
it's out the door, then I'll have some cycles to come back to it.  
Comment 16 _ tboudreau 2004-04-05 16:17:07 UTC
Tree table view rewrite will not make it into promotion D.
Comment 17 _ tboudreau 2004-04-29 23:06:13 UTC
Created a branch:

cvs -d $HACKEDCVSROOT rtag -b -r BLD200404291800 ttv_rewrite openide nbbuild 

Depending on the amount of changes requested in the HTML renderer before integration 
on Monday, I'll try to get at least the beginnings of something that compiles, displays and 
doesn't throw violent exceptions everywhere.  No promises.
Comment 18 _ tboudreau 2004-05-01 13:59:49 UTC
Bookkeeping - ignore:  I've factored the entire implementation of the propertysheet except 
public classes out and moved it into org.netbeans.modules.openide.explorer, so the new 
tree table will be able to use the same cell editor and renderer as the property sheet.

As we may want to integrate this into the promotion D codeline (so any property sheet 
fixes for promotion D will be applied to the sources in their new location, making further 
work on the branch more convenient), I've tagged this:

cvs -d$HACKEDCVSROOT rtag -r ttv_rewrite propsheet_refactoring openide_nowww

A merge -j BLD200404291800 -j propsheet_refactoring will bring these changes into the 
main codeline.  TBD if we'll do that now or wait until August; my preference is for now.

Comment 19 _ tboudreau 2006-06-16 00:28:31 UTC
AFAIK, between David and my work in contrib/ttv, this is effectively done.  Does anybody plan to replace 
usages of TTV in NB with the new version?  I'd imagine the debugger could benefit considerably.
Comment 20 _ gtzabari 2007-10-18 20:00:00 UTC
I would love to see bug #108861 fixed in the near future. Unfortunately it depends on this TreeTable rewrite and while
this issue is flagged with P1 it, in turn, depends on other issues which are flagged P3/P4 and have been open for over
five years. Shouldn't the priority of the blocking issues also be upped to P1?
Comment 21 _ tboudreau 2007-10-18 23:45:36 UTC
Fine with me.  The rewrite is done and is quite usable in contrib/ttv and is already used by Nokia and Boeing in their platform apps for some time.  Someone 
just has to deprecate TreeTableView and start switching existing components over to use OutlineView in contrib/ttv instead.  The APIs are similar and it 
should be trivial.
Comment 22 Stanislav Aubrecht 2008-05-29 16:52:11 UTC

Comment 23 Lukas Hasik 2008-05-30 10:32:44 UTC
what a magic! Fixing issues in already finished release :)

Changing the TM to correct M1
Comment 24 _ tboudreau 2008-05-30 23:20:39 UTC
Amen.  When I wrote the original version of contrib/ttv, I thought I would integrate it in the spring of 2005, then I changed jobs, then David did a lot of work 
to make it better.  Now Standa has finally finished integrated it.  Never thought it would take five years.  All hail Standa!
Comment 25 Quality Engineering 2008-06-03 04:18:09 UTC
Integrated into 'main-golden', available in NB_Trunk_Production #234 build
User: S. Aubrecht <>
Log: #33281 - Outline & OutlineView
Comment 26 _ tboudreau 2008-06-03 10:31:35 UTC
There is a god, and his name is Standa.

Thank you.

Comment 27 Jesse Glick 2008-06-10 00:53:18 UTC
[JG01] Missing Javadoc for OV.setProperties.

[JG02] There is no apparent replacement for setRootVisible(false). Blocks issue #136664.

[JG03] There is no apparent replacement for setDefaultActionAllowed(false). Not sure if it is necessary or not.
Comment 28 Stanislav Aubrecht 2008-06-12 10:13:07 UTC
[JG02] use getOutline().setRootVisible(false)