Comparison: Constructors Versus Static Methods

We’ve talked quite a bit about the two fundamental ways to create dialogs using JOptionPane: instantiate a JOptionPane and ask it to put itself into a JDialog or JInternalFrame, which you then display, or create and display the dialog in a single step by invoking one of the many static “show” methods.
The basic trade-off is this: using the static methods is a bit easier, but using a constructor allows you to hold onto and reuse the JOptionPane instance, a tempting feature if the pane is fairly complex and you expect to display it frequently (if you use the static methods, the option pane is recreated each time you call). The significance of this difference depends largely on the complexity of the pane. Because of lingering issues that make reusing JOptionPane problematic, it’s still best to avoid this feature (see the note in the discussion following this example program for details).
The following example shows the differences between using JOptionPane’s static methods and its constructors. It allows both internal and noninternal dialogs to be created, showing how each is done.

import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.event.*;
import java.awt.*;
import java.beans.*;

public class OptPaneComparison extends JFrame {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
		JFrame f = new OptPaneComparison("Enter your name");

	public OptPaneComparison(final String message) {

		final int msgType = JOptionPane.QUESTION_MESSAGE;
		final int optType = JOptionPane.OK_CANCEL_OPTION;
		final String title = message;

		setSize(350, 200);

		// Create a desktop for internal frames.
		final JDesktopPane desk = new JDesktopPane();

		// Add a simple menu bar.
		JMenuBar mb = new JMenuBar();

		JMenu menu = new JMenu("Dialog");
		JMenu imenu = new JMenu("Internal");
		final JMenuItem construct = new JMenuItem("Constructor");
		final JMenuItem stat = new JMenuItem("Static Method");
		final JMenuItem iconstruct = new JMenuItem("Constructor");
		final JMenuItem istat = new JMenuItem("Static Method");

		// Create our JOptionPane. We're asking for input, so we call
		// setWantsInput.
		// Note that we cannot specify this via constructor parameters.
		optPane = new JOptionPane(message, msgType, optType);

		// Add a listener for each menu item that will display the appropriate
		// dialog/internal frame.
		construct.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
			public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ev) {

				// Create and display the dialog.
				JDialog d = optPane.createDialog(desk, title);


		stat.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
			public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ev) {
				String s = JOptionPane.showInputDialog(desk, message, 
                                title, msgType);

		iconstruct.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
			public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ev) {

				// Create and display the dialog.
				JInternalFrame f = optPane.createInternalFrame(desk, title);

				// Listen for the frame to close before getting the value 
				// from it.
				f.addPropertyChangeListener(new PropertyChangeListener() {
					public void propertyChange(PropertyChangeEvent ev) {
		if ((ev.getPropertyName().equals(JInternalFrame.IS_CLOSED_PROPERTY))
					   && (ev.getNewValue() == Boolean.TRUE)) {

		istat.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
			public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent ev) {
			String s = JOptionPane.showInternalInputDialog(desk, 
                        message, title, msgType);

	// This method gets the selected value from the option pane and resets the
	// value to null so we can use it again.
	protected String getOptionPaneValue() {

		// Get the result . . .
		Object o = optPane.getInputValue();
		String s = "<Unknown>";
		if (o != null)
			s = (String) o;

		Object val = optPane.getValue(); // which button?

		// Check for Cancel button or closed option.
		if (val != null) {
			if (val instanceof Integer) {
				int intVal = ((Integer) val).intValue();
				if ((intVal == JOptionPane.CANCEL_OPTION) || 
                                 (intVal == JOptionPane.CLOSED_OPTION))
					s = "<Cancel>";

		// A little trick to clean the text field. It is updated only if the
		// initial
		// value is changed. To do this, we'll set it to a dummy value ("X")
		// and then clear it.

		return s;

	protected void respond(String s) {
		if (s == null)
			System.out.println("Never mind.");
			System.out.println("You entered: " + s);

	protected JOptionPane optPane;