The need for a FixedText control

Randahl Fink Isaksen randahl at
Fri Jun 15 10:58:31 PDT 2012

I think JavaFX is missing a text control for presenting uneditable, 
styled text - a FixedText control. As I am about to file a feature 
request, I thought it would be relevant to discuss it here first.

In the following UI the left column shows three labels implemented using 
Label, and the the right column has a field showing the Customer ID, a 
CheckBox for editing the VIP status of the customer, and finally a 
TextField for adding some kind of note about the VIP status:

Customer ID:       12345678                   (non-editable text)
VIP:                      [x]                              (editable 
VIP note:              |_________|                 (editable TextField

In this UI, the user is always able to edit the VIP CheckBox, and if it 
is checked, the previously uneditable VIP note TextField becomes 
editable. The customer ID is never editable. So what component do we 
choose when implementing the uneditable customer ID field? Our options are:

1. Implementing the customer ID field as a label.
2. Implementing the customer ID as a TextField which is marked uneditable.
3. Implementing the customer ID as a raw Text instance.

None of these options are very pleasing:

- 1. Using a label is semantically incorrect, since it does not label 
anything (the labelFor property would have no meaning). Also, it would 
at least require a special style class to distinguish it from real 
labels, and it would not be efficient to have to set this style class 
everywhere we have a non-editable text field.

- 2. Using a TextField for which editable has been set to false is not 
that good an idea either - by default, TextFields are rendered as a box, 
which indicates that the user can input something here, at least at 
least in some situations (like the VIP status field above). Again, we 
would require special styling for it to look different from other real 
TextFields, and we would have to set a specific style class everywhere 
we had a non-editable text field.

-3. Using a raw Text instance is a bad idea too, since it is not a real 
JavaFX Control, which means it does not automatically have a style class 
of "text", it is not skinnable, cannot be copied using mouse gestures, 
is not draggable, etc.

So my thoughts are, that JavaFX could benefit from a FixedText control. 
This would work much like a TextField, only it would mean "a forever 
uneditable text control". It would by default have a style class of 
"fixed-text", the user would be able to mark and copy its contents, drag 
it, etc. - just like the contents of a TextField.

Any thoughts?


More information about the openjfx-dev mailing list