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Thread Subject:
Matlab graph inside eclipse view

Subject: Matlab graph inside eclipse view

From: Ashwin Sirahatti

Date: 20 Aug, 2009 11:27:02

Message: 1 of 2

hello
i want to use matlab api's to plot a graph. the graph should be displayed inside a view in an eclipse application. is that possible ??? i'm using javabuilder.jar and also ploterdemo.jar.. so far, the matlab part of the application opens its own shell and displays the graph. i am not able to control that shell. how should i deal with this problem ??

Subject: Matlab graph inside eclipse view

From: Yair Altman

Date: 28 Aug, 2009 15:00:19

Message: 2 of 2

"Ashwin Sirahatti" <fixed-term.Ashwin.S@bosch.com> wrote in message <h6jbu5$qq4$1@fred.mathworks.com>...
> hello
> i want to use matlab api's to plot a graph. the graph should be displayed inside a view in an eclipse application. is that possible ??? i'm using javabuilder.jar and also ploterdemo.jar.. so far, the matlab part of the application opens its own shell and displays the graph. i am not able to control that shell. how should i deal with this problem ??


Matlab objects like axes (for plots or images) and uicontrols cannot be added to Java Swing containers since they do not have a javax.swing.JContainer wrapper. It was therefore advised to use these Java containers as long as their contained GUI is limited to Java components (JButtons, JComboBox etc.). This limitation is very annoying – it would be most helpful to be able to place Matlab axes or uicontrols within a JTabbedPane or JSplitPane. Instead, we need to rely on Matlab-based workarounds (e.g. uitab and uisplitpane) which are cumbersome compared to their Java counterparts.

Well, this was indeed the conventional wisdom and documented knowledge, until now.
There actually is an undocumented, unsupported, and very problematic method of placing Matlab components in your Java GUI. It is based on the fact that Swing components (and all Matlab GUI is ultimately that) can be re-parented by being added to any Swing container: Matlab uicontrols are easy to re-parent since they each have separate Swing components and associated container. Matlab axes cannot be separately re-parented since they do not have separate Swing components: all the figure's axes and plots are really graphic pixels drawn onto a single large java.awt.Canvas that spans the entire figure content area. It is this Canvas (or one of its hierarchy ancestors, such as the ContentPane) which can be re-parented onto any Java container.

Here's a simple example to move the Canvas onto a Java JFrame (you can move it onto any Swing container instead):

plot(1:5); % display in a Matlab figure
jFrame = get(gcf,'JavaFrame');
jCanvas = jFrame.getAxisComponent;
jFrameProxy = jCanvas.getParent.getParent.getTopLevelAncestor;
jf2 = javax.swing.JFrame;
jf2.pack;
jf2.setSize(jCanvas.getSize);
jf2.setTitle('My pure Java Frame');
awtinvoke(jf2,'add(Ljava.awt.Component;)',jCanvas);
awtinvoke(jf2,'setVisible',1); % the plot shows in the Java Frame
set(gcf,'Visible','off');
plot(1:23); % plot in Java window is updated using regular HG Matlab
awtinvoke(jf2,'show()'); % re-render (repaint) the plot

Note that the entire axes content of the Matlab figure is transferred to the new container, not specific plots, axes or uicontrols. As far as Java is concerned, jCanvas is simply a single graphic image
 
Note that the main menu, toolbars, controls and ActiveXes were not re-parented since they belong to different containers in the Matlab figure. If you re-parent the root pane, then the main menu, toolbars and all controls and ActiveXes also move to the new target container, along with the axes in jCanvas. Remember to set the target's size accordingly.

Re-parenting appears to work, sort of: When you close the original Matlab figure, the Java frame window hangs, so remember to keep them both alive (or closed) at the same time. There are many other problems - I will post about this sometime on http://www.UndocumentedMatlab.com

All-in-all, using re-parenting is extremely difficult to program correctly, handling all edge cases. For this reason I advise to use Matlab figures instead of Java frames; use Java containers only for pure-Java components and not for Matlab components; and in general add Java components to Matlab figures instead of Matlab components to Java frames.

Yair Altman
http://UndocumentedMatlab.com
 

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