I'm not sure you understand the different between a JFrame and a JApplet. By using either one of these does not determine which is the best method for your layout. The different between these is that one is used for building an applet (to be viewed on a webpage) or a standalone application. Deciding how to partition (layout) the components has to do with the layout managers you use. Explain your question in more detail and I might be able to help you out.