I'm just wondering what is the best layout manager to use when you're going to code everything (including layout) manually? It is done through a JApplet, not sure if that matters..
It has LOTS of components and to cut it short, we were only taught how to use GridLayout, FlowLayout, and BorderLayout. If I'm going to code the whole program using these layouts and lots of panels, I'll probably need 30-50 panels in order to finish it.
generally, there's no 'one layoutManager fits all' - often this means nesting layouts (each for a particular strength).
gridbaglayout is very versatile, but, to use it well, it's learning curve is very steep.
30-50 panels? if each is a different screen, I hope your applet supplies coffee
I have to second what Michael has told you. Most layouts can be accomplished easier and faster by nesting layouts in multiple containers and avoiding GridBagLayout unless necessary. One thing that intrigues me though, and that I've yet to try is the MiG Layout manager that's not part of core Java, but is available (I believe free) here: MiG Layout Manager