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SpinningCompass
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I'm late to the party, of course, but Blondie, I urge you to consider learning Python and then PyQt, both under Eclipse (thanks to PyDev).

Once you get used to PyQt as a graphical toolkit, you'll find it remarkably easy to write GUI-based apps in Python. Qt has some excellent documentation, as does Python.

YMMV but I found Java to be mind-numbingly tedious to learn, even with the help of NetBeans and its GUI designer, Matisse. Python was much easier, faster, and portable, especially when databases are involved.

Do you plan on writing apps for PDAs, or just for regular PCs?
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