Hi everyone! First let me start by saying that I am NOT a web developer (yet). I have done some website design - mostly with Joomla and WP, and I know HTML pretty well. I am able to tweak .css and .php files, as well as Java code, but I am as yet unable to write code from scratch. This Fall, I will be going back to college and plan to do a dual major in programming and web design. I'm really excited about it!

I've got a web-based application idea that I believe is going to be phenomenal if I can pull it off. It will have multiple hugely populated databases and will require an interactive user interface. I'll give you an example (not my actual program idea) of what I will need it to do:

Let's say you've got a database of characters - a la D&D. Okay, so Rogue, Fighter, Cleric, Wizard and Ranger, let's say. I want the user to be able to say that they want to place 3 of one, five of another and 2 each of the rest on a grid laid out in feet. I want the program to do this automatically based on the idea that the characters need to be X distance apart and that some characters cannot be adjacent to each other, while others should be right next to each other. I then want the user to be able to edit the layout any way they want. I'd need graphical representations of these characters as well as general drawing, filling, copy, paste, etc. This is a really rudimentary description of what I'm looking to do, and I hope you can visualize it.

Since my education on programming languages has not yet begun, I'm hoping to at least play around with it until my classes start showing me what I should really be doing. I am wondering what application I should use to start building the databases (I have access to MySQL and Open Office Base and Calc) - I've used the OO apps, but have limited experience with SQL. I'd like to know what you think would be the best language to create the user interface that will draw off these databases. Then, I'm curious as to whether there are GUI programming interfaces for that language that a noob like me could fiddle around with.

I am grateful if you take the time to answer my questions. I know it can be frustrating to try and instruct a newbie, but I guess I'm just looking to get my feet wet in advance of taking my classes. Thanks in advance!

Eileen