I am brand new to the programming world (literally zero experience) and wanted to try and learn a bit; I'm not looking to become the worlds greatest programmer over night and realize the time involved in becoming proficient. The issues I am having really break into a few interrelated areas: 1. What programing language or tools do you use to build a web based application, for example google calendar, essentially I am interested in what you use to build this type of system and not the type of programming that just makes a basic web page. I have tried to ask this question here, and received some nice responses, but have since realized this is really just part of a much broader set of questions, which I am now asking. 2. What programming language would you suggest for making very nice clean, but visually appealing web pages? Your post about HTML comes to mind at this point. I love your point about google, what language is it that they are using that you reference? And, what if I wanted to try and make it a little more aesthetically appealing than google? 3. I hope this question makes sense, but in creating a website that is functional like a web based application rather than just a plain old website with some words and pictures, do you essentially have to combine two different technologies, i.e., one for the nice looking webpage the user sees and one that provides the functionality? I am not sure how to be thinking about this. 4. So now you have a general idea what it is that I am looking to do, but now comes the most important part. What books & tutorials do you think are the premier when it comes to teaching someone like me this kind of technology? I am looking to get started and have a nice amount of access because I am a student at a major research university, but would just as readily buy the books if that is what is needed. Thanks a bunch for fielding this question.