Subject Comments+suggestions wanted: good RAD environments for newbies
Author Felix
I am looking for a RAD/IDE to develop front ends (particularly input
and display forms) for Firebird (and probably mySQL) databases.

Key considerations:

Easy to get started with (think Filemaker) but highly
extensible/powerful once I get the hang of it (think Delphi/Visual
Studio) [I have not "programmed" anything beyond macros, some
VBScript, some really simple ObjectPAL and HTML for well over 15
years . . . so an environment based on a simple "readable" language
would be really nice.]

My target platform is Win32 (i.e. 2000/XP/ and maybe 98). Multi-
platform capability would be a STRONG plus, however. [Does this
automatically mean Java? or .NET+Mono?]

Connectivity to Firebird - "native," .net, JDBC or ODBC (probably in
that order of preference).

The development platform should hopefully be able to generate
ROYALTEE FREE binary executables, although runtime interpreted
programs would be OK (especially to deal with multiple OS platforms,
see above) if run against common interpreters such as .NET and/or

Cost of the development platform should be under $1500, although FREE
would be best!

Finally, I'm probably not interested in Delphi. This is sort of a
gut feeling, so feel free to make an impassioned argument if you have
time or interest. [Is Delphi/Pascal "easy" to learn? Can I get a
basic masterdetail form built in my first two hours? To target Linux
would I then also have to buy Kylix? Is Kylix at a dead-end?]

Some of the environments I have begun to investigate include:

Free (or close to it):
- Rekall (Requires royalties for runtime. About $10 per seat. Grrr.)
- GNUEnterprise (still in beta, but looks like it could be good)
- Kexi (still in beta)
- DaboDev (seems stuck in Alpha)
- Eclipse (very daunting - would have to learn Java to get even the
most basic app done)

Not Free:
- Revolution (looks like a potential winner -
- WinDev
- Visual FoxPro (does this "play nice" with non-Microsoft db's?)

I would greatly appreciate anyone's comments and advice (especially
within the parameters I have listed) on the above listed environments
and/or any others I have not yet discovered.