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General development questions

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I'm relatively new to programming and new to the Mac, having bought one recently and falling in love with it.

I'm somewhat of an addict to online telnet based games, and after searching high and low for a Mu* client for 10.5, I came away a bit disgusted at the offerings to be had. So I thought to myself why not create my own.

The part where I'm stuck at is choosing a programming language to write the program in. I looked through Xcode and it seems to have excellent built in support for Objective C, something that is a complete mystery to me. I also looked at the ruby part of it and found it simple enough after some online tutorials. However, I've taken a few classes in Java and for some reason it seems to work easiest in my brain.

I've read that it's possible to create cocoa applications using java, however I also read that that apple isn't actively supporting it anymore.

The application I'd like to build would be able to support and save different sessions. The sessions would have their own settings. It also would need to be able to support some type of scripting language so users could create those settings, such as macros, triggers, aliases, so on.

So I guess my real questions are:

1. Is Java the language to go with?
2. If so, could someone suggest further reading or online resources I could visit?
3. If not, I've already eyed Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X by Aaron Hillegass along with Programming in Objective-C by Stephen Kochan. Would those be a good starting place as Amazon.com suggests?

Any help, ideas, or insight would be greatly appreciated. I figure this can be one heck of a learning project, but I want to start with the right tools to avoid turning this into a Sisyphean task.
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If you're going to be leveraging Cocoa, I'd recommend taking the Objective-C path of least resistance. Otherwise, Java might be a good choice. I'm not very familiar with any Swing nuances on the Mac as my own experiences are command line programs and web applications.
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If you're planning on it staying on a Mac, and you want a nice "mac UI", I'd use Objective-C/Xcode/InterfaceBuilder, and deal with the learning curve - which shouldn't be to bad.
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