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I only found this *after* actually learning and using Python for some time: Obey The Testing Goat[^]. But I think it's a fantastic resource, not only for learning Python but for learning how to take a test-first approach.
The first thing you need to know is that you are in luck. You may not know this, but you are. Visual Studio has some really good (and free) Python tools. Actually, they are excellent. They may or may not be better than PyCharm and PyDev (I have never used either of them enough to say). However, if you already know VS, stick with it. For the record, I love VS (for C and C++) and Eclipse (for Java).
As for books, I used two books. First, I read was "Python for Dummies" (no kidding). It helped a lot. Then I obtained (as a reference work), "Python Essential Reference (4th Edition)" by David Beazley.
Compared to C/VB/VB.NET/C#, Python is easy. The VS tools, make it even easier.
My friend inherited a Joomla website for a theater group and needs to modify it or start over. It needs to do PayPal, sell theater tickets. She used to be very technical. I figure the PHP in Joomla should be easy enough for here. Does anyone have any other suggestions though or useful thoughts... Maybe just funny ones? I can't really tell her how much I like MVC with .NET core. It wouldn't help.
I can address some aspects of the the Joomla option.
Ask these questions first:
1. Does the existing website provide all the other functionality that the organization requires?
2. Was that website put together by a someone with a development background? In other words is it well organised or not?
If yes to these then consider upgrading the existing website. The way to do this is not by developing your own plugin but by finding an existing extension (usually paid for) that will do the job.
Unless your friend has real knowledge of programming I would advise against developing a custom Joomla plugin. This will have ongoing support issues due to changes in Joomla etc. Also the "PHP in Joomla" is non-trivial unless you have PHP experience Setting up your workstation for Joomla development - Joomla! Documentation[^]
A Google search shows a number of ecommerce Paypal plugins for Joomla. These usually can be tested for free even if not free. The way to test is to set up a local server with XAMPP install the website and try the plugin there. Look at the history, support and reviews of any you consider. If you find one that does the job this can be a very good way to get you going.
If you choose not to upgrade the Joomla site then another option is to create a new website in Joomla or Drupal.
If neither of those options seem attractive then all others are on the table. In that case leveraging any existing knowledge is the way I would go.
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell
She said she was going to contact the ISP. She'll have more information.
Really, is the existing website well designed? That would determine a lot about where she goes.
I'm assuming she can use the existing PayPal plugin. Hopefully she doesn't need much else in the way of modifications.
Have you checked the Joomla Extensions site? There are thousands of extensions there. I recall using one back in 2009 to build a ticket site for an arts group. Can't recall what it was now, but the developer was based in England (if that helps).
There are also 3rd party sites that let you generate the basic framework for a Joomla extension and you can just fill in the rest. I prefer C#/MVC for web development, but can change hats to do the PHP without suffering (much). Joomla is pretty well written and OO. If you squimnt MySQL is kinda like SQL Server, but slightly brain dead. I would look for a pre-built extension before doing development though.
Having used Joomla long ago, when they rewrote it, I feel the broke it.
The made it easier to SELL modules for themselves, but the number of sites that are hacked because they run Joomla is too large. Many plugins are vulnerable, and it needs to be constantly updated.
While I hated wordpress, the few sites I support auto update to the new version, and they have not been hacked yet. IF you want a CMS as the basis. Which, for the application you mention, you probably do, I would consider it.
Microsoft samples are basically useless.
I've recently attempted to get some UWP samples working which will no longer build in current versions of Visual Studio -- because they change things so quickly. Studio doesn't even recognize the projects properly and things are missing that the project will not download, etc.
Now I was attempting to examine a DotNet Core sample. 1. They forced me to download over 500Mb to get to the one sample -- because their github repo is only at the very top of all of the samples, instead of allowing me to download the one sample I wanted. 2. Once I downloaded the sample the App (web app won't start) because the DotNet Core stuff has changes so much that the Program.cs is completely different that the app wouldn't run, just gave me a 502.5 error and said the app can't start.
As I was writing up this rant I guessed at what the problem might be...
Well it appears then that I found all of the other ones...seriously - I'm with the OP here, both the docs and the samples are almost all broken for anything outside of the most basic stuff, cos, y'know, make changes quickly and don't document is how we all work now right....right? Bloody kids lol
C# has already designed away most of the tedium of C++.