Guido van Rossum
Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI)
1895 Preston White Drive, Reston, Va 20191, USA
E-mail: guido@CNRI.Reston.Va.US, firstname.lastname@example.org
October 25, 1996
Copyright © 1991-1995 by Stichting Mathematisch Centrum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
All Rights Reserved
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation, and that the names of Stichting Mathematisch Centrum or CWI or Corporation for National Research Initiatives or CNRI not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to distribution of the software without specific, written prior permission.
While CWI is the initial source for this software, a modified version is made available by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) at the Internet address ftp://ftp.python.org.
STICHTING MATHEMATISCH CENTRUM AND CNRI DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS, IN NO EVENT SHALL STICHTING MATHEMATISCH CENTRUM OR CNRI BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.
Python is an extensible, interpreted, object-oriented programming language. It supports a wide range of applications, from simple text processing scripts to interactive WWW browsers.
While the Python Reference Manual describes the exact syntax and semantics of the language, it does not describe the standard library that is distributed with the language, and which greatly enhances its immediate usability. This library contains built-in modules (written in C) that provide access to system functionality such as file I/O that would otherwise be inaccessible to Python programmers, as well as modules written in Python that provide standardized solutions for many problems that occur in everyday programming. Some of these modules are explicitly designed to encourage and enhance the portability of Python programs.
This library reference manual documents Python's standard library, as well as many optional library modules (which may or may not be available, depending on whether the underlying platform supports them and on the configuration choices made at compile time). It also documents the standard types of the language and its built-in functions and exceptions, many of which are not or incompletely documented in the Reference Manual.
This manual assumes basic knowledge about the Python language. For an informal introduction to Python, see the Python Tutorial; the Python Reference Manual remains the highest authority on syntactic and semantic questions. Finally, the manual entitled Extending and Embedding the Python Interpreter describes how to add new extensions to Python and how to embed it in other applications.