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Python: Essential Reference, Third Edition by David Beazley

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select

The select module provides access to the select() and poll() system calls. select() is typically used to implement polling or to multiplex processing across multiple input/output streams without using threads or subprocesses. On UNIX, it works for files, sockets, pipes, and most other file types. On Windows, it only works for sockets.

						select(iwtd, owtd, ewtd
						[,
						timeout])

Queries the input, output, and exceptional status of a group of file descriptors. The first three arguments are lists containing either integer file descriptors or objects with a method, fileno(), that can be used to return a file descriptor. The iwtd parameter specifies objects waiting for input, owtd specifies objects waiting for output, and ewtd specifies objects waiting ...

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