The fourth integration technology we’ll talk about is the network. Most of the world’s networks now run on TCP/IP, the Internet protocol. There is a standard programming API to TCP/IP, the sockets interface, which is available at the C level on Windows and almost every other operating system. Python exposes the sockets API and allows you to directly write network applications and protocols. We cover sockets in Chapter 19.
You may not want to work with sockets directly, but you will certainly have use for the higher-level protocols built on top of it, such as Telnet, FTP, and HTTP. Python’s standard library provides modules that implement these protocols, allowing you to automate FTP sessions or retrieval of data from email servers and the Web. It even includes ready-made web servers for you to customize. Chapter 14, and Chapter 15, cover these standard library features.