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Python Programming On Win32 by Mark Hammond, Andy Robinson

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The Python Community

Let’s take a quick tour around the Python community and view some of the available support resources. The home page for the language is at www.python.org . The site is hosted by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) of Reston, Virginia, USA. CNRI employs Guido van Rossum, the inventor of Python, and a number of other Python figures. As shown in Figure 1.1, everything is a click or two away.

Python’s home page at www.python.org
Figure 1.1. Python’s home page at www.python.org

The Python newsgroup on Usenet, comp.lang.python, is another good place to start. It attracts over 100 posts per day, with most of the world’s Python experts listening in, and has a high signal-to-noise ratio. People are generally helpful towards newcomers, although as with all newsgroups, you are expected to make at least a token effort to find your own answers before asking for help.

The Python Software Activity (http://www.python.org/psa/ ) is a nonprofit organization that helps to coordinate and promote Python. The PSA operates web, FTP, and email services, organizes conferences, and engages in other activities that benefit the Python user community. Membership costs $50 per year for individuals, $25 for students, and $500 for organizations. Benefits include a mailing list for members, early previews of new releases, and conference discounts.

PSA members also get an account on Starship. http://starship.python.net is a web site devoted to promoting Python; there are currently over 200 members, many of whom keep Python packages they have written on the site (including one of the authors).

The Python web site hosts a number of special interest groups (SIGs) devoted to particular topics such as databases or image processing. These are created with a fixed lifetime and charter, such as the creation of a standard Database API. They each have a home page with useful links, a mailing list, and an archive to which anyone can subscribe. Current SIGs include Development of a C++ binding, Databases, Distribution Utilities, Distributed Objects, Documentation, Image Processing, Matrix Manipulation, Plotting and Graphing, Apple Macintosh, String Processing, the Python Type System, and XML Processing.

There is also a specific page covering Windows-related resources at http://www.python.org/windows/.

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