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
. The site is hosted by the
Corporation for National Research
Initiatives (CNRI) of Reston, Virginia, USA. CNRI employs Guido
Rossum, the inventor of Python, and a number of other Python figures.
As shown in Figure 1.1, everything is a click or
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.
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
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.