Front Matter

Copyright © 2001-2002 Python Software Foundation. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2000 All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1995-2000 Corporation for National Research Initiatives. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 1991-1995 Stichting Mathematisch Centrum. All rights reserved.

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Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. Its high-level built in data structures, combined with dynamic typing and dynamic binding, make it very attractive for rapid application development, as well as for use as a scripting or glue language to connect existing components together. Python's simple, easy to learn syntax emphasizes readability and therefore reduces the cost of program maintenance. Python supports modules and packages, which encourages program modularity and code reuse. The Python interpreter and the extensive standard library are available in source or binary form without charge for all major platforms, and can be freely distributed.

This reference manual describes the syntax and ``core semantics'' of the language. It is terse, but attempts to be exact and complete. The semantics of non-essential built-in object types and of the built-in functions and modules are described in the Python Library Reference. For an informal introduction to the language, see the Python Tutorial. For C or C++ programmers, two additional manuals exist: Extending and Embedding the Python Interpreter describes the high-level picture of how to write a Python extension module, and the Python/C API Reference Manual describes the interfaces available to C/C++ programmers in detail.

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