10. What Now?

Hopefully reading this tutorial has reinforced your interest in using Python. Now what should you do?

You should read, or at least page through, the Library Reference, which gives complete (though terse) reference material about types, functions, and modules that can save you a lot of time when writing Python programs. The standard Python distribution includes a lot of code in both C and Python; there are modules to read Unix mailboxes, retrieve documents via HTTP, generate random numbers, parse command-line options, write CGI programs, compress data, and a lot more; skimming through the Library Reference will give you an idea of what's available.

The major Python Web site is http://www.python.org/ [off-site link]; it contains code, documentation, and pointers to Python-related pages around the Web. This web site is mirrored in various places around the world, such as Europe, Japan, and Australia; a mirror may be faster than the main site, depending on your geographical location. A more informal site is http://starship.python.net/ [off-site link], which contains a bunch of Python-related personal home pages; many people have downloadable software there.

For Python-related questions and problem reports, you can post to the newsgroup comp.lang.python [off-site link], or send them to the mailing list at [email protected]. The newsgroup and mailing list are gatewayed, so messages posted to one will automatically be forwarded to the other. There are around 120 postings a day, asking (and answering) questions, suggesting new features, and announcing new modules. Before posting, be sure to check the list of Frequently Asked Questions (also called the FAQ), at http://www.python.org/doc/FAQ.html [off-site link], or look for it in the Misc/ directory of the Python source distribution. Mailing list archives are available at http://www.python.org/pipermail/ [off-site link]. The FAQ answers many of the questions that come up again and again, and may already contain the solution for your problem.

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