Wow. Was white-space not significant in this release of Python? I see the lack of indentation in the first Python programs.

Indentation most certainly was significant from day 0. I suspect what happened is that these files got busted somehow by the extraction process used by Skip or Hiromi. 

Yes, that's certainly possible. While it's nice that Google has archived this stuff, their faithfulness to the original formats leaves a bit to be desired (and gmane still doesn't work for me, eliminating that option). Guido's messages are displayed as HTML, and I saw no way to get at the raw Usenet messages. I just copied the shar data and saved the result. It seems clear that tabs copied as spaces. The Makefile indentation was hosed up. It should have dawned on me that the .py, .c and .h files would be messed up as well. I was only concerned with building the interpreter.

If someone knows how to get the original Usenet messages from what Google published, let me know.