[Python-Dev] The socket HOWTO

Eli Bendersky eliben at gmail.com
Sat May 21 17:48:37 CEST 2011

> I would like to suggest that we remove the socket HOWTO (currently at
> http://docs.python.org/dev/howto/sockets.html)
> My main issue with this document is that it doesn't seem to have
> a well-defined destination:
> - people who know sockets won't learn anything from it
> - but people who don't know sockets will probably find it clear as mud
> (for example, what's an "INET" or "STREAM" socket? what's "select"?)

I definitely recall finding this document useful when I first learned
Python. I knew socket programming from other languages, and the
document helped to see how it maps to Python. That said, I must agree
that there is probably no place for such a tutorial in Python's
official documentation. Python is a widely-general purpose language,
and sockets programming is just one of a plethora of things it
supports, so a special treatment for sockets probably isn't warranted,
especially given that the `socket` module itself is a relatively thin
wrapper over the OS socket interface.

I don't think a rewrite will help either. To describe socket
programming in full, without missing anything and being accurate will
require no less than a small book (and in fact many such books already

Therefore, I'm +1 on removing it from the official docs. It can be
relegated to the Python wiki, where it can be improved if someone
wishes to contribute to that.


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