Absolute newbie question

Fredrik Lundh fredrik at pythonware.com
Wed Nov 24 12:50:45 CET 1999


Philip Tellis <tellis at giasbma.vsnl.net.in> wrote:
> Where are the man pages for python?  I am new to python, and would like to
> look through the man pages before I start.  Someone please help.

$ man python

NAME
       python - an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented pro-
       gramming language

SYNOPSIS
       python [ -d ] [ -i ] [ -O ] [ -S ] [ -t ] [ -u ] [ -v ]  [
       -x ] [ -X ]
              [ -c command | script | - ] [ arguments ]

DESCRIPTION
       Python  is  an  interpreted,  interactive, object-oriented
       programming language that combines remarkable  power  with
       very  clear syntax.  For an introduction to programming in
       Python you are  referred  to  the  Python  Tutorial.   The
       Python  Library  Reference documents built-in and standard
       types, constants, functions  and  modules.   Finally,  the
       Python Reference Manual describes the syntax and semantics
       of the core language in (perhaps too) much detail.

       Python's basic power can be extended with your own modules
       written  in C or C++.  On most systems such modules may be
       dynamically loaded.  Python is also adaptable as an exten-
       sion language for existing applications.  See the internal
       documentation for hints.

COMMAND LINE OPTIONS
       -d     Turn on parser debugging output (for wizards  only,
              depending on compilation options).

       -i     When a script is passed as first argument or the -c
              option is used, enter interactive mode  after  exe-
              cuting the script or the command.  It does not read
              the $PYTHONSTARTUP file.  This  can  be  useful  to
              inspect  global  variables  or a stack trace when a
              script raises an exception.

       -O     Turn on  basic  optimizations.   This  changes  the
              filename  extension  for  compiled (bytecode) files
              from .pyc to pyo.

       -S     Disable the import of the module site and the site-
              dependent   manipulations   of   sys.path  that  it
              entails.

       -t     Issue a warning when a source file mixes  tabs  and
              spaces  for  indentation  in  a  way  that makes it
              depend on the worth of a tab expressed  in  spaces.
              Issue an error when the option is given twice.

       -u     Force  stdin,  stdout  and  stderr  to  be  totally
              unbuffered.

       -v     Print a message each time a module is  initialized,
              showing  the  place  (filename  or built-in module)


       -x     Skip  the  first  line  of  the  source.   This  is
              intended  for  a  DOS specific hack only.  Warning:
              the line numbers in error messages will be  off  by
              one!

       -X     Make  the  standard  exceptions  strings instead of
              classes.  Use for backward compatibility  with  old
              code only.

       -c command
              Specify  the command to execute (see next section).
              This terminates the option list (following  options
              are passed as arguments to the command).

INTERPRETER INTERFACE
       The  interpreter  interface  resembles  that  of  the UNIX
       shell: when called with standard input connected to a  tty
       device, it prompts for commands and executes them until an
       EOF is read; when called with a file name argument or with
       a  file  as standard input, it reads and executes a script
       from that file; when called with -c command,  it  executes
       the  Python  statement(s)  given as command.  Here command
       may contain multiple  statements  separated  by  newlines.
       Leading  whitespace  is  significant in Python statements!
       In  non-interactive  mode,  the  entire  input  is  parsed
       befored it is executed.

       If  available,  the  script  name and additional arguments
       thereafter are passed to the script in the Python variable
       sys.argv  ,  which  is  a  list of strings (you must first
       import sys to be able to access it).  If no script name is
       given,  sys.argv is empty; if -c is used, sys.argv[0] con-
       tains the string '-c'.  Note that options  interpreted  by
       the  Python interpreter itself are not placed in sys.argv.

       In interactive mode, the primary prompt is `>>>'; the sec-
       ond  prompt (which appears when a command is not complete)
       is `...'.  The prompts can be  changed  by  assignment  to
       sys.ps1  or  sys.ps2.  The interpreter quits when it reads
       an EOF at a prompt.  When an unhandled exception occurs, a
       stack  trace is printed and control returns to the primary
       prompt; in non-interactive  mode,  the  interpreter  exits
       after  printing  the  stack  trace.   The interrupt signal
       raises the KeyboardInterrupt exception; other UNIX signals
       are  not caught (except that SIGPIPE is sometimes ignored,
       in favor of the IOError exception).   Error  messages  are
       written to stderr.

FILES AND DIRECTORIES
       These are subject to difference depending on local instal-
       lation conventions:

       /usr/local/bin/python
              Recommended location of the interpreter.

       /usr/local/lib/python<version>
              Recommended location of  the  directory  containing
              the standard modules.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
       PYTHONHOME
              Change   the   location   of  the  standard  Python
              libraries.  By default, the libraries are  searched
              in   <prefix>/lib/python<version>   and  <exec_pre-
              fix>/lib/python<version>,   where   <prefix>    and
              <exec_prefix>  are  installation-dependent directo-
              ries, both defaulting to /usr/local.  When $PYTHON-
              HOME  is  set  to  a  single  directory,  its value
              replaces both <prefix> and <exec_prefix>.  To spec-
              ify  different values for these, set $PYTHONHOME to
              <prefix>:<exec_prefix>.

       PYTHONPATH
              Augments the default search path for module  files.
              The format is the same as the shell's $PATH: one or
              more directory pathnames separated by colons.  Non-
              existant  directories  are  silently  ignored.  The
              default search path is installation dependent,  but
              generally  begins with <prefix>/lib/python<version>
              (see PYTHONHOME below).  The default search path is
              always  appended to $PYTHONPATH.  If a script argu-
              ment is given, the directory containing the  script
              is  inserted  in  the path in front of $PYTHONPATH.
              The search path can be manipulated  from  within  a
              Python program as the variable sys.path .

       PYTHONSTARTUP
              If  this is the name of a readable file, the Python
              commands in that file are executed before the first
              prompt  is displayed in interactive mode.  The file
              is executed in the same name space  where  interac-
              tive  commands are executed so that objects defined
              or imported in it can be used without qualification
              in  the  interactive  session.  You can also change
              the prompts sys.ps1 and sys.ps2 in this file.

       PYTHONDEBUG
              If this is set to a non-empty string it is  equiva-
              lent to specifying the -d option.

       PYTHONINSPECT
              If  this is set to a non-empty string it is equiva-
              lent to specifying the -i option.

       PYTHONUNBUFFERED
              If this is set to a non-empty string it is  equiva-
              lent to specifying the -u option.

       PYTHONVERBOSE
              If  this is set to a non-empty string it is equiva-
              lent to specifying the -v option.

SEE ALSO
       Python Tutorial
       Python Library Reference
       Python Reference Manual

AUTHOR
       Guido van Rossum
       CNRI
       1895 Preston White Drive
       Reston, VA 20191
       USA

       E-mail: guido at cnri.reston.va.us, guido at python.org

       And a cast of thousands.

INTERNET RESOURCES
       Web site: http://www.python.org
       FTP site: ftp://ftp.python.org
       Newsgroup: comp.lang.python

COPYRIGHT
       Copyright 1991-1995  by  Stichting  Mathematisch  Centrum,
       Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

              All Rights Reserved

       Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this soft-
       ware and its documentation for any purpose and without fee
       is  hereby  granted,  provided  that  the  above copyright
       notice appear in all copies and that both  that  copyright
       notice  and  this  permission  notice appear in supporting
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       tisch  Centrum or CWI or Corporation for National Research
       Initiatives or CNRI not be used in advertising or  public-
       ity  pertaining  to  distribution  of the software without
       specific, written prior permission.

       While CWI is the initial source for this software, a modi-
       fied  version  is  made  available  by the Corporation for
       National  Research  Initiatives  (CNRI)  at  the  Internet
       address ftp://ftp.python.org.

       STICHTING  MATHEMATISCH CENTRUM AND CNRI DISCLAIM ALL WAR-
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