Silly newbie question - Carrot character (^)

Philip Semanchuk philip at
Sat Nov 6 04:21:11 CET 2010

On Nov 5, 2010, at 6:51 PM, Seebs wrote:

> On 2010-11-05, Nobody <nobody at> wrote:
>> However, it's still written for language lawyers.
>> IMHO, the lack of a reference manual for the language itself is a major
>> hole in Python's documentation.
> I'm a bit lost here.  Could you highlight some of the differences
> between "a reference manual for the language itself" and "something
> written for language lawyers"?

The former refers to something that programmers would use to learn the language once they've gone through the tutorial a few times. The latter is great for writing a Python parser but isn't the friendliest guide to language constructs.

Take the OP's question. How is one supposed to find out about bitwise operators in Python? AFAICT they're not mentioned in the tutorial, and neither are decorators, assert(), global, exec, the ternary if statement, etc. 

It seems that plowing through a document written for language lawyers is the only formal way to learn about those language features, and that could be improved upon IMO.


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