Silly newbie question - Carrot character (^)

Hrvoje Niksic hniksic at
Sat Nov 6 14:29:29 CET 2010

Seebs <usenet-nospam at> writes:

> 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"?

I don't speak for "Nobody", but to me a reference manual would be a
document intended for the user of the language.  The thing for the
language lawyer is something intended for the implementor, or possibly
for the very advanced user who argues with the implementor about
intricacies of behavior.  The latter document is also known as the
"specification" or the "standard".

These two types of document serve different needs and are written for
different audience.  In Python the choice was made for the library to be
written in a reference-manual way, and for the language reference to be
written in a specification way.  This choice is reasonable, but it can
lead to problems when you want to refer a regular user to documentation
about the language for educational purposes.

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