I l@ve RuBoard Previous Section Next Section

A.4 Newsgroups, Discussion Groups, and Email Help

Python owes a great deal of its growth to a worldwide community of users who exchange information about Python via the Internet. Most day-to-day exchanges about Python occur in various electronic forums, which each have specific aims and scopes.

A.4.1 comp.lang.python/python-list

The main "public space" for discussions of Python is the comp.lang.python Usenet newsgroup, which is bidirectionally gatewayed as the mailing list python-list@cwi.nl (although there are plans to move it to python-list@python.org). If you don't have access to a Usenet newsfeed already, you can read comp.lang.python using the Dejanews service (www.dejanews.com), or read the equivalent python-list mailing list via the eGroups service (http://www.egroups.com/list/python-list/). This mailing list/newsgroup is the appropriate forum to ask questions, discuss specific Python problems, post announcements of Python jobs, etc.

A.4.2 comp.lang.python.announce/python-list-announce

Recently, a new newsgroup was created, with the aim of being a low-traffic list just for significant announcements of Python-related news. The comp.lang.python.announce newsgroup (also gatewayed as python-list-announce@cwi.nl ) is a moderated forum, so only postings deemed appropriate are allowed through.

A.4.3 python-help@python.org

One of the characteristics of the main Usenet newsgroup/mailing list is that it's automatically broadcast to tens of thousands of readers around the world. While this allows for rapid response time from someone almost always (no matter what time it is, someone is reading the Python newsgroup somewhere in the world), it also can be somewhat intimidating, especially to novices. A more private place to ask questions is the python-help address, which serves as a helpline. Email to python-help@python.org is broadcast to a set of about a dozen volunteers, who will try their best to promptly answer questions sent to python-help. When writing to this list, it helps to specify exactly what configuration you're using (Python version, operating system, etc.) and to describe your problem or question precisely. This helps the volunteers understand your problem, and hopefully help you solve it fast.

A.4.4 The SIGs

One more set of mailing lists should be mentioned here. The main Python newsgroup is remarkable by its generality. However, periodically, groups of concerned individuals decide to work together on as specific project, such as the development of a significant extension or the formalization of a standard interface for a tool or set of tools. These groups of volunteers are called special interest groups, or SIGs. These groups have their own mailing lists, which you should feel free to browse and join if you feel an affinity with the topic at hand. Successful SIGs have included the Matrix-SIG, which helped Jim Hugunin develop the Numeric Python extensions; the String-SIG, which has worked on the regular expression engine among other topics; and the XML-SIG, which is developing tools for parsing and processing of XML (eXtensible Markup Language). An up-to-date listing of the current SIGs (they die as their task is done, and are born as a need arises) can be found at http://www.python.org/sigs/. Each SIG has its own mailing list, archive page, and description.

A.4.5 JPython-interest

There is a mailing list for discussion of JPython-specific issues. It is worth reading if you're interested in JPython, as it's a forum Jim Hugunin and Barry Warsaw use to spread information about JPython and solicit feedback. Information on the list is available at http://www.python.org/mailman/listinfo/jpython-interest.

I l@ve RuBoard Previous Section Next Section