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1 Publisher's Preface

This manual provides an introduction to Python, an object-oriented programming language created by Guido van Rossum.

Python is free software. The term "free software" refers to your freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. With Python you have all these freedoms.

You can support free software by becoming an associate member of the Free Software Foundation. The Free Software Foundation is a tax-exempt charity dedicated to promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. It also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software. For more information visit the website

The development of Python itself is supported by the Python Software Foundation. Companies using Python can invest in the language by becoming sponsoring members of this group. Further information is available at

Brian Gough
April 2003

  Published under the terms of the Python License Design by Interspire