Python Mailing Lists and Newsgroups
Here's an overview of the mail and news resources for Python. Click on an item to be transported to a more detailed description. Almost all resources are archived.
Mailing lists for users speaking languages other than English are listed in the Non-English Python Resources guide, which includes mailing lists, translated and original non-English documentation, and other resources.
The Usenet newsgroup for discussion of Python-related subjects is comp.lang.python. It's coupled to a mailing list with a mail/news gateway, so that items posted on one show up on the other, and vice versa. (Due to the mysteries of Usenet, the order in which items show up may vary.)
The traffic on this newsgroup can be heavy at times; as of January, 2003, it frequently receives two hundred (200) posts per day. But if you can handle the traffic, the information/noise ratio is generally high, and you'll find that most questions are answered. There's also plenty of entertainment, e.g. in the postings of the highly regarded Tim Peters <wink>. If 200 messages a day is too much to you, try the moderated announcements group below, which will keep you up to date. (In fact, you should read c.l.py.announce anyway, since most messages are not crossposted.)
If you have access to Usenet newsgroups, you should be able to read the newsgroup. If you don't know how to read newsgroups, and are using a modern web browser, try clicking on the newsgroup name in the previous paragraph; this should start your browser's news reader if it has one. If your news server doesn't carry the group, ask your system administrator (make sure to ask for comp.lang.python.announce at the same time).
If you can't read Usenet newsgroups, or if you'd just rather receive it as email, you can subscribe to the mailing list. The mailing list is now maintained using Mailman, the GNU mailing list manager (written in Python!). Subscribing etc. can be done via the list's list info page. If you don't have web access, you can send an email containing only the word "subscribe" in the body to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also post to the list (even when you are not a subscriber) by mailing your message to email@example.com.
There are several independent archives:
Here's a graph showing the number of messages per month since the list was created -- courtesy Just van Rossum.
If you can't handle the volume on comp.lang.python but still want to be kept up-to-date on what's new in the Python world, consider reading comp.lang.python.announce. This is a moderated newsgroup carrying at most perhaps 10 to 20 messages per week. See the previous section for hints on reading a newsgroup.
If you can't read Usenet newsgroups, or if you'd just rather receive it as email, you can subscribe to the mailing list. The mailing list is now maintained using Mailman, the GNU mailing list manager. Subscribing etc. can be done via the list's list info page. If you don't have web access, you can send an email containing only the word "subscribe" in the Subject: to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also post to the list (even when you are not a subscriber) by mailing your announcement to email@example.com. Of course, this goes to the moderators for approval first. You should read the comp.lang.python.announce posting guidelines first though.
The comp.lang.python.announce newsgroup is moderated by a team of people. If you need to contact them directly, e.g. to ask why a particular message was rejected, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The moderators workflow is documented here.
There are several independent archives:
You can send email to email@example.com (a.k.a. firstname.lastname@example.org) for individual support. Mail sent there lands directly in the mailbox of a small group of volunteers who may reply to reasonable requests for help, depending on their area of expertise. Using it is adamantly preferred to sending mail directly to Guido. Note that you reach a much larger audience by posting directly to comp.lang.python. In all cases, try searching the various archives and the FAQ first (if you don't know where to start searching, here's some help).
When you do ask a question, be sure to give your configuration: what hardware platform, what OS (and version), what Python version, and (when using Tkinter) what Tcl/Tk version you are using. If you're using an older Python version, try upgrading to the latest version first -- things often get better!
You can't subscribe to python-help -- it is not for bystanders, only for questioners to submit questions and for helpers to receive and field them. The archives are not accessible, to protect the questioners' privacy. If you would like to help answer questions, send your qualifications to email@example.com.
When you send a message to python-help, you will get an automated response containing many useful resources. Your message is still delivered to the Helpers, and you will only receive this automated response once every approximately three months.
This list is for folks who want to ask questions regarding how to learn computer programming with the Python language.
Python is a programming language which many feel is a good first language, because it makes it easy to express the fundamental concepts of programming such as data structures and algorithms with a syntax which many find easy to read and write.
Folks interested in learning about programming with Python are encouraged to join, as are folks interested in helping others learn. While the list is called tutor, anyone, whether novice or expert, can answer questions.
If individuals wish to start off-line conversations about a particular concept and become one-on-one tutor/tutee, that's fine. If either party wants to summarize what they learned for others to benefit, that's fine too.
We run an autoresponder script that sends automatic replies to folks who mail some standard addresses like webmaster and python-docs. The templates for messages it sends are online: http://mail.python.org/replybot/.