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Part I: System Interfaces

This first technical part of the book presents Python's system programming tools -- interfaces to services in the underlying operating system, as well as the context of an executing program. It consists of the following chapters:

Chapter 2. This chapter is a comprehensive look at commonly used system interface tools, and will teach you how to process streams, files, directories, command-line arguments, shell variables, and more. This chapter starts slowly, and is partially meant as a reference.

Chapter 3. This chapter is an introduction to Python's library support for running programs in parallel. Here, you'll find coverage of threads, process forks, pipes, signals, and the like.

Chapter 4,and Chapter 5. This is a two-chapter collection of typical system programming examples that draw upon the material of the first two chapters. Among other things, Python scripts here demonstrate how to do things like split and join files, compare and copy directories, generate web pages from templates, and launch programs and web browsers portably. The second of these chapters focuses on advanced file and directory examples; the first presents assorted system tools case studies.

Although this part of the book emphasizes systems programming tasks, the tools introduced are general-purpose, and are used often in later chapters.