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File Date Author Commit
 api 2008-03-02 martin.v.loewis martin.v.loewis [278842] Revert the following revisions, as they don't f...
 commontex 2006-10-17 anthony.baxter anthony.baxter [0b4d70] preparing for 2.4.4 final
 dist 2006-06-05 andrew.kuchling andrew.kuchling [faafa6] [Bug #1470026] Include link to list of classifi...
 doc 2005-07-18 birkenfeld birkenfeld [e26791] backport bug [ 850238 ] unclear documentation/m...
 ext 2006-09-27 andrew.kuchling andrew.kuchling [cf0963] Make examples do error checking on Py_InitModule
 html 2006-03-23 anthony.baxter anthony.baxter [565920] update - still some old .cvsignore files lying ...
 info 2006-03-23 anthony.baxter anthony.baxter [565920] update - still some old .cvsignore files lying ...
 inst 2005-02-13 bcannon bcannon [3921f1] Update refences to "Macintosh" to reflect the s...
 lib 2008-03-02 martin.v.loewis martin.v.loewis [278842] Revert the following revisions, as they don't f...
 mac 2006-04-22 andrew.kuchling andrew.kuchling [75c5e8] Typo fixes
 paper-a4 2006-03-23 anthony.baxter anthony.baxter [565920] update - still some old .cvsignore files lying ...
 perl 2005-07-22 birkenfeld birkenfeld [5826fc] Fix all wrong instances of "it's".
 ref 2006-08-08 georg.brandl georg.brandl [49e946] Bug #1536660: separate two words.
 templates 2005-01-01 rhettinger rhettinger [a6eb25] SF Patch #1093896: miscellaneous doc typos
 texinputs 2006-05-25 fred.drake fred.drake [d6ae61] fix broken links in PDF
 tools 2006-01-02 fred.drake fred.drake [45411e] merge revision 41866 from trunk:
 tut 2006-09-30 georg.brandl georg.brandl [d5e034] Bug #1567375: a minor logical glitch in example...
 whatsnew 2006-08-06 andrew.kuchling andrew.kuchling [898a66] Update status of relative import
 ACKS 2006-06-10 fred.drake fred.drake [60d53d] credit for SF patch #1303595
 Makefile 2005-09-21 fdrake fdrake [e4f964] the iSilo is not being built right now
 Makefile.deps 2005-01-19 fdrake fdrake [019f97] documentation for the zipimport module using co...
 README 2006-02-11 georg.brandl georg.brandl [b41194] Update general copyright year to 2006.
 TODO 2001-05-09 fdrake fdrake [9a6001]
 python-docs.txt 2006-04-06 fred.drake fred.drake [0c2006] update URL to reflect new website

Read Me

Python standard documentation -- in LaTeX

This directory contains the LaTeX sources to the Python documentation
and tools required to support the formatting process.  The documents
now require LaTeX2e; LaTeX 2.09 compatibility has been dropped.

If you don't have LaTeX, or if you'd rather not format the
documentation yourself, you can ftp a tar file containing HTML, PDF,
or PostScript versions of all documents.  Additional formats may be
available.  These should be in the same place where you fetched the
main Python distribution (try <> or

The following are the LaTeX source files:

	api/*.tex	Python/C API Reference Manual
	doc/*.tex	Documenting Python
	ext/*.tex	Extending and Embedding the Python Interpreter
	lib/*.tex	Python Library Reference
	mac/*.tex	Macintosh Library Modules
	ref/*.tex	Python Reference Manual
	tut/*.tex	Python Tutorial
        inst/*.tex      Installing Python Modules
        dist/*.tex      Distributing Python Modules

Most use the "manual" document class and "python" package, derived from 
the old "myformat.sty" style file.  The Macintosh Library Modules
document uses the "howto" document class instead.  These contains many
macro definitions useful in documenting Python, and set some style

There's a Makefile to call LaTeX and the other utilities in the right
order and the right number of times.  By default, it will build the
HTML version of the documentation, but DVI, PDF, and PostScript can
also be made.  To view the generated HTML, point your favorite browser
at the top-level index (html/index.html) after running "make".

The Makefile can also produce DVI files for each document made; to
preview them, use xdvi.  PostScript is produced by the same Makefile
target that produces the DVI files.  This uses the dvips tool.
Printing depends on local conventions; at our site, we use lpr.  For

	make paper-letter/	# create lib.dvi and
	xdvi paper-letter/lib.dvi	# preview lib.dvi
	lpr paper-letter/		# print on default printer

What if I find a bug?

First, check that the bug is present in the development version of the
documentation at <>; we may
have already fixed it.

If we haven't, tell us about it.  We'd like the documentation to be
complete and accurate, but have limited time.  If you discover any
inconsistencies between the documentation and implementation, or just
have suggestions as to how to improve the documentation, let is know!
Specific bugs and patches should be reported using our bug & patch
databases at:

Other suggestions or questions should be sent to the Python
Documentation Team:


What tools do I need?

You need to install Python; some of the scripts used to produce the
documentation are written in Python.  You don't need this
documentation to install Python; instructions are included in the
README file in the Python distribution.

The simplest way to get the rest of the tools in the configuration we
used is to install the teTeX TeX distribution, versions 0.9 or newer.
More information is available on teTeX at <>.
This is a Unix-only TeX distribution at this time.  This documentation
release was tested with the 1.0.7 release, but there have been no
substantial changes since late in the 0.9 series, which we used
extensively for previous versions without any difficulty.

If you don't want to get teTeX, here is what you'll need:

To create DVI, PDF, or PostScript files:

	- LaTeX2e, 1995/12/01 or newer.  Older versions are likely to 

	- makeindex.  This is used to produce the indexes for the
	  library reference and Python/C API reference.

To create PDF files:

	- pdflatex.  We used the one in the teTeX distribution (pdfTeX
          version 3.14159-13d (Web2C 7.3.1) at the time of this
          writing).  Versions even a couple of patchlevels earlier are
          highly likely to fail due to syntax changes for some of the
          pdftex primitives.

To create PostScript files:

	- dvips.  Most TeX installations include this.  If you don't
	  have one, check CTAN (<>).

To create info files:

	Note that info support is currently being revised using new
	conversion tools by Michael Ernst <>.

	- makeinfo.  This is available from any GNU mirror.

	- emacs or xemacs.  Emacs is available from the same place as
	  makeinfo, and xemacs is available from

	- Perl.  Find the software at

	- HTML::Element.  If you don't have this installed, you can get
	  this from CPAN.  Use the command:

	  perl -e 'use CPAN; CPAN::install("HTML::Element");'

	  You may need to be root to do this.

To create HTML files:

	- Perl 5.6.0 or newer.  Find the software at

	- LaTeX2HTML 99.2b8 or newer.  Older versions are not
	  supported; each version changes enough that supporting
	  multiple versions is not likely to work.  Many older
	  versions don't work with Perl 5.6 as well.  This also screws
	  up code fragments.  ;-(  Releases are available at:

I got a make error: "make: don't know how to make commontex/patchlevel.tex."

Your version of make doesn't support the 'shell' function.  You will need to
use a version which does, e.g. GNU make.

LaTeX (or pdfLaTeX) ran out of memory; how can I fix it?

This is known to be a problem at least on Mac OS X, but it has been
observed on other systems in the past.

On some systems, the default sizes of some of the memory pools
allocated by TeX needs to be changed; this is a configuration setting
for installations based on web2c (most if not all installations).
This is usually set in a file named texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf (where the
top-level texmf/ directory is part of the TeX installation).  If you
get a "buffer overflow" warning from LaTeX, open that configuration
file and look for the "main_memory.pdflatex" setting.  If there is not
one, you can add a line with the setting.  The value 1500000 seems to
be sufficient for formatting the Python documetantion.

What if Times fonts are not available?

As distributed, the LaTeX documents use PostScript Times fonts.  This
is done since they are much better looking and produce smaller
PostScript files.  If, however, your TeX installation does not support
them, they may be easily disabled.  Edit the file
texinputs/pypaper.sty and comment out the line that starts
"\RequirePackage{times}" by inserting a "%" character at the beginning
of the line.  If you're formatting the docs for A4 paper instead of
US-Letter paper, change paper-a4/pypaper.sty instead.  An alternative
is to install the right fonts and LaTeX style file.

What if I want to use A4 paper?

Instead of building the PostScript by giving the command "make ps",
give the command "make PAPER=a4 ps"; the output will be produced in
the paper-a4/ subdirectory.  (You can use "make PAPER=a4 pdf" if you'd
rather have PDF output.)

Making HTML files

The LaTeX documents can be converted to HTML using Nikos Drakos'
LaTeX2HTML converter.  See the Makefile; after some twiddling, "make"
should do the trick.

What else is in here?

There is a new LaTeX document class called "howto".  This is used for
the new series of Python HOWTO documents which is being coordinated by
Andrew Kuchling <>.  The file
templates/howto.tex is a commented example which may be used as a
template.  A Python script to "do the right thing" to format a howto
document is included as tools/mkhowto.  These documents can be
formatted as HTML, PDF, PostScript, or ASCII files.  Use "mkhowto
--help" for information on using the formatting tool.

For authors of module documentation, there is a file
templates/module.tex which may be used as a template for a module
section.  This may be used in conjunction with either the howto or
manual document class.  Create the documentation for a new module by
copying the template to lib<mymodule>.tex and editing according to the 
instructions in the comments.

Documentation on the authoring Python documentation, including
information about both style and markup, is available in the
"Documenting Python" manual.

Copyright notice

The Python source is copyrighted, but you can freely use and copy it
as long as you don't change or remove the copyright notice:

Copyright (c) 2000-2006 Python Software Foundation.
All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2000
All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 1995-2000 Corporation for National Research Initiatives.
All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 1991-1995 Stichting Mathematisch Centrum.
All rights reserved.

See the file "commontex/license.tex" for information on usage and
redistribution of this file, and for a DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES.