Python Mailing Lists and Newsgroups
Here's an overview of the mail and news resources for python. A complete listing of python.org's public mailing lists is also available.
To request a new list, send e-mail to postmaster @ python.org; please check first to make sure a similar list does not already exist.
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.
Pretty much anything Python-related is fair game for discussion, and the group is even fairly tolerant of off-topic digressions; there have been entertaining discussions of topics such as floating point, good software design, and other programming languages such as Lisp and Forth.
Most discussion on comp.lang.python is about developing with Python, not about development of the Python interpreter itself. Some of the core developers still read the list, but most of them don't. Occasionally comp.lang.python suggestions have resulted in an enhancement proposal being written, leading to a new Python feature. If you find a bug in Python, don't send it to comp.lang.python; file a bug report in the issue tracker.
Items posted on the Usenet group appear on the mailing list, and vice versa (bidirectional gateway). Due to the mysteries of Usenet, the order in which items show up may vary.
Rudeness and personal attacks, even in reaction to blatant flamebait, are strongly frowned upon. People may strongly disagree on an issue, but usually discussion remains civil. In case of an actual flamebait posting, you can ignore it, quietly plonk the offending poster in your killfile or mail filters, or write a sharp but still-polite response, but at all costs resist the urge to flame back. Generally comp.lang.python is a high-signal, low-noise group. It's also a high-traffic group, running at around 200 posts per day.
There are several different archives:
comp.lang.python in non-English
There are some non-English language versions of this newsgroup. The links provided here are to the Google Groups archive for each: de.comp.lang.python (German), it.comp.lang.python (Italian), pl.comp.lang.python (Polish), fr.comp.lang.python (French), and cz.comp.lang.python (Czech).
comp.lang.python.announce is a low-volume moderated forum for Python-related announcements. New modules and programs are announced here, and it's where PEPs are posted to get comments from the community. You'll also see announcements for conferences.
This is a moderated newsgroup carrying at most perhaps 10 to 20 messages per week, so it's an easy way to be keep up-to-date on what's new in the Python world. See the comp.lang.python.announce posting guidelines for guidelines on submitting announcements.
It is also available as a read-only mailing list, python-announce. Subscribing can be done via the python-announce list information page.
comp.lang.python.announce is moderated by a team of people. If you need to contact them directly, e.g. to ask why a particular message was rejected, write to clpa-moderators-owner @ python.org.
There are several archives for comp.lang.python.announce:
People interested in learning about programming with Python are encouraged to join, as are experienced users interested in helping others learn -- teaching other people is one of the best ways to learn more yourself!
Note: python-dev is for work on developing Python (fixing bugs and adding new features to Python itself); if you're having problems writing a Python program, please post to comp.lang.python.
python-dev is the heart of Python's development. Practically everyone with Subversion write privileges is on python-dev, and first drafts of PEPs are often posted here for initial review and rewriting before their more public appearance on python-announce.
Anyone can subscribe to python-dev, though your subscription will have to be approved, resulting in a delay of a day or two before you start receiving e-mail. The list address accepts e-mail from non-members (after a delay in moderation, so subscribing is a Good Idea), and the python-dev archives are public.
There is also a gmane gateway to the mailing list:
python-ideas mailing list
The python-ideas list is for discussing more speculative design ideas.
Porting mailing list
The python-porting list focuses on porting Python code between versions, mainly between 2.x and 3.x code.
Special Interest Groups
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are smaller communities focused on a particular topic or application such as databases, Python on MacOS, etc. Every SIG has a mailing list of its own. See the SIG page for more information.
SIGs vary in their success. Some, such as the XML, Database, and Distutils SIGs, have produced specifications and software that are now used throughout the Python community. Not all SIGs are as productive, though, and some sputter along for years without ever finalizing an implementation or a document.
The python-checkins mailing list receives an automatically generated message for each change committed to the Python Subversion tree. python-checkins makes it easy for developers to know what is happening in the repository. The volume of traffic on this list varies widely based on developer activity.
The python-help mailing list is python.org's help desk. You can ask a group of knowledgeable volunteers questions about all your Python problems.
You can send email to python-help by writing to help @ python.org for individual support. Mail sent there lands 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 much preferred to sending mail directly to Guido or some other individual, but less preferable than posting to comp.lang.python. In all cases, try searching the various archives first.
When you 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 webmaster @ python.org.
When you send a message to python-help, you will get an automated response. Your message is still delivered to the volunteers, and you will only receive this automated response once every approximately three months.