18.1. "Surfing on the Shoulders of Giants"
This chapter concludes our look at Python Internet programming by exploring a handful of Internet-related topics and packages. We've covered many Internet topics in the previous five chapterssocket basics, client- and server-side scripting tools, and programming full-blown email clients and web sites with Python. Yet we still haven't seen many of Python's standard library Internet modules in action. Moreover, there is a rich collection of third-party extensions for scripting the Web with Python that we have not touched on at all.
In this chapter, we explore a grab bag of additional Internet-related tools and third-party extensions of interest to Python Internet developers. Along the way, we meet larger Internet systems including Zope, HTMLgen, Jython, PSP, and Windows Active Scripting. We also study standard Python tools useful to Internet programmers, including Python's XML support, COM interfaces, and techniques for implementing servers. In addition to their practical uses, these systems demonstrate just how much can be achieved by wedding a powerful object-oriented scripting language such as Python to the Web.
Before we start, a disclaimer: none of these topics is presented in much detail here, and undoubtedly some interesting Internet systems will not be covered at all. Moreover, the Internet evolves at lightning speed, and new tools and techniques are certain to emerge after this edition is published; indeed, most of the systems in this chapter appeared after this book was first written, and the years to come promise to be just as prolific. As always, the standard moving-target caveat applies: read the Python library manual's Internet section for details we've skipped and stay in touch with the Python community at http://www.python.org for information about extensions not covered due to a lack of space or a lack of clairvoyance.