This first in-depth part of the book presents Python's system programming toolsinterfaces to services in the underlying operating system as well as the context of an executing program. It consists of the following chapters:
Chapter 3, System Tools
This chapter is a comprehensive look at commonly used system interface tools. This chapter teaches you how to process streams, command-line arguments, shell variables, and more. This chapter starts slowly and is meant in part as a reference for tools and techniques we'll be using later in the book.
Chapter 4, File and Directory Tools
This chapter continues our survey of system interfaces by focusing on tools and techniques used to process files and directories in Python. We'll learn about binary files, tree walkers, and so on.
Chapter 5, Parallel System Tools
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, queues, and the like.
Chapter 6, System Examples: Utilities and Chapter 7, System Examples: Directories
This is a two-chapter collection of typical system programming examples that draw upon the material of the prior three 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, files, 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.