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The Python standard library

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While :ref:`reference-index` describes the exact syntax and semantics of the language, it does not describe the standard library that is distributed with the language, and which greatly enhances its immediate usability. This library contains built-in modules (written in C) that provide access to system functionality such as file I/O that would otherwise be inaccessible to Python programmers, as well as modules written in Python that provide standardized solutions for many problems that occur in everyday programming. Some of these modules are explicitly designed to encourage and enhance the portability of Python programs.

This library reference manual documents Python's standard library, as well as many optional library modules (which may or may not be available, depending on whether the underlying platform supports them and on the configuration choices made at compile time). It also documents the standard types of the language and its built-in functions and exceptions, many of which are not or incompletely documented in the Reference Manual.