This is part of a new series I want to keep up with. There are a lot of hidden gems in the Python standard library, which gets larger all the time. As the number of packages and modules grow, and the size of those grow themselves, it becomes harder and harder for all of us to keep everything in mind all the time. There are large parts of the standard library I have never used or even looked at once, because its never been needed by anything I have done. This means that when I do have a need for these things, I don't know they exist. Perhaps one of the greatest reasons for reinventing the wheel is simply ignorance of the wheel existing in the first place! I see the same problem in others all the time. This series, "Standard Gems", is an attempt to get things out there that some people maybe have not seen or known of, and will later find useful when the need sparks memory of the gem.
If you have any suggestions for gems, please drop me a line!
Ever needed to get the real name, even localized, of a month by its number? 3 is "March" and 8 is "August", etc. Well, calendar.month_name is a psuedo-sequence that gives just what you need! Try it out the next time you need to display some date information.
Note: this is sequence-like, but it indexes from 1 to 12, so dont try 0 for January. This is moderately misleading, especially when it raises IndexError on a bad number, rather than a KeyError.