project of note: Requests

Requests is a Python module that makes it real easy to deal with HTTP. As an example, something as scary as fetching a web page that needs authentication requires only a single line of code:

requests.get("", auth=("user", "pass"))

It's capable of a lot more of course (tutorial), and it's weird that something this nice hasn't been around for ages. There is another that is much simpler to use and more advanced than Python's standard library named httplib2, but it's not quite as simple/elegant:

h = httplib2.Http(".cache")  // ugly
h.add_credentials("user", "pass")
resp, content = h.request("")

An example for achieving the same with only the standard library is far messier.