Here's a simple example: you need to try a few alternative URLs and return the contents of the first one to respond.
# called by each thread
def get_url(q, url):
theurls = ["http://google.com", "http://yahoo.com"]
q = Queue.Queue()
for u in theurls:
t = threading.Thread(target=get_url, args = (q,u))
t.daemon = True t.start()
s = q.get()
This is a case where threading is used as a simple optimization: each subthread is waiting for a URL to resolve and respond, in order to put its contents on the queue; each thread is a daemon (won't keep the process up if main thread ends -- that's more common than not); the main thread starts all subthreads, does a get on the queue to wait until one of them has done a put, then emits the results and terminates (which takes down any subthreads that might still be running, since they're daemon threads).
Proper use of threads in Python is invariably connected to I/O operations (since CPython doesn't use multiple cores to run CPU-bound tasks anyway, the only reason for threading is not blocking the process while there's a wait for some I/O). Queues are almost invariably the best way to farm out work to threads and/or collect the work's results, by the way, and they're intrinsically threadsafe so they save you from worrying about locks, conditions, events, semaphores, and other inter-thread coordination/communication concepts.