[Distutils] Disposition of C extensions and packages

Michel Sanner sanner@scripps.edu
Mon, 20 Dec 1999 10:16:57 -0800

On Dec 20, 12:06am, M.-A. Lemburg wrote:
> Subject: Re: [Distutils] Disposition of C extensions and packages
> "A.M. Kuchling" wrote:
> >
> > Questions:
> >
> >         1) A general Python question about packaging style: Is mixing
> >            C extensions and Python modules in one package tree a bad
> >            idea?  It makes the whole tree platform-dependent, which is
> >            probably annoying for sites maintaining Python installation
> >            for different architectures.
> I have been using that setup for two years now with all of
> my mx extensions and so far it has been working great.
> If you maintain packages with C extensions for several
> platforms, you can simply install the packages under
> the platform subdirs in /usr/local/lib/python1.5 -- one
> copy for every platform. Disk space is no argument anymore
> nowadays.

Agreed, disk space is not an issue, but file duplication is not very nice. I
think this is a real weakness in Python: on one hand we have platform
independent extensions which are great on the other hand we have native
extensions when performance is required. This is, at least for me (in
scientific computing) what makes Python such a great tool, BUT Python does not
provide a mechanism to split a single package into platform dependent and
platform independent part. We maintain Python and a number of packages for
IRIX, SunOS, Dec Alpha OSF, Win32 and linux ... and having to update 5 .py
files at every bug fix is a real pain.




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Michel F. Sanner Ph.D.                   The Scripps Research Institute
Assistant Professor			Department of Molecular Biology
					  10550 North Torrey Pines Road
Tel. (858) 784-2341				     La Jolla, CA 92037
Fax. (858) 784-2860
sanner@scripps.edu                        http://www.scripps.edu/sanner