[Distutils] [Python-Dev] Consistent platform name for 64bit windows (was: distutils.util.get_platform() for Windows)

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Thu Mar 20 11:42:48 CET 2008

On 2008-03-18 18:05, mhammond at keypoint.com.au wrote:
> I'm reviving a very old thread based on discussions with Martin at pycon.
>> Sent: Monday, 23 July 2007 5:12 PM
>> Subject: Re: [Distutils] distutils.util.get_platform() for Windows
> Rather than forcing everyone to read the context, allow me to summarize:
> On 64bit Windows versions, we need a "string" that identifies the
> platform, and this string should ideally be used consistently.  This
> original thread related to the files created by distutils (eg,
> pywin32-210.win???64??-py2.6.exe) but it seems obvious that we should be
> consistent wherever Python wants to display the platform (eg, in the
> startup banner, in platform.py, etc).
> In the old thread, there was a semi-consensus that 'x86_64' be used by
> distutils (and indeed, Lib/distutils/util.py in get_platform() has been
> changed, by me, to use this string), but the Python 'banner', for example,
> reports AMD64.  Platform.py doesn't report much at all in this area, at
> least when pywin32 isn't installed, but it arguably should.
> Both Martin and I prefer AMD64 as the string, for various reasons. 
> Firstly, it is less ugly than 'x86_64', and doesn't include an '_'/'-'
> which might tend to confuse parsing by humans or computers.  Martin also
> made the point that AMD invented the architecture and AMD64 is their
> preferred name, so we should respect that.
> So, at the risk of painting a bike-shed, I'd like to propose that we adopt
> 'AMD64' in distutils (needs a change), platform.py (needs a change to use
> sys.getwindowsversion() in preference to pywin32, if possible, anyway),
> and the Python banner (which already uses AMD64).
> Any objections?  Any strong feelings that using 'AMD' will confuse people
> with Intel processors?  Strong feelings about the parsability of the name
> (PJE? <wink>)?  Strong feelings about the color <wink>?

Not really an object, but Microsoft itself uses the term "x64" for
the 64-bit variants of their OS, e.g.


Since the platform name is targeting Windows, I think we should
avoid confusing Windows users more than Intel users ;-)

About the platform.py changes: if someone could provide the return
values of sys.getwindowsversion() for 64bit versions of Windows
XP and Vista, I could add support for it (don't have a 64bit version
of Windows available to check myself).

Marc-Andre Lemburg

Professional Python Services directly from the Source  (#1, Mar 20 2008)
 >>> Python/Zope Consulting and Support ...        http://www.egenix.com/
 >>> mxODBC.Zope.Database.Adapter ...             http://zope.egenix.com/
 >>> mxODBC, mxDateTime, mxTextTools ...        http://python.egenix.com/

:::: Try mxODBC.Zope.DA for Windows,Linux,Solaris,MacOSX for free ! ::::

    eGenix.com Software, Skills and Services GmbH  Pastor-Loeh-Str.48
     D-40764 Langenfeld, Germany. CEO Dipl.-Math. Marc-Andre Lemburg
            Registered at Amtsgericht Duesseldorf: HRB 46611

More information about the Distutils-SIG mailing list