[Distutils] An observation on how system packagers and developers can be friends

Mark Sienkiewicz sienkiew at stsci.edu
Fri Nov 5 16:55:54 CET 2010

> In the same direction, I wish people would understand that 64-bit Python
> builds just waste memory, and that they were better off with 32-bit
> implementations.

There are certain irrational reasons to believe that "64 bits is better than 32", but there is also some logic to it.

I support an application that can't run in a 32 bit python because there literally is not enough memory available.  It needs a larger address space.

If the system python is only 32 bits, the users can't run the application.  Most of them are not qualified to try to build their own 64 bit python.  Most of them are not even qualified to try to maintain two copies of python, install certain software in each, and then choose whether they need 32 or 64 bits before they start their data analysis.

Since some applications need the larger address space, it is better for python to just be 64 bits all the time.  It makes the computer do a little extra work for our convenience, but that is exactly the point of using computers.

Mark S.

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