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

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Thu Oct 28 20:48:19 CEST 2010

> I like the idea in general, but worry that some conflicts may not be
> resolvable.  For instance, I don't know what goal drives system
> packagers to specify UCS4 over the default UCS2

That is easy to say: feature support. You can't really call it "Unicode"
if you can't index it by code point. Some parts of the API (e.g. the
Unicode database) are incomplete in UCS-2 mode.

A minor objective is C library compliance: wchar_t has also four bytes
per character.

> but I won't ever be
> happy using a Python built that way for long-running, memory-intensive
> applications, where I have measured the overhead of UCS4 and found it
> unacceptable (e.g., a server app whose steady-state process size is
> 800Mb under UCS4, compared to 600Mb under UCS2).

I don't think this is really in the field of issues that Jim was talking
about. In any case, if you have long-running memory-intensive
applications, recompiling Python might be just the right thing to do.
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

>From the developer point of view, I'd wonder whether there is potential
for some even more dramatic savings than 25%.


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