[Distutils] The Wheel specification and compatibility tags on Windows

Vinay Sajip vinay_sajip at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Feb 27 19:01:09 CET 2013

Daniel Holth <dholth <at> gmail.com> writes:

> That is a concern, there seem to be a nearly unlimited number of ways
> that binaries can be incompatible with your platform, I believe some
> numpy stuff includes the version of a numeric library in their
> (non-wheel) system.
> I designed that assuming PyPI would be expected to host binaries
> compatible with the official Windows release of Python, rather than
> including the Visual Studio version in the wheel tags themselves.
> Maybe you'd have a separate build server / binary package service for
> a popular but incompatible Windows Python.

The trouble is, mistakes happen, and people can upload stuff built with the
"wrong" compiler without realising - say, corporates who build their own
Pythons, perhaps for embedding scenarios. It may be that in some situations where
there's a DLL mismatch, you'd get weird, hard-to-diagnose errors at run time.

I assume that's why distutils is careful to catch the error, but with Wheel tags
as they are now, there's no way of checking if a mistake has been made. We don't
want people to not trust wheels as a foolproof binary distribution format.

I hope some Windows-centric users weigh in on this; it would be good to tie up
this loose end soon.


Vinay Sajip

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