[Numpy-discussion] Compile extension modules with Visual Studio 2005

Geoffrey Zhu zyzhu2000 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 24 15:01:14 EDT 2007

Hi Robert,

On 7/24/07, Robert Kern <robert.kern at gmail.com> wrote:
> Geoffrey Zhu wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I am about to write a C extension module. C functions in the module will
> > take and return numpy arrays. I found a tutorial online, but I am not
> > sure about the following:
> >
> > 1. Can I compile my extension with Visual Studio 2005? My impression is
> > that I will have to link with numpy libraries, and, if numpy was
> > compiled with a different compiler, I might have problems. However, if
> > numpy is a DLL, maybe there is a way that I can build a LIB file based
> > on the DLL and link with the LIB file. Does anyone have experience in
> > doing this?
> numpy isn't the issue. The main Windows Python distribution requires Visual
> Studio 2003 for building extensions. One can do it with mingw, though, with care.
> > 2. I am new to writing python extensions. The tutorial is doing things
> > by hand. Does anyone know what is the best way to do this? How about SWIG?
> There isn't a single best way. They all have tradeoffs. It might be easiest for
> you to actually just write your C functions into a DLL without referencing numpy
> or Python at all and call those functions using ctypes. That avoids needing a
> specific compiler and is a pretty handy tool to learn.
> If you do want to write an extension, I think I might suggest starting with
> writing one by hand. It helps with the other techniques to know what's going on
> underneath.
> --
> Robert Kern
> "I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
> that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
> an underlying truth."
> -- Umberto Eco
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Thanks for your help. Do you know what exactly is the issue of having
to use VS2003 to build extensions? If the interactions are done at DLL
level, shouldn't call compilers that can generate DLLs work?

It doesn't look like using ctypes would be an option, as my goal is to
'vectorize' some operations.

Thanks a lot,

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