[Numpy-discussion] 64bit infrastructure

Ondřej Čertík ondrej.certik at gmail.com
Wed Aug 22 11:12:29 EDT 2012

On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 7:35 AM, Travis Oliphant <travis at continuum.io> wrote:
> On Aug 22, 2012, at 9:28 AM, David Cournapeau wrote:
>> On Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM, Travis Oliphant <travis at continuum.io> wrote:
>>> On Aug 22, 2012, at 3:59 AM, Ralf Gommers wrote:
>>> On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 12:51 AM, Travis Oliphant <travis at continuum.io>
>>> wrote:
>>>> I'm actually not sure, why.   I think the issue is making sure that the
>>>> release manager can actually "build" NumPy without having to buy a
>>>> particular compiler.
>>> That would help, yes. MS Express doesn't work under Wine last time I checked
>>> by the way.
>>> However, the issue is more than just one license. There's a large number of
>>> packages that depend on numpy and provide binaries. If they can't make those
>>> compatible with numpy ones, that's a problem. Users will first install numpy
>>> 64-bit, and then later find out that part of the scientific Python stack
>>> isn't available to them anymore.
>>> As far as I understand, you don't *have* to build all downstream
>>> dependencies with the same compiler that NumPy was built with unless your
>>> extension relies on the way C-functions pass structures on the stack (not
>>> pointers to them, but structures as a whole) or if it relies on the
>>> representation of FILE*.      At one time all structures were passed as
>>> pointers specifically for this reason.   The FILE* situation is a problem,
>>> but most extensions don't use NumPy C-API calls that have a FILE* argument.
>> It is much more pervasive than that, unfortunately. And for fortran,
>> it is much worse, because if we build scipy or numpy with Intel
>> Fortran, I think we pretty much force everyone to use intel fortran
>> for *any* binary on top of them.
> Can you be more specific?   Does the calling convention for C-routines created with Intel Fortran differ so much?

I have the same question as Travis. If you are interested about ABI
for Fortran, I have created this FAQ:


Since NumPy only calls the Fortran routines, but does not expose them,
then the only issue is how to build NumPy with (let's say) Intel
Fortran. That's a separate issue.
Once NumPy is built, then nobody cares, because they only need to
interface the C routines, if anything at all.

As far as Fortran runtime library goes (which of course is different
for Intel and gfortran), I am currently not sure whether it is
possible to mix them, but I think you probably can, if numpy .so is
using Intel, and my own .so is using gfortran.

Finally, if NumPy is build using MSVC, does this force everybody to
use the same C compiler? I thought that C compilers are ABI
compatible, at least Intel C and gfortran C are ABI compatible.  Is
MSVC different?

Btw, to correctly call Fortran from C, one should always be using the
iso_c_binding module, as explained here:


Then the Fortran code becomes just like any other C library.


More information about the NumPy-Discussion mailing list