[Numpy-discussion] Proposal: stop providing official win32 downloads (for now)

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Fri Dec 18 04:12:00 EST 2015

Hi all,

I'm wondering what people think of the idea of us (= numpy) stopping
providing our "official" win32 builds (the "superpack installers"
distributed on sourceforge) starting with the next release.

These builds are:

- low quality: they're linked to an old & untuned build of ATLAS, so
linear algebra will be dramatically slower than builds using MKL or
OpenBLAS. They're win32 only and will never support win64. They're
using an ancient version of gcc. They will never support python 3.5 or

- a dead end: there's a lot of work going on to solve the windows
build problem, and hopefully we'll have something better in the
short-to-medium-term future; but, any solution will involve throwing
out the current system entirely and switching to a new toolchain,
wheel-based distribution, etc.

- a drain on our resources: producing these builds is time-consuming
and finicky; I'm told that these builds alone are responsible for a
large proportion of the energy spent preparing each release, and take
away from other things that our release managers could be doing (e.g.
QA and backporting fixes).

So the idea would be that for 1.11, we create a 1.11 directory on
sourceforge and upload one final file: a README explaining the
situation, a pointer to the source releases on pypi, and some links to
places where users can find better-supported windows builds (Gohlke's
page, Anaconda, etc.). I think this would serve our users better than
the current system, while also freeing up a drain on our resources.



Nathaniel J. Smith -- http://vorpus.org

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