[Python-Dev] Re: Switching to VC.NET 2003

Martin v. Loewis martin at v.loewis.de
Mon Dec 29 20:00:36 EST 2003

Paolo Invernizzi wrote:
>> If I were maintaining the
>> Windows port (which I'm not), I would dislike the solution because it
>> would mean I have to learn scons...
> It is only an alternative to learning a new tool for converting VC 
> project files to nmake specific makefile.

It's different. That tool would have to be written from scratch,
which would be a large effort for a single person. Learning scons
would be a relatively small effort for a relatively large group
of people (not only immediate maintainers of the Windows port,
but anybody contributing to it, also).

> That's true. You have to make the modifications in the scons file, but 
> that modifications (usually adding or removing some c module, or I'm 
> missing something?) can be used by VC/cygwin/mgwin/*nix user... 
> potentially.

The more typical modification is the addition of an extension module,
which means adding a new target. That becomes more and more tricky
these days, as these new targets often have prerequisites that are
difficult to build themselves (e.g. finding an available copy of
OpenSSL, invoking Perl to build OpenSSL, invoking nmake to build
zlib, etc).

I somewhat doubt that the scons-to-vcproj generator gets such
complex build dependencies correct - at which point the maintainers
would need to look into the inner workings of scons to find out if
it really can represent the build step in all supported "output
build procedures", and how to make scons do it correctly.

> But that leave you with the original problem... makefiles for the free 
> microsoft compiler...

That, of course, is not a problem for the majority of the
Python-Windows contributors, who already have a copy of VC 7.1
(thanks to a generous offer earlier this year).

So for whoever this is a problem, they would need to find
a solution. They need to find a way today already
(as Python does  not provide nmake files out of the box
at the moment,  either). The solution does not need
to materialize itself next week, as the release of
Python 2.4 is still months away.

> I've done some month ago a scratch scons script for VC6 and VC7 
> compilation of the core python dll, pythonw.exe and python.exe...
> I must take a look to my messy sandbox at works!

You could also maintain this "outside" of the standard Python
distribution, as some kind of "drop-in" zip file. That would
put no obligation onto you - your users could either use it,
or leave it (and we could advertise it as an alternative


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