[Python-Dev] issue 9807 - a glitch in coexisting builds of different types

Barry Warsaw barry at python.org
Mon Oct 4 20:41:11 CEST 2010

On Oct 02, 2010, at 09:44 AM, Martin v. Löwis wrote:

>>>> With my branch, you'll end up with this in /tmp/python:
>>>>     bin/python3.2m   - the normal build binary
>>>>     bin/python3.2dmu - the wide+pydebug build binary
>>>>     bin/python3.2m-config
>>>>     bin/python3.2dmu-config
>>> Do users really want to see such idiosyncratic suffixes?
>> Ordinary users won't be building Python from source. Developers won't
>> care so long as we clearly document the sundry suffixes and describe
>> them in the README (or in a PEP, with a pointer from the README).
>I think this is not true. Developers *will* care, and they will cry
>foul very loudly, asking what nonsense this is. Antoine is proof of
>that: he is a developer, and he understands the motivation well,
>but it still goes against his notions of beauty (channeling him here).

Well, it may be surprising at first, but since it doesn't break any normal
usage I don't think most developers will care.  But I could be wrong.

>> Having multiple parallel "altinstall" installations be genuinely
>> non-interfering out of the box certainly seems like a desirable
>> feature to me.
>I think this should not use automatically generated suffixes, though.
>Perhaps I want an altinstall that is in some kind restrict?
>Or one where user "peter" has write access into site-packages?

I'm not sure how this relates to the suffix question...

>I could accept that a suffix is parameter to configure (or some such),
>and then gets used throughout. By default, Python will not add a
>suffix. However, I still wonder why people couldn't just install
>Python in a different prefix if they want separate installations.

For a distro, all those Python binaries have to go in /usr/bin.  We already
symlink /usr/bin/python to pythonX.Y so I don't see the harm in a few extra

However, if people *really* don't want to see this by default then I can think
of a few options:

* Enable the extra build-flag suffixes through a configure option and/or
  new Makefile target.  Could end up duplicating the altinstall rule if the
  current rule can't be refactored easily.

* Expose just the necessary low-level stuff to allow the distro installation
  scripts to move things around and create the symlinks after the fact.  This
  would mean that other distros (or from-source installers) wouldn't benefit
  from the isolation feature without some extra work on their part though.  It
  would be nice if this was a feature everybody could just have.

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