[Python-Dev] Windows installers and %PATH%

Antoine Pitrou solipsis at pitrou.net
Fri Aug 26 13:14:33 CEST 2011

On Fri, 26 Aug 2011 14:52:07 +1000
Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:
> Windows is a developer hostile platform unless you completely buy into
> the Microsoft toolchain, which is not an option for cross-platform
> projects like Python.

We already buy into the MS toolchain since we require Visual Studio (or
at least the command-line tools for building, but I suppose anyone doing
serious development on Windows would use the GUI). We also maintain the
project files by hand instead of using e.g. cmake.

> It's well within Microsoft's capabilities to create and support a
> POSIX compatibility layer that allows applications to look and feel
> like native ones

I have a hard time imagining how a POSIX compatibility layer would
make Windows apps feel more "native".
It's a matter of fact that Unix and Windows systems function
differently. I don't know how much of it can be completely hidden.

> the multibillion dollar corporation deliberately
> failing to implement a widely recognised OS interoperability
> standard

I wouldn't call POSIX an OS interoperability standard, but an Unix
interoperability standard. It exists because there is so much
fragmentation in the Unix world. I doubt MS was invited to the party
when POSIX specifications were designed.

Windows has its own standards, but since MS is basically the sole OS
vendor, they are free to dictate them :)

And when I look at the various "POSIX" systems we try to support there:
I have the feeling that perhaps we spend more time trying to work around
incompatibilities, special cases and various levels of (in)compliance
among POSIX systems, than implementing the Windows-specific code paths
of low-level functions (where the APIs are usually well-defined and
very stable).



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