[Python-Dev] Status of C compilers for Python on Windows

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Fri Oct 10 09:07:38 CEST 2014

On 10 October 2014 01:29, Victor Stinner <victor.stinner at gmail.com> wrote:
> What about the Python stable ABI? Would it be broken if we use a
> different compiler?
> What about third party Python extensions?
> What about external dependencies like gzip, bz2, Tk, Tcl, OpenSSL, etc.?

The key point for me is that any supported build on Windows supports
the exact same ABI. It is difficult for Windows users to set up a
build environment (and changing the compiler will not alter that fact)
so Windows users will rely on binary builds. If multiple ABIs exist,
users will have the problem of projects shipping only one ABI binary,
and if it doesn't match their Python, they are out of luck. It's
critical that we don't double the number of binary builds projects
need to ship.

Having said that, I'm personally not interested in this, as I am happy
with MSVC Express. Python 3.5 will be using MSVC 14, where the express
edition supports both 32 and 64 bit. The licensing doesn't bother me
personally, and the compiler is easy to install for people who want
it. Any competing build environment would have to be as easy to
install and use as MSVC Express to be worthwhile, IMO.

The only advantage[1] to a new compiler would be if it trivially
supported cross-compiling on Linux, as that would allow Limux
developers to easily ship Windows binaries.


[1] I am not commenting on philosophical advantages like licensing here.

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