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

Brian Curtin brian at python.org
Fri Oct 10 16:31:34 CEST 2014

On Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 7:29 PM, Victor Stinner <victor.stinner at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> Windows is not the primary target of Python developers, probably
> because most of them work on Linux. Official Python binaries are
> currently built by Microsoft Visual Studio. Even if Python developers
> get free licenses thanks for Microsoft, I would prefer to use an open
> source compiler if it would be possible. So *anyone* can build Python
> from scatch. I don't like the requirement of having a license to build
> Python. The free version (Visual Studio Express) only supports 32-bit
> and doesn't support PGO build (Profile-Guided Optimizations, which are
> disabled if I remember correctly because of compiler bugs).
> I know that it's hard to replace Visual Studio. I don't want to do it
> right now, but I would like to discuss that with you.

Although I'm not very active around here much anymore, I was primarily
working on Windows things within the last few years.

While we have a lot of Windows users, we don't have a lot of Windows
contributors. The huge amount of churn necessary to make a change away
from VS, or the more likely move to make it possible to support both
VS and <insert other compiler>, seems like a large amount of work that
doesn't turn up much of a benefit. Especially for a platform with
constrained developer availability, working software trumps all, so I
don't expect that a project like this is going to see the regular
contributors shifting their focus away from improving Python as it is.

With that said, I do see the benefit of being able to build Python
with a free compiler. It would be great for us to be able to say it's
always built with free tools, but I'm not sure who's going to make
this happen...

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list