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

R. David Murray rdmurray at bitdance.com
Sun Oct 26 16:48:34 CET 2014

On Sun, 26 Oct 2014 06:12:45 -0700, "Tony Kelman" <kelman at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> Steve Dower:
> > Building CPython for Windows is not something that needs solving.
> Not in your opinion, but numerous packagers of MinGW-based native or
> cross-compiled package sets would love to include Python. The fact
> that they currently can't, without many patches, is a problem.

If this includes (or would likely include) a significant portion of the
Scientific Computing community, I would think that would be a compelling
use case.  We'd need to be educated more about the reasons why this
approach works better than remaining compatible with MSVC CPython so we
could evaluate the risks and reward intelligently.  (I wonder..."things
are going to fragment anyway if you (cpython) don't do anything" might
be an argument, if true...but wouldn't make the consequences any
easier to deal with :(

But as has been discussed, it seems better to focus first on fixing the
issues on which we are all in agreement (building extensions with MinGW).

> R. David Murray:
> > And, at this point, we would NEED A BUILDBOT.  That is, a machine that
> > has whatever tools are required installed such that tests added to the
> > test suite to test MinGW support in distutils would run, so we can be
> > sure we don't break anything when making other changes.
> That's not too hard. I've done this for other projects. AppVeyor works if
> your build is short enough, and I've done cross-compilation from Travis
> CI for other projects. Or Jenkins, or a Vagrant VM. I don't know PSF's
> infrastructure, but I can offer guidance if it would help.

When I say "we need a buildbot", what I mean is that we need someone
willing to donate the resources and the *time and expertise* to setting
up and maintaining something that integrates with our existing buildbot
setup.  You set up a buildbot slave, request an id and password from
Antoine, keep the thing running, and respond in a timely fashion to
requests for help resolving issues that arise on the buildbot (both
buildbot issues and help-me-diagnose-this-failure issues).  After the
initial setup the load isn't generally heavy (I haven't had to do
anything with the OSX buildbot running on the machine in my dinning room
for months and months now, for example).

So your guidance would have to go to someone who was volunteering to
take on this task...there isn't anyone on the existing core team who
would have time to do it (if I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will speak up).
On the other hand, you don't have to be a committer to run a buildbot,
and there *are* people on the core-mentorship list who have expressed
interest in helping out with our automated testing infrastructure,
including (if I understand correctly) adding some level of integration
to other CI systems (which might just be messages to the IRC
channel)[*].  So that could be a fruitful avenue to explore.


[*] This is an area in which I have an interest, but it hasn't gotten
high enough on my todo list yet for me to figure out exactly what the
current state of things is so I can help it along.

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