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

Tony Kelman kelman at berkeley.edu
Mon Oct 27 00:24:20 CET 2014

> Not really, to be honest. I still don't understand why anyone not
> directly involved in CPython development would need to build their own
> Python executable on Windows. Can you explain a single specific
> situation where installing and using the python.org executable is not
> possible

I want, and in many places *need*, an all-MinGW stack. For a great deal
of software that is not Python, I can do this today. I can use build
services, package management, and dependency resolution tools that work
very well together with this all-MinGW software stack. These are problems
that Python has notoriously struggled with on Windows for a long time.
It's not "my views on free software," it's the reality of MSVC being a
near-useless compiler for scientific software. (And I don't see that
changing much.) Do my requirements conflict with many non-scientific
Python users on Windows? Probably. So you're welcome to ignore my
requirements and I'll do my own thing, but I don't think I'm alone.
There's likely no desire from the scientific Python community to branch
off and separate in quite the way I'm willing to do from non-scientific
Python, but it would solve some of their problems (while introducing many
others). I suspect a MinGW-w64-oriented equivalent to Conda would be
attractive to many. That's approximately what I'm aiming for.

There are some ways in which I can use the python.org MSVC executable and
installer. But it is nearly impossible for me to integrate it into the rest
of the tools and stack that I am using; it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Likewise MinGW-compiled CPython may stick out like a sore thumb relative
to the existing way things work with Python on Windows. I'm okay with that,
you probably aren't.

> changes to extension building and you should contribute them
> independently so that everyone can benefit


> I cannot see why you would need to build Python in order to build
> extensions.

No, of course they are separate. CPython is one of my dependencies.
Compiled extensions are other dependencies. Software completely unrelated
to Python is yet another set of dependencies. It's not a very coherent
stack if I can't handle all of these dependencies in a uniform way.

> On a tangential note, any work on supporting mingw builds and
> cross-compilation should probably be done using setuptools, so that it
> is external to the CPython code.



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