[Python-Dev] Usefulness of binary compatibility accross Python versions?

Antoine Pitrou solipsis at pitrou.net
Wed Dec 20 12:30:55 EST 2017

Following this discussion, I opened two issues:
* https://bugs.python.org/issue32387: "Disallow untagged C extension
import on major platforms"
* https://bugs.python.org/issue32388: "Remove cross-version binary



On Sat, 16 Dec 2017 14:22:57 +0100
Antoine Pitrou <solipsis at pitrou.net> wrote:
> Hello,
> Nowadays we have an official mechanism for third-party C extensions to
> be binary-compatible accross feature releases of Python: the stable ABI.
> But, for non-stable ABI-using C extensions, there are also mechanisms
> in place to *try* and ensure binary compatibility.  One of them is the
> way in which we add tp_ slots to the PyTypeObject structure.
> Typically, when adding a tp_XXX slot, you also need to add a
> Py_TPFLAGS_HAVE_XXX type flag to signal those static type structures
> that have been compiled against a recent enough PyTypeObject
> definition.  This way, extensions compiled against Python N-1 are
> supposed to "still work": as they don't have Py_TPFLAGS_HAVE_XXX set,
> the core Python runtime won't try to access the (non-existing) tp_XXX
> member.
> However, beside internal code complication, it means you need to add a
> new Py_TPFLAGS_HAVE_XXX each time we add a slot.  Since we have only 32
> such bits available (many of them already taken), it is a very limited
> resource. Is it worth it? (*) Can an extension compiled against Python
> N-1 really claim to be compatible with Python N, despite other possible
> differences?
> (*) we can't extend the tp_flags field to 64 bits, precisely because of
> the binary compatibility problem...
> Regards
> Antoine.

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list