[Python-ideas] win32 extensions

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Wed Sep 14 06:12:18 CEST 2011

On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 1:19 PM, Massimo Di Pierro
<massimo.dipierro at gmail.com> wrote:
> For me the only reason win32 is important is to implement a cross-platform file locking.
> I did not mean to propose web32 should be included but a portable file locking api would be useful.

If Windows developers wanted to work with Mark Hammond to figure out
and systematically extract a core subset of stable pywin32
functionality potentially suitable for inclusion in the standard
library, that may not be a bad thing (there's currently already
duplication between the two, since the stdlib needs aspects of the
win32 API to implement modules like subprocess and multiprocessing,
but in those cases the pywin32 version is almost always more feature

The stdlib version could evolve as the standard library does, while
pywin32 could move a bit quicker in responding to releases of new
versions of Windows.

However, CPython+pywin32 suffers from the curse of being a "good
enough" solution most of the time (especially if you start with a
bundled installer that takes care of finding a suitable version of
pywin32 for the version of CPython being installed).

Personally, I do think this idea has potential to be a valuable
project, but I also think the same could be said just for helping
pywin32 consolidate its web presence and promote itself more clearly.
Currently, a Google search for pywin32 gives you:

~4 hits on the SourceForge project. This is *correct*, but SF in
general (and currently pywin32 in particular) is organised for
existing developers, not for users or potential new developers
(finding the latest release and being sure it *is* the latest release
is not trivial - more on this below).

The next hit is on Mark's old starship page - that's ancient and
hasn't been used for pywin32 downloads in years

Next we have the PyPI page, which appears to be a couple of releases
out of date (SF has 216, PyPI has 214)

Then we have two copies of the PyPI documentation, one hosted by
ActiveState (as part of the ActivePython 2.7 docs), the other by Tim

Assuming Mark was happy to go along with the idea, it would be great
to see some real content at http://pywin32.sourceforge.net/ instead of
the current placeholder page.

For example:
- quick description of the project and how it can really help with
Windows-specific development (and general Windows compatibility)
- link directly to latest download file on Sourceforge
- link to PyPI entry
- link to the user mailing list (python-win32 at python.org, I believe)
- basic instructions on how to get involved as a developer

As an even larger task, it would be great to see some Sphinx docs for
Pywin32 that provided an overview of the various modules included in
the package, and references out to the relevant MS documentation (as
well as to the automatically generated documentation for pywin32


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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