Build bugs in Python 2.2.1?

Martin v. Loewis martin at
Sun Aug 11 11:13:38 CEST 2002

"Donn Cave" <donn at> writes:

> I'm not all that familiar with systems that don't have /bin/sh.
> Are we talking about MacOS and Microsoft Windows?  

About MacOS; the Windows build process uses a different mechanism

> The source distribution README for 2.2.1 says "type ./configure".

It also say "on UNIX".

> I assume folks on those platforms have some other arrangement for
> building from source, but I'm sure it doesn't depend entirely on
> distutils - you have to build Python before you can use distutils!

Indeed, the MacOS build process uses, after building python
with a Metroworks project file or some such.

> Which probably won't amount to much.  I suspect the issues are
> mostly relevant only to systems that have a /bin/sh - do they
> have /usr/local and so forth?  Benefit to them of all this UNIX
> specific stuff in distutils would be minimal.

As I said: you'll have to propose a specific change (in form of a
patch) before we can analyse the impact on existing scenarios.

> 1. You need autoconf, it can't be replaced by the thing it's
>    trying to build.


> 2. autoconf is the de facto standard for build configuration,
>    well known by the system admins who build things like Python.

That isn't relevant. We should do what's best for Python, not what is
the de factor standard.

> 3. autoconf is powerful, if not omnipotent, and while it presents
>    the unpleasant appearance of a mountain of hacks, at least all
>    those hacks are in one place and you don't have to spend all day
>    trying to figure out where something's going wrong in the bowels
>    of distutils.

I like autoconf, too, but I also know that I spent more time than I
wish trying to figure out why something went wrong in the bowels of
autoconf (in particular when trying to teach it to use the C++
compiler to link python when necessary, not not do so when

> 4. All we need is an interface between autoconf and

All we need is a more powerful distutils library.


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