Python MSVC++ binaries considered evil

Tim Peters at
Fri Jan 25 00:46:25 CET 2002

[Cliff Wells]
> And I imagine at least part of the reason for Windows volunteers
> being rare is not many of them have a C/C++ compiler that they can
> use to compile Python.

Python is written in standard C, so the notion that only MSVC is capable of
compiling it is absurd.  If you want the *Windows*-specific features to
work, though, you have to play the Windows API game, and MSVC excels at that

> Perhaps if the Windows port were decoupled a bit from VC++ (or at
> least some Makefiles provided for FreeBCC) ...

As I said, PythonLabs hasn't the bandwidth to pursue Windows alternatives.
"Support for alternatives will have to originate from, be resolved within,
and implemented by the community", exactly the same story as for Macintosh
ports, Plan9 ports, BeOS ports, RiscOS ports, HP-UX ports, Cray T3E ports,
EPOC32 ports, etc etc etc.

> that situation would change for the better. Or maybe not.  It may be
> more of a mind-set difference between Unix-types (who are used to
> building from source and fixing/reporting the occasional platform-
> dependency issue) and Windows-types who expect InstallShield to do
> it all for them.

I expect that's more on target.  Also that most high-powered Windows
developers (meaning developers who target Windows (like Mark Hammond), not
developers who just happen to use Windows (like me)) use MSVC anyway.

> Hrm.  I may have to download FreeBCC and see for myself how much
> trouble it would really be...

Read Python's NEWS file -- you wouldn't be the first.  The last person who
took a crack at it seemed to make swift progress, but didn't finish the job
(by his own account).  The greater pain is likely sorting out
incompatibilities between the MS and Borland libraries (or declaring that
yuu don't care about that, but then you've got a port with a small

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