Really, Amazingly Silly Question

Tim Roberts timr at
Sun Mar 9 08:58:32 CET 2003

"Nilesta" <nilesta at> wrote:
>Second, the question:  Just how exactly do you compile python?  I'm talking
>write the program, translate it into assembly, smack an .exe on the end of
>the name and give it to someone who's never heard of python and allow them
>to run it on their machine by the incredibly complex process of double

The others have given you suggestions about how to create a single .exe
from your Python programs, but none of them have attempted to correct your
fundamental misunderstanding: Python, at this time, is not a compiled
language.  It does not pass through assembler on its way to being executed.
The suggestions you got, like py2exe, just bundle up the interpreter exe,
your script, and any of the standard library scripts you use.  Then, on the
client system, it expands those into a temporary directory and starts
interpreting the code.

>But my poor,
>work-adled brain seems to have come to the conclusion that the only way to
>distribute it is to pack an interpreter with it, which seems incredibly ..

Well, keep working on your brain, because that's how it is done.  All of
the major scripting languages are the same: Perl, tcl, Ruby, Visual Basic,
Java, and C# all need an interpreter.  It's the wave of the future.

>Third, and entirely off the point:  My first programming language was a
>bastardized version of Forth, MUF.

Then I'm not sure why the interpreter thing seems so foreign: Forth
programs aren't compiled to assembler, either.  They have to be packed with
an interepeter.  Of course, Forth interpreter's are a bit lighter-weight
than Python or Perl...
- Tim Roberts, timr at
  Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.

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