My only complaint about Python

Tim Peters tim.peters at
Fri Aug 20 21:19:01 CEST 2004

[Darren Dale]
>>> Will the BDFL ever split with Visual Studio?

[Tim Peters]
>> We should be clear here that this isn't Guido's decision.  What you
>> get on Windows is what you get on all other platforms in this respect:
>>  you get what volunteers show up to produce, year after year after
>> year.  So you get a fine Cygwin port from Jason Tishler, seemingly
>> toiling all alone, and you get contributions from at least four
>> developers who do use Visual Studio.

> I meant no disrespect to the developers.

Didn't think you did.  I'm just saying (a) the BDFL is irrelevant to
this particular issue; and, (b) you get what other people give.  If
nobody with a long-term commitment to a specific Visual Studio
alternative appears, then #b rules.

> ...
> This comes back to the heart of the matter. How do you get volunteers
> who dont have access to VS to get involved with Python development?

Very few Python contributors have access to VS, but it doesn't matter
since most aren't running on Windows either.  Even on Windows, VS is
usually irrelevant to whether somene can pitch in on reviewing bugs
and patches, improving the standard libraries, improving the docs,
helping on the newsgroup and mailing lists, keeping
healthy, etc.  I think it's more of a cultural thing, that Windows
users typically have a lower contribution rate than users on other
platforms (whether it's C code or anything else).

I mentioned Cygwin before, and you can certainly develop C extension
modules, for Python, on Windows, using that.  Other responders have
their own favored VS alternatives.  "A problem" is that there's more
than one VS alternative!  That fragments the relatively-small-anyway
community of people who need a VS alternative on Windows.

> I think the suggestions here were right on, give Python the ability to
> support MinGW out of the box.

That's a wish.  If it's to be granted, someone has to volunteer to do
the work initially, and keep it working as the years go by.  Don't
expect that one of the current contributors will do so (they're
swamped already).  IOW, it's not a matter of convincing someone it's a
good idea, it's a matter of someone volunteering to do actual, real

> I thought that a compiler could even be included in a version of the Windows
> distribution, but maybe that is taking it too far.

That one won't happen -- most Windows Python users don't even know C,
and download size is still an issue for many.  Even people who want to
work on core Python development on Windows using VS need to work from
a source tarball instead, or from a CVS checkout.

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