New versions breaking extensions, etc.

Mike Meyer mwm at
Sat Dec 11 08:28:45 CET 2004

"Jive" <someone at> writes:

> "Nick Coghlan" <ncoghlan at> wrote in message
> news:mailman.7514.1102742911.5135.python-list at
>> To this date, no-one has cared enough about the problem to put in the
> effort
>> required to make the C API version agnostic. Given that the API almost
> always
>> remains *source* compatible, within a month or two of a new Python
> release, the
>> extension developers have generally tweaked their build environments to
> also
>> produce binaries for the new release.
> It would be a Good Thing to put a stop to that requirement, no?

Actually, there's a problem on Unix that may not exist on
Windows. Python is installed in <PREFIX>/lib/python<version>/. This
lets us have multiple versions of Python installed at the same time,
which is a good thing.

Now, installed packages and extensions go in
<PREFIX>/lib/python<version>/site-packages. This means that you can't
use *any* of the previously installed packages in the new
version, even if they were pure python. Since I use TMDA, my mail
stopped working when I installed python 2.4.

The real solution is a database of installed packages (which may well
be needed for the apt-get/CPAN functionality that people want) so that
a single python script can fetch and install all the installed

Mike Meyer <mwm at>
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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