Python packages on OS X vs Windows

Kevin Walzer sw at
Thu Dec 15 15:56:00 CET 2005

Kenneth McDonald wrote:
> At the moment I'm doing most of my stuff on a Mac, but I've been
> considering also getting
> a Windows laptop. One of the reasons is that I've found it very
> difficult to get certain
> Python related things running on the Mac; for example, if one wants to
> use the most
> up-to-date Python on the mac, rather than the one installed by Apple,
> things can get
> a bit hairy, and then if one wants to go PyQT/wxPy/etc, it can get even
> worse with
> trying to get all the compiling/linking to work.

I'm really, really puzzled by this statement...

how is building Python 2.4.2 and extensions on OS X "difficult"?

Updating to the latest Python took me an hour, and most of that was
doing other things while the build ran in the background. A bit more
work than using Bob Ippolito's installer of 2.4.1, but hey.

wxPython has a binary installer for Python 2.4.x on OS X. You don't even
need to reinstall it if you update your own build of Python as point
releases (2.4.x) of Python are binary compatible with extensions,
correct me if I am wrong?

Other extensions are pretty simple to build: python install.
Doesn't seem hard to me. And if you don't want that, use the installers
(Bob Ippolito's again) at

I'll grant that PyQt is a pain. It takes a couple of days to build, and
isn't very stable once you get it built. That's why I stopped
maintaining Mac packages for it, because I decided to look at Tkinter as
my main GUI toolkit for Python. But even with that, PyQt isn't hard to
build--just time-consuming. The instructions are very well-presented.

I've found some aspects of working with Python frustrating--specifically
the lack of a really good native IDE (which has been solved with the
release of Komodo for OS X) and in trying to choose a GUI toolkit--but
getting it installed and configured properly is not among the problems
I've encountered.


Kevin Walzer, PhD
WordTech Software - "Tame the Terminal"
sw at

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