Which compiler will Python 2.5 / Windows (Intel) be built with?

meyer at mesw.de meyer at mesw.de
Thu Jun 15 23:57:56 CEST 2006


Fredrik Lundh wrote:
> meyer at mesw.de wrote:
> > I'm not sure how that backs the point you made. Infact, you're saying
> > that people accepted that Python 2.4 was compiled with VS2003 because
> > VC6 could not longer be bought. How is that different from the current
> > situation where the VS2003 toolkit cannot longer be downloaded and it
> > is at least becoming increasingly difficult to buy versions of VS2003?
> > You also seem to imply that there is a large group of people that want
> > you to stay with VS2003 for compiling Python 2.5.
> what part of "Python 2.4 is built with VC2003 and everyone who's ever
> built Windows stuff for Python 2.4 already has it" do you have trouble
> understanding ?

I'm actually a bit disappointed that this thread is slowly turning into
a flame-war (and you would not be uninvolved when it does so). I
originally only wanted to create a discussion on a simple topic. I
understand that the Python community is exactly that -- a community
where people voice their opinion and the result of a discussion will
ultimately be a consensus that is followed. I do understand that a
decision on the issue at stake has already been made, but as I
explained in the GP I think that this is a decision that one might
re-evaluate in light of new facts created by a third party (Microsoft).
In any case, there's no reason to get hot about the topic.

But responding to your original question, let me give an example so
maybe you can see my point a bit clearer. I have a customer where I
recently had to add a feature to a Python 2.4 extension. About a year
ago, I wrote the extension, downloaded the 2003 toolkit from Microsoft,
compiled the extension and installed it on the customer's site. Since
then, I got a new laptop, and I never installed the 2003 toolkit again,
because all my other software is in either pure Python or pure Visual
C++ 6 w/ MFC. So I was at the customer's site and discovered that the
2003 toolkit is no longer available at Microsoft. Bummer! Since it is
an important customer, I decided to phone around in the customer's city
if any shop had a version of Visual Studio 2003 lying around so I would
be able to compile the extension. They all would have readily sold me
Visual Studio 2005, but had no 2003 in stock. Second bummer! What I'm
trying to make here are two points:

* Using outdated development tools for new releases is just begging for
difficulties. Python 2.5 will be out there some time, and it will be
increasingly difficult to get VS 2003. The support for VS 2003
(including support for security holes) will probably expire during the
lifetime of Python 2.5. It's like releasing a Python 2.5 that does not
work on Windows XP, only on Windows 2000.

* There is currently a very good optimizing free (as in beer) compiler
available for the Windows platform: The VS Toolkit 2005. But you won't
be able to write extensions for Python 2.5 with this compiler. That's a
pity for the Open Source community as whole, as many Open Source
developers cannot afford to buy a commercial compiler (and many won't
do it even if they could). Note that this is different from the
situation we had a year ago. A year ago, we could download the 2003
toolkit and build extensions for Python 2.4. Now, when Python 2.5 comes
out, we cannot download the 2003 toolkit anymore. Therefore, we cannot
build extensions for 2.4, but not for 2.5 either. Of course those that
still have an install of the 2003 toolkit lying around are happy -- but
only until the next reinstall of their OS.


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