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

Scott David Daniels scott.daniels at acm.org
Fri Jun 16 00:00:45 CEST 2006

meyer at mesw.de wrote:
> I understand that you are far in the release cycle and that this change
> would maybe even delay the whole release process. Those are good
> points. OTOH I think that sometimes it's better to change decisions in
> light of new facts.
There is no maybe to it.  You could ask Tony Baxter, but a huge amount
of testing and debugging has gone on, and there is a single person
trying to keep the source VS2005 compatible.

 > Of course I don't know exactly when this decision was fixed, but I
 > guess since then Microsoft has created two new facts that cannot be 
> * It wasn't clear that Microsoft would stop distributing the free 2003
> toolkit in favor of the 2005 toolkit. I cannot remember that they did
> something like this in the past, so this is something that came as a
> surprise.
> * At least to me it wasn't clear that Microsoft would release a new
> version of Visual Studio so early, and that it would link to a new,
> incompatible C runtime.

Nor was it clear to the PyDev community.  Microsoft offered free
development systems to those among the PyDev group who were core
developers, and we took that offer.  At the time we had no idea
it was on such a short-windowed product.  VC6 lasted a _long_ time.

> One can like or not like Microsoft politics, but I think in case of
> those new and surprising facts a re-evaluation of the decision for
> compiling Python with VS2003 might very well be justified.
If we were pre-alpha, or possibly just after alpha1, I might agree with you.

>> Note there was strong resistance to leaving VC6 for Python 2.4.  That
>> resistance was overcome only by the fact that it was no longer possible
>> to purchase suitable versions of VC6.
> I'm not sure how that backs the point you made. 

I pointed that out to explain that we are reluctant to force developers
to continuously upgrade their VC toolkits and build procedures.  Just
because you want to hop from 2.3 to 2.5, doesn't mean that there aren't
those already on 2.4 (and they have already suffered through new build
info pain).

 > In fact, 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?
As nikie pointed out, you can buy a 1-year MSDN Pro Subscription that
includes the VS2003 system.  All that stopped is the free toolkit.

> 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. Of course I have no
> actual figures, but at least in this thread it seems to me that every
> single person who wrote in this thread until now was pro-2005 and
> against-2003.
Taking percentages of people who complain is not reflect necessarily
reflective of percentages of the general population.  If I recall
correctly, there was some angst about using VC6, because it was only
available for a hefty-for-hobbyists price.  That was quelled with the
explanation that essentially all Windows developers used the Visual
Studio toolkit.

As to MinGW, nobody has signed up to commit long-term to doing the PyDev
work that is required to get (and keep) it working.  Such a developer
would be welcome.  There _are_ notes out there on the web to help you
get such things going; I have done my own little bit to share what I
know about how to do that.

--Scott David Daniels
scott.daniels at acm.org

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