[Pythonmac-SIG] building universal binaries

Kevin Ollivier kevino at theolliviers.com
Fri Jan 27 07:39:32 CET 2006

Hi Bob,

On Jan 26, 2006, at 7:02 PM, Bob Ippolito wrote:


>> IMHO, what would be cool is to allow the user to pass the SDK in as
>> some sort of configure flag or maybe a shell variable, something  
>> like:
>> ./configure <flags> MACOSX_SDK=/my/path/to/SDK
>> This, along with the addition of the -arch i386 -arch ppc flags would
>> be enough to enable someone to write a script to create a Panther-
>> compatible Universal build. Which I'm pretty sure someone will do
>> sooner or later. :-)
> No, it wouldn't actually.  The 10.3 SDK is ppc only, and a Panther- 
> compatible build (well, something compatible with 10.3.8 and below)  
> must use GCC 3.3, but an x86 compatible build must use GCC 4.
> In other words, something Panther compatible needs to use different  
> compilers with totally different options for x86 and PPC.  It's not  
> going to be easy, distutils doesn't come anywhere near close to  
> supporting anything like that and neither does autoconf.

Sorry, I wasn't really thinking about extensions. By Panther I did  
mean building against the 10.3.9 SDK, which would give the desired  
results for the Python binary itself, but as you said extending that  
to correctly build extensions that did the same thing would be a  
royal PITA.

> I think the only approach that doesn't require hacking a  
> significant amount of Python's build process and distutils is to  
> have two Python installations, one x86 only and one PPC only.  For  
> distribution, you would cook up some way to lipo it all together.

I can see how the issues with the strategy I outlined would be  
significant, but I don't see how Universal support on Tiger would be  
similarly difficult. Apple's Python 2.3.5 already is Universal, and  
I'm unaware of any issues with it (except that it doesn't build  
Universal extensions ;). The changes they made to the build process  
seemed to be fairly minimal.

As far as distutils/working with extensions, I admit I'm not very  
familiar with that. I did notice when compiling wxPython though that  
there weren't any distutils flags passed to gcc that would conflict  
with the building of Universal binaries. The main question in my mind  
would be whether or not the built Universal extension libraries could  
be loaded by Python's dynamic library loader. If they can be loaded,  
and we could add the flags to distutils' default compiler/linker  
flags, what other major issues would need to be overcome?



> -bob

More information about the Pythonmac-SIG mailing list