[Tutor] source file or installer

Danny Yoo dyoo at hkn.eecs.berkeley.edu
Mon Mar 6 19:24:28 CET 2006

On Mon, 6 Mar 2006, linda.s wrote:

> what are the benefits of building python from source file? any
> difference if using installer?

Hi Linda,

If a binary installer is available for your platform, you'll probably want
to stick with it.  It provides the most convenient way to get Python.

Some weird people insist on compiling all the software on their machines
(like me *grin*).  But the source is also provided so that other people
and organizations can build products around Python.

The source code can be treated as more than the "product": it can be
treated as raw material: other people can refine it as necessary and build
whatever they'd like.  It turns out that Python.org produces a packaged
product --- the binary installer --- but other people have done so too,
including the ActiveState company:


and other people have embedded Python directly into their own projects.
(The video game "Freedom Force", for example, has a Python runtime.)

So the accessibility of the Python source code makes it easier for some
creators to make shiny products.

If you are just trying to get Python so you can learn to program Python,
the Python source code itself is probably not so useful for you now.

I hope this helps!

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