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This is Python version 2.1

Copyright (c) 2001 Python Software Foundation. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2000 BeOpen.com. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 1995-2000 Corporation for National Research Initiatives. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 1991-1995 Stichting Mathematisch Centrum. All rights reserved.

License information

See the file "LICENSE" for information on the history of this software, terms & conditions for usage, and a DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES.

This Python distribution contains no GNU General Public Licensed (GPLed) code so it may be used in proprietary projects just like prior Python distributions. There are interfaces to some GNU code but these are entirely optional.

All trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective holders.

What's new in this release?

See the file "Misc/NEWS".

If you don't read instructions

Congratulations on getting this far. :-)

To start building right away (on UNIX): type "./configure" in the current directory and when it finishes, type "make". The section `Build Instructions' below is still recommended reading, especially the part on customizing Modules/Setup.

What is Python anyway?

Python is an interpreted object-oriented programming language suitable (amongst other uses) for distributed application development, scripting, numeric computing and system testing. Python is often compared to Tcl, Perl, Java, JavaScript, Visual Basic or Scheme. To find out more about what Python can do for you, point your browser to http://www.python.org/.

How do I learn Python?

The official tutorial is still a good place to start; see http://www.python.org/doc/ for online and downloadable versions, as well as a list of other introductions, and reference documentation.

There's a quickly growing set of books on Python. See http://www.python.org/psa/bookstore/ for a list.

Documentation

All documentation is provided online in a variety of formats. In order of importance for new users: Tutorial, Library Reference, Language Reference, Extending & Embedding, and the Python/C API. The Library Reference is especially of immense value since much of Python's power is described there, including the built-in data types and functions!

All documentation is also available online at the Python web site (http://www.python.org/doc/, see below). It is available online for occasional reference, or can be downloaded in many formats for faster access. The documentation is available in HTML, PostScript, PDF, and LaTeX formats; the LaTeX version is primarily for documentation authors, translators, and people with special formatting requirements.

Web sites

New Python releases and related technologies are published at http://www.python.org/. Come visit us!

There's also a Python community web site at http://starship.python.net/.

Newsgroups and Mailing Lists

Read comp.lang.python, a high-volume discussion newsgroup about Python, or comp.lang.python.announce, a low-volume moderated newsgroup for Python-related announcements. These are also accessible as mailing lists: see http://www.python.org/psa/MailingLists.html for an overview of the many Python-related mailing lists.

Archives are accessible via Deja.com Usenet News: see http://www.deja.com/usenet. The mailing lists are also archived, see http://www.python.org/psa/MailingLists.html for details.

Bug reports

To report or search for bugs, please use the Python Bug Tracker at http://sourceforge.net/bugs/?group_id=5470.

Patches and contributions

To submit a patch or other contribution, please use the Python Patch Manager at http://sourceforge.net/patch/?group_id=5470. Guidelines for patch submission may be found at http://www.python.org/patches/.

If you have a proposal to change Python, it's best to submit a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) first. All current PEPs, as well as guidelines for submitting a new PEP, are list at http://python.sourceforge.net/peps/.

Questions

For help, if you can't find it in the manuals or on the web site, it's best to post to the comp.lang.python or the Python mailing list (see above). If you specifically don't want to involve the newsgroup or mailing list, send questions to help@python.org (a group of volunteers who answer questions as they can). The newsgroup is the most efficient way to ask public questions.

Build instructions

Before you can build Python, you must first configure it. Fortunately, the configuration and build process has been streamlined for most Unix installations, so all you have to do is type a few commands, optionally edit one file, and sit back. There are some platforms where things are not quite as smooth; see the platform specific notes below. If you want to build for multiple platforms sharing the same source tree, see the section on VPATH below.

Start by running the script "./configure", which determines your system configuration and creates the Makefile. (It takes a minute or two -- please be patient!) You may want to pass options to the configure script or edit the Modules/Setup file after running configure -- see the section below on configuration options and variables. When it's done, you are ready to run make.

To build Python, you normally type "make" in the toplevel directory. If you have changed the configuration or have modified Modules/Setup, the Makefile may have to be rebuilt. In this case you may have to run make again to correctly build your desired target. The interpreter executable is built in the top level directory.

Once you have built a Python interpreter, see the subsections below on testing, configuring additional modules, and installation. If you run into trouble, see the next section. Editing the Modules/Setup file after running make is supported; just run "make" again after making the desired changes.

Troubleshooting

See also the platform specific notes in the next section.

If you run into other trouble, see section 3 of the FAQ (http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/faqw.py or http://www.python.org/doc/FAQ.html) for hints on what can go wrong, and how to fix it.

If you rerun the configure script with different options, remove all object files by running "make clean" before rebuilding. Believe it or not, "make clean" sometimes helps to clean up other inexplicable problems as well. Try it before sending in a bug report!

If the configure script fails or doesn't seem to find things that should be there, inspect the config.log file. When you fix a configure problem, be sure to remove config.cache!

If you get a warning for every file about the -Olimit option being no longer supported, you can ignore it. There's no foolproof way to know whether this option is needed; all we can do is test whether it is accepted without error. On some systems, e.g. older SGI compilers, it is essential for performance (specifically when compiling ceval.c, which has more basic blocks than the default limit of 1000). If the warning bothers you, edit the Makefile to remove "-Olimit 1500" from the OPT variable.

If you get failures in test_long, or sys.maxint gets set to -1, you are probably experiencing compiler bugs, usually related to optimization. This is a common problem with some versions of gcc and egcs, and some vendor-supplied compilers, which can sometimes be worked around by turning off optimization. Consider switching to stable versions (gcc 2.7.2.3, egcs 1.1.2, or contact your vendor.)

From Python 2.0 onward, all Python C code is ANSI C. Compiling using old K&R-C-only compilers is no longer possible. ANSI C compilers are available for all modern systems, either in the form of updated compilers from the vendor, or one of the free compilers (gcc, egcs).

Platform specific notes

(Some of these may no longer apply. If you find you can build Python on these platforms without the special directions mentioned here, submit a documentation bug report to SourceForge (see Bug Reports above) so we can remove them!)

64-bit platforms: The modules audioop, imageop and rgbimg don't work.
Don't try to enable them in the Modules/Setup file. They contain code that is quite wordsize sensitive. (If you have a fix, let us know!)
Solaris: When using Sun's C compiler with threads, at least on Solaris
2.5.1, you need to add the "-mt" compiler option (the simplest way is probably to specify the compiler with this option as the "CC" environment variable when running the configure script).
Linux: A problem with threads and fork() was tracked down to a bug in

the pthreads code in glibc version 2.0.5; glibc version 2.0.7 solves the problem. This causes the popen2 test to fail; problem and solution reported by Pablo Bleyer.

Under Linux systems using GNU libc 2 (aka libc6), the crypt module now needs the -lcrypt option. Uncomment this flag in Modules/Setup, or comment out the crypt module in the same file. Most modern Linux systems use glibc2.

FreeBSD 3.x and probably platforms with NCurses that use libmytinfo or
similar: When using cursesmodule, the linking is not done in the correct order with the defaults. Remove "-ltermcap" from the readline entry in Setup, and use as curses entry: "curses cursesmodule.c -lmytinfo -lncurses -ltermcap" - "mytinfo" (so called on FreeBSD) should be the name of the auxiliary library required on your platform. Normally, it would be linked automatically, but not necessarily in the correct order.
BSDI: BSDI versions before 4.1 have known problems with threads,
which can cause strange errors in a number of modules (for instance, the 'test_signal' test script will hang forever.) Turning off threads (with --with-threads=no) or upgrading to BSDI 4.1 solves this problem.
DEC Unix: Run configure with --with-dec-threads, or with
--with-threads=no if no threads are desired (threads are on by default). When using GCC, it is possible to get an internal compiler error if optimization is used. This was reported for GCC 2.7.2.3 on selectmodule.c. Manually compile the affected file without optimization to solve the problem.
DEC Ultrix: compile with GCC to avoid bugs in the native compiler,
and pass SHELL=/bin/sh5 to Make when installing.
AIX: A complete overhaul of the shared library support is now in
place. See Misc/AIX-NOTES for some notes on how it's done. (The optimizer bug reported at this place in previous releases has been worked around by a minimal code change.) If you get errors about ptread_* functions, during compile or during testing, try setting CC to a thread-safe (reentrant) compiler, like "cc_r". For full C++ module support, set CC="xlC_r" (or CC="xlC" without thread support).
HP-UX: Please read the file Misc/HPUX-NOTES for shared libraries.
When using threading, you may have to add -D_REENTRANT to the OPT variable in the top-level Makefile; reported by Pat Knight, this seems to make a difference (at least for HP-UX 10.20) even though config.h defines it.

Minix: When using ack, use "CC=cc AR=aal RANLIB=: ./configure"!

SCO: The following apply to SCO 3 only; Python builds out of the box

on SCO 5 (or so we've heard).

1) Everything works much better if you add -U__STDC__ to the defs. This is because all the SCO header files are broken. Anything that isn't mentioned in the C standard is conditionally excluded when __STDC__ is defined.

2) Due to the U.S. export restrictions, SCO broke the crypt stuff out into a separate library, libcrypt_i.a so the LIBS needed be set to:

LIBS=' -lsocket -lcrypt_i'
SunOS 4.x: When using the SunPro C compiler, you may want to use the
'-Xa' option instead of '-Xc', to enable some needed non-ANSI Sunisms.
NeXT: To build fat binaries, use the --with-next-archs switch
described below.
QNX: Chris Herborth (chrish@qnx.com) writes:

configure works best if you use GNU bash; a port is available on ftp.qnx.com in /usr/free. I used the following process to build, test and install Python 1.5.x under QNX:

  1. CONFIG_SHELL=/usr/local/bin/bash CC=cc RANLIB=:

    ./configure --verbose --without-gcc --with-libm=""

  2. edit Modules/Setup to activate everything that makes sense for your system... tested here at QNX with the following modules:

    array, audioop, binascii, cPickle, cStringIO, cmath, crypt, curses, errno, fcntl, gdbm, grp, imageop, _locale, math, md5, new, operator, parser, pcre, posix, pwd, readline, regex, reop, rgbimg, rotor, select, signal, socket, soundex, strop, struct, syslog, termios, time, timing, zlib, audioop, imageop, rgbimg

  3. make SHELL=/usr/local/bin/bash

    or, if you feel the need for speed:

    make SHELL=/usr/local/bin/bash OPT="-5 -Oil+nrt"

  4. make SHELL=/usr/local/bin/bash test

    Using GNU readline 2.2 seems to behave strangely, but I think that's a problem with my readline 2.2 port. :-

  5. make SHELL=/usr/local/bin/bash install

If you get SIGSEGVs while running Python (I haven't yet, but I've only run small programs and the test cases), you're probably running out of stack; the default 32k could be a little tight. To increase the stack size, edit the Makefile to read: LDFLAGS = -N 48k

BeOS: Chris Herborth (chrish@qnx.com) writes:
See BeOS/README for notes about compiling/installing Python on BeOS R3 or later. Note that only the PowerPC platform is supported for R3; both PowerPC and x86 are supported for R4.
Cray T3E: Konrad Hinsen writes:
  1. Don't use gcc. It compiles Python/graminit.c into something that the Cray assembler doesn't like. Cray's cc seems to work fine.
  2. Comment out modules md5 (won't compile) and audioop (will crash the interpreter during the test suite).

If you run the test suite, two tests will fail (rotate and binascii), but these are not the modules you'd expect to need on a Cray.

SGI: SGI's standard "make" utility (/bin/make or /usr/bin/make)

does not check whether a command actually changed the file it is supposed to build. This means that whenever you say "make" it will redo the link step. The remedy is to use SGI's much smarter "smake " utility (/usr/sbin/smake), or GNU make. If you set the first line of the Makefile to #!/usr/sbin/smake smake will be invoked by make (likewise for GNU make).

There is a bug in the SGI compiler's optimization that causes a bus error in PyComplex_ImagAsDouble(); this has been reported to be triggered when importing Numeric Python and may be caused at other times. The work-around is to build Python, delete the Objects/complexobject.o file, and then recompile without optimization (use "make OPT=").

OS/2: If you are running Warp3 or Warp4 and have IBM's VisualAge C/C++
compiler installed, just change into the pcos2vacpp directory and type NMAKE. Threading and sockets are supported by default in the resulting binaries of PYTHON15.DLL and PYTHON.EXE.
Monterey (64-bit AIX): The current Monterey C compiler (Visual Age)
uses the OBJECT_MODE={32|64} environment variable to set the compilation mode to either 32-bit or 64-bit (32-bit mode is the default). Presumably you want 64-bit compilation mode for this 64-bit OS. As a result you must first set OBJECT_MODE=64 in your environment before configuring (./configure) or building (make) Python on Monterey.
Reliant UNIX: The thread support does not compile on Reliant UNIX, and
there is a (minor) problem in the configure script for that platform as well. This should be resolved in time for a future release.
Mac OS X: You need to add the "-traditional-cpp" option to the
compiler command line for the Mac OS X Public Beta. This is appearantly a bug in the default pre-processor, and is expected not to be a problem with future versions. Run configure with "OPT='-g -traditional-cpp' ./configure --with-suffix=.exe --with-dyld" to add this option. One of the regular expression tests fails due to the small stack size used by default (how to change this?), and the test_largefile test is only expected to work on a Unix UFS filesystem (how to check for this on Mac OS X?).

Configuring threads

As of Python 2.0, threads are enabled by default. If you wish to compile without threads, or if your thread support is broken, pass the --with-threads=no switch to configure. Unfortunately, on some platforms, additional compiler and/or linker options are required for threads to work properly. Below is a table of those options, collected by Bill Janssen. We would love to automate this process more, but the information below is not enough to write a patch for the configure.in file, so manual intervention is required. If you patch the configure.in file and are confident that the patch works, please send in the patch. (Don't bother patching the configure script itself -- it is regenerated each the configure.in file changes.)

Compiler switches for threads

The definition of _REENTRANT should be configured automatically, if that does not work on your system, or if _REENTRANT is defined incorrectly, please report that as a bug.

OS/Compiler/threads Switches for use with threads (POSIX is draft 10, DCE is draft 4) compile & link

SunOS 5.{1-5}/{gcc,SunPro cc}/solaris -mt SunOS 5.5/{gcc,SunPro cc}/POSIX (nothing) DEC OSF/1 3.x/cc/DCE -threads

(butenhof@zko.dec.com)
Digital UNIX 4.x/cc/DCE -threads
(butenhof@zko.dec.com)
Digital UNIX 4.x/cc/POSIX -pthread
(butenhof@zko.dec.com)
AIX 4.1.4/cc_r/d7 (nothing)
(buhrt@iquest.net)
AIX 4.1.4/cc_r4/DCE (nothing)
(buhrt@iquest.net)
IRIX 6.2/cc/POSIX (nothing)
(robertl@cwi.nl)

Linker (ld) libraries and flags for threads

OS/threads Libraries/switches for use with threads

SunOS 5.{1-5}/solaris -lthread SunOS 5.5/POSIX -lpthread DEC OSF/1 3.x/DCE -lpthreads -lmach -lc_r -lc

(butenhof@zko.dec.com)
Digital UNIX 4.x/DCE -lpthreads -lpthread -lmach -lexc -lc
(butenhof@zko.dec.com)
Digital UNIX 4.x/POSIX -lpthread -lmach -lexc -lc
(butenhof@zko.dec.com)
AIX 4.1.4/{draft7,DCE} (nothing)
(buhrt@iquest.net)
IRIX 6.2/POSIX -lpthread
(jph@emilia.engr.sgi.com)

Configuring additional built-in modules

Starting with Python 2.1, the setup.py script at the top of the source distribution attempts to detect which modules can be built and automatically compiles them. Autodetection doesn't always work, so you can customize the configuration by editing the Modules/Setup file. This file is initially copied from Setup.dist by the configure script; if it does not exist yet, create it by copying Modules/Setup.dist yourself (configure will never overwrite it). Never edit Setup.dist -- always edit Setup or Setup.local (see below). Read the comments in the file for information on what kind of edits are allowed. When you have edited Setup in the Modules directory, the interpreter will automatically be rebuilt the next time you run make in the toplevel directory. (When working inside the Modules directory, use "make Makefile; make".)

Many useful modules can be built on any Unix system, but some optional modules can't be reliably autodetected. Often the quickest way to determine whether a particular module works or not is to see if it will build: enable it in Setup, then if you get compilation or link errors, disable it -- you're either missing support or need to adjust the compilation and linking parameters for that module.

On SGI IRIX, there are modules that interface to many SGI specific system libraries, e.g. the GL library and the audio hardware. These modules will not be built by the setup.py script.

In addition to the file Setup, you can also edit the file Setup.local. (the makesetup script processes both). You may find it more convenient to edit Setup.local and leave Setup alone. Then, when installing a new Python version, you can copy your old Setup.local file.

Setting the optimization/debugging options

If you want or need to change the optimization/debugging options for the C compiler, assign to the OPT variable on the toplevel make command; e.g. "make OPT=-g" will build a debugging version of Python on most platforms. The default is OPT=-O; a value for OPT in the environment when the configure script is run overrides this default (likewise for CC; and the initial value for LIBS is used as the base set of libraries to link with).

When compiling with GCC, the default value of OPT will also include the -Wall and -Wstrict-prototypes options.

Additional debugging code to help debug memory management problems can be enabled by using the --with-pydebug option to the configure script.

Testing

To test the interpreter, type "make test" in the top-level directory. This runs the test set twice (once with no compiled files, once with the compiled files left by the previous test run). The test set produces some output. You can generally ignore the messages about skipped tests due to optional features which can't be imported. (If you want to test those modules, edit Modules/Setup to configure them.) If a message is printed about a failed test or a traceback or core dump is produced, something is wrong. On some Linux systems (those that are not yet using glibc 6), test_strftime fails due to a non-standard implementation of strftime() in the C library. Please ignore this, or upgrade to glibc version 6.

IMPORTANT: If the tests fail and you decide to mail a bug report, don't include the output of "make test". It is useless. Run the failing test manually, as follows:

python ../Lib/test/test_whatever.py

(substituting the top of the source tree for .. if you built in a different directory). This runs the test in verbose mode.

Installing

To install the Python binary, library modules, shared library modules (see below), include files, configuration files, and the manual page, just type

make install

This will install all platform-independent files in subdirectories of the directory given with the --prefix option to configure or to the `prefix' Make variable (default /usr/local). All binary and other platform-specific files will be installed in subdirectories if the directory given by --exec-prefix or the `exec_prefix' Make variable (defaults to the --prefix directory) is given.

All subdirectories created will have Python's version number in their name, e.g. the library modules are installed in "/usr/local/lib/python<version>/" by default, where <version> is the <major>.<minor> release number (e.g. "2.1"). The Python binary is installed as "python<version>" and a hard link named "python" is created. The only file not installed with a version number in its name is the manual page, installed as "/usr/local/man/man1/python.1" by default.

If you have a previous installation of Python that you don't want to replace yet, use

make altinstall

This installs the same set of files as "make install" except it doesn't create the hard link to "python<version>" named "python" and it doesn't install the manual page at all.

Alpha/beta revision levels are stripped from the executable and library filenames during installation. For example, Python2.1a2 will install as python2.1, overwriting the previous python2.1. To avoid this, you could set the Makefile VERSION variable manually (e.g. VERSION=2.1a2) before running "make install" or "make altinstall".

The only thing you may have to install manually is the Python mode for Emacs found in Misc/python-mode.el. (But then again, more recent versions of Emacs may already have it.) Follow the instructions that came with Emacs for installation of site-specific files.

Configuration options and variables

Some special cases are handled by passing options to the configure script.

WARNING: if you rerun the configure script with different options, you must run "make clean" before rebuilding. Exceptions to this rule: after changing --prefix or --exec-prefix, all you need to do is remove Modules/getpath.o.

--with(out)-gcc: The configure script uses gcc (the GNU C compiler) if
it finds it. If you don't want this, or if this compiler is installed but broken on your platform, pass the option --without-gcc. You can also pass "CC=cc" (or whatever the name of the proper C compiler is) in the environment, but the advantage of using --without-gcc is that this option is remembered by the config.status script for its --recheck option.
--prefix, --exec-prefix: If you want to install the binaries and the
Python library somewhere else than in /usr/local/{bin,lib}, you can pass the option --prefix=DIRECTORY; the interpreter binary will be installed as DIRECTORY/bin/python and the library files as DIRECTORY/lib/python/*. If you pass --exec-prefix=DIRECTORY (as well) this overrides the installation prefix for architecture-dependent files (like the interpreter binary). Note that --prefix=DIRECTORY also affects the default module search path (sys.path), when Modules/config.c is compiled. Passing make the option prefix=DIRECTORY (and/or exec_prefix=DIRECTORY) overrides the prefix set at configuration time; this may be more convenient than re-running the configure script if you change your mind about the install prefix.
--with-readline: This option is no longer supported. To use GNU
readline, enable module "readline" in the Modules/Setup file.
--with-threads: On most Unix systems, you can now use multiple
threads, and support for this is enabled by default. To disable this, pass --with-threads=no. If the library required for threads lives in a peculiar place, you can use --with-thread=DIRECTORY. IMPORTANT: run "make clean" after changing (either enabling or disabling) this option, or you will get link errors! Note: for DEC Unix use --with-dec-threads instead.
--with-sgi-dl: On SGI IRIX 4, dynamic loading of extension modules is
supported by the "dl" library by Jack Jansen, which is ftp'able from ftp://ftp.cwi.nl/pub/dynload/dl-1.6.tar.Z. This is enabled (after you've ftp'ed and compiled the dl library) by passing --with-sgi-dl=DIRECTORY where DIRECTORY is the absolute pathname of the dl library. (Don't bother on IRIX 5, it already has dynamic linking using SunOS style shared libraries.) Support for this feature is deprecated.
--with-dl-dld: Dynamic loading of modules is rumored to be supported
on some other systems: VAX (Ultrix), Sun3 (SunOS 3.4), Sequent Symmetry (Dynix), and Atari ST. This is done using a combination of the GNU dynamic loading package (ftp://ftp.cwi.nl/pub/dynload/dl-dld-1.1.tar.Z) and an emulation of the SGI dl library mentioned above (the emulation can be found at ftp://ftp.cwi.nl/pub/dynload/dld-3.2.3.tar.Z). To enable this, ftp and compile both libraries, then call configure, passing it the option --with-dl-dld=DL_DIRECTORY,DLD_DIRECTORY where DL_DIRECTORY is the absolute pathname of the dl emulation library and DLD_DIRECTORY is the absolute pathname of the GNU dld library. (Don't bother on SunOS 4 or 5, they already have dynamic linking using shared libraries.) Support for this feature is deprecated.
--with-libm, --with-libc: It is possible to specify alternative
versions for the Math library (default -lm) and the C library (default the empty string) using the options --with-libm=STRING and --with-libc=STRING, respectively. For example, if your system requires that you pass -lc_s to the C compiler to use the shared C library, you can pass --with-libc=-lc_s. These libraries are passed after all other libraries, the C library last.
--with-next-archs='arch1 arch2': Under NEXTSTEP, this will build
all compiled binaries with the architectures listed. This will also correctly set the target architecture-specific resource directory. (This option is not supported on other platforms.)
--with-libs='libs': Add 'libs' to the LIBS that the python interpreter
is linked against.
--with-cxx=<compiler>: Some C++ compilers require that main() is
compiled with the C++ if there is any C++ code in the application. Specifically, g++ on a.out systems may require that to support construction of global objects. With this option, the main() function of Python will be compiled with <compiler>; use that only if you plan to use C++ extension modules, and if your compiler requires compilation of main() as a C++ program.
--with-pydebug: Enable additional debugging code to help track down
memory management problems. This allows printing a list of all live objects when the interpreter terminates.

Building for multiple architectures (using the VPATH feature)

If your file system is shared between multiple architectures, it usually is not necessary to make copies of the sources for each architecture you want to support. If the make program supports the VPATH feature, you can create an empty build directory for each architecture, and in each directory run the configure script (on the appropriate machine with the appropriate options). This creates the necessary subdirectories and the Makefiles therein. The Makefiles contain a line VPATH=... which points to a directory containing the actual sources. (On SGI systems, use "smake -J1" instead of "make" if you use VPATH -- don't try gnumake.)

For example, the following is all you need to build a minimal Python in /usr/tmp/python (assuming ~guido/src/python is the toplevel directory and you want to build in /usr/tmp/python):

$ mkdir /usr/tmp/python $ cd /usr/tmp/python $ ~guido/src/python/configure [...] $ make [...] $

Note that configure copies the original Setup file to the build directory if it finds no Setup file there. This means that you can edit the Setup file for each architecture independently. For this reason, subsequent changes to the original Setup file are not tracked automatically, as they might overwrite local changes. To force a copy of a changed original Setup file, delete the target Setup file. (The makesetup script supports multiple input files, so if you want to be fancy you can change the rules to create an empty Setup.local if it doesn't exist and run it with arguments $(srcdir)/Setup Setup.local; however this assumes that you only need to add modules.)

Building on non-UNIX systems

For Windows (2000/NT/ME/98/95), assuming you have MS VC++ 6.0, the project files are in PCbuild, the workspace is pcbuild.dsw. See PCbuildreadme.txt for detailed instructions.

For other non-Unix Windows compilers, in particular Windows 3.1 and for OS/2, enter the directory "PC" and read the file "readme.txt".

For the Mac, a separate source distribution will be made available, for use with the CodeWarrior compiler. If you are interested in Mac development, join the PythonMac Special Interest Group (http://www.python.org/sigs/pythonmac-sig/, or send email to pythonmac-sig-request@python.org).

Of course, there are also binary distributions available for these platforms -- see http://www.python.org/.

To port Python to a new non-UNIX system, you will have to fake the effect of running the configure script manually (for Mac and PC, this has already been done for you). A good start is to copy the file config.h.in to config.h and edit the latter to reflect the actual configuration of your system. Most symbols must simply be defined as 1 only if the corresponding feature is present and can be left alone otherwise; however the *_t type symbols must be defined as some variant of int if they need to be defined at all.

Miscellaneous issues

Emacs mode

There's an excellent Emacs editing mode for Python code; see the file Misc/python-mode.el. Originally written by the famous Tim Peters, it is now maintained by the equally famous Barry Warsaw (it's no coincidence that they now both work on the same team). The latest version, along with various other contributed Python-related Emacs goodies, is online at http://www.python.org/emacs/python-mode. And if you are planning to edit the Python C code, please pick up the latest version of CC Mode http://www.python.org/emacs/cc-mode; it contains a "python" style used throughout most of the Python C source files. (Newer versions of Emacs or XEmacs may already come with the latest version of python-mode.)

The Tk interface

Tk (the user interface component of John Ousterhout's Tcl language) is also usable from Python. Since this requires that you first build and install Tcl/Tk, the Tk interface is not enabled by default when building Python from source. Python supports Tcl/Tk version 8.0 and higher.

See http://dev.ajubasolutions.com/ for more info on Tcl/Tk, including the on-line manual pages.

To enable the Python/Tk interface, once you've built and installed Tcl/Tk, load the file Modules/Setup into your favorite text editor and search for the string "_tkinter". Then follow the instructions found there. If you have installed Tcl/Tk or X11 in unusual places, you will have to edit the first line to fix or add the -I and -L options. (Also see the general instructions at the top of that file.)

For more Tkinter information, see the Tkinter Resource page: http://www.python.org/topics/tkinter/

There are demos in the Demo/tkinter directory, in the subdirectories guido, matt and www (the matt and guido subdirectories have been overhauled to use more recent Tkinter coding conventions).

Note that there's a Python module called "Tkinter" (capital T) which lives in Lib/lib-tk/Tkinter.py, and a C module called "_tkinter" (lower case t and leading underscore) which lives in Modules/_tkinter.c. Demos and normal Tk applications import only the Python Tkinter module -- the latter uses the C _tkinter module directly. In order to find the C _tkinter module, it must be compiled and linked into the Python interpreter -- the _tkinter line in the Setup file does this. In order to find the Python Tkinter module, sys.path must be set correctly -- the TKPATH assignment in the Setup file takes care of this, but only if you install Python properly ("make install libinstall"). (You can also use dynamic loading for the C _tkinter module, in which case you must manually fix up sys.path or set $PYTHONPATH for the Python Tkinter module.)

Distribution structure

Most subdirectories have their own README files. Most files have comments.

.cvsignore Additional filename matching patterns for CVS to ignore BeOS/ Files specific to the BeOS port Demo/ Demonstration scripts, modules and programs Doc/ Documentation sources (LaTeX) Grammar/ Input for the parser generator Include/ Public header files LICENSE Licensing information Lib/ Python library modules Makefile.pre.in Source from which config.status creates the Makefile.pre Misc/ Miscellaneous useful files Modules/ Implementation of most built-in modules Objects/ Implementation of most built-in object types PC/ Files specific to PC ports (DOS, Windows, OS/2) PCbuild/ Build directory for Microsoft Visual C++ Parser/ The parser and tokenizer and their input handling Python/ The byte-compiler and interpreter README The file you're reading now Tools/ Some useful programs written in Python acconfig.h Additional input for the GNU autoheader program config.h.in Source from which config.h is created (GNU autoheader output) configure Configuration shell script (GNU autoconf output) configure.in Configuration specification (input for GNU autoconf) install-sh Shell script used to install files

The following files will (may) be created in the toplevel directory by the configuration and build processes:

Makefile Build rules Makefile.pre Build rules before running Modules/makesetup buildno Keeps track of the build number config.cache Cache of configuration variables config.h Configuration header config.log Log from last configure run config.status Status from last run of the configure script getbuildinfo.o Object file from Modules/getbuildinfo.c libpython<version>.a The library archive python The executable interpreter tags, TAGS Tags files for vi and Emacs

That's all, folks!

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)