[Ping Python maintainer]: enhancement request

Christopher Faylor cgf-use-the-mailinglist-please@cygwin.com
Tue May 1 14:21:00 GMT 2007

On Tue, May 01, 2007 at 09:59:24AM -0400, Charles Wilson wrote:
>Christopher Faylor wrote:
>>Before you do this, I have a question.  Why is this important now when 
>>apparently been doing this for many years?  This isn't the only package 
>>makes symlinks to executables.  And, since, AFAIK, setup.exe doesn't 
>>hard links it means that you really do have to make a copy.  If you make a 
>>you stand the chance of having python.exe out of sync with the thing that 
>>it is
>>supposed to be pointing to.
>>If it was a general Cygwin policy to always make copies, I could see 
>>Python.  But, again, since it isn't, I don't see why python should be 
>Because python is a command interpreter, and therefore likely to be 
>invoked directly from the windows environment -- unlike, say, egrep. 
>Similarly, sh.exe is a copy of bash.exe (and used to be a copy of 
>ash.exe) -- and not a symlink.

I really don't think it's more likely for python to be invoked from the
MS-DOS command line than it is for egrep.  I think it would be quite the
reverse in fact.  I very rarely invoke python or perl as anything other
than a #! script but I use grep every day from the command line and in

And, of course, how often have we seen cases where sh.exe was
"inexplicably" not the right version?

>I think this copy (or hardlink) should be performed by a postinstall 
>script -- again, just like sh.exe is updated by bash packages.

We'll have to agree to disagree then.  I think a postinstall step for
this is a band-aid.  If a hard link is required (and I'm not convinced
that it is) then it's time to bite the bullet and implement it in
setup.exe.  I think it's especially bad for python since the whole
reason for the symlink is to allow a versioned python and you lose that
information with a post-install step.

OTOH, I still don't see any reason not to tell people "you have to run
bash first if you want to use python".  I believe that the vast majority
of people who use Cygwin always invoke click on the cygwin icon and, so,
would never even notice this.


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