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Python2 and Python3 checks

From: Matěj Týč
Subject: Python2 and Python3 checks
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 17:49:36 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.6.0


there is a Python autoconf support macro in automake AM_PATH_PYTHON that can be used to find Python interpreters.

The problem of this macro is that it treats Python versions in a linear manner - if I write that I want Python >= 2.7 on a machine that has Python 2.6 and Python 3.1, I probably want the rule to fail, not to assert that 3.1 >= 2.7, so it will pick this Python 3.1.

On a related note, a C library may build bindings for Python2 and for Python3, so in general, it seems to be a good idea to output results for more Python versions. Like to provide PYTHON2 and PYTHON3 instead of just PYTHON if the users desires so. My next observation is that in, one can use the foo_PYTHON to ensure special treatment of Python files during the installation s.a. compilation (and maybe something else?). I think that if I want to install bindings for Python2 and Python3, each of them should be compiled with the interpreter of the corresponding major version.

The question stands like this: Is there a demand on automake side to fix this issue - to allow developers addressing multiple Python interpreters of different major versions? If so, I think that I can come up with some patches to get this working.

Best regards,
Matej Tyc

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