[Numpy-discussion] Can we change how fortran compiler version strings are handled?!

Brian Granger ellisonbg.net at gmail.com
Thu Dec 14 19:06:14 CST 2006


I have been doing quite a bit of numpy evangelism here at my work and
slowly people are starting to use it.  One of the main things people
are interested in is f2py.  But, I am finding that there is one
persistent problem that keeps coming up when people try to install
numpy on various systems:

In three cases I have found that numpy failed to find and use a
fortran compiler because the version string didn't match what was
hardcoded into numpy.distutils.  The reality is that version strings
are in no way "standardized".  In the most recent cases, we had a
version of the lahey compiler that had the extra word "Express" and in
another case, the xlf version string on a supercomputer was completely
different.  What is crazy to me is that this simple mismatch prevents
numpy from even trying the compiler.

Can we please change how Numpy handles the version string of fortran
compilers?  My suggestion would be to simply print the version string,
but to attempt to use the compiler no matter what the version string
is.  That way, the success or failure of using the fortran compiler
will be determined by the actual compiler, not its version string.
There could be some other smart way of handling this, but I think it
should be dealt with to make the installation process easier.  I am
willing to work up a patch if there is agreement on what should be

Oh, the other difficult thing is that in the current arrangement,
numpy.distutils doesn't print an error message that is easy to debug.
It just silently does find the compiler rather than saying why.



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