Why is PyExpat not in the Python 2.3 package?

Mike Brown mike at skew.org
Mon Nov 3 11:58:36 PST 2003

We have a complaint about the Python 2.3 package, e.g. the one dated Oct 30 at

The problem is that the package apparently does not include PyExpat. Starting
with Python 2.3, Python ships with its *own* Expat (1.95.6) C libs and
corresponding PyExpat bindings, so there is no longer a dependency on external
libs for this, contrary to what the package's post-install message says. That
dependency should only be effective for Python 2.2.x and prior.

In our opinion, there is no need to omit XML support from the build. In fact,
developers of XML applications for Python 2.3 and up are going to be
surprised, as we were, at the failure of, say, xml.sax.make_parser() when
using what we thought would be a stock Python 2.3 installed from the packages
collection on FreeBSD.

The presence of Expat is expected because it is now part of the core of
Python, in a default build. Distributing Python without it is like
distributing Python without distutils. I mean, sure, you can do it, but it's
not the default, and there seems to be no good reason not to include it. Is

TIA for whatever attention to this issue you can provide.

Respectfully -

    Mike Brown, core developer for 4Suite
  Jeremy Kloth, core developer for 4Suite, PyXML

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