[mod_python] Help installing mod_python on OS X Leopard

Graham Dumpleton graham.dumpleton at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 19:17:36 EDT 2009

2009/7/24 Scott Zetlan <scott at zetlan.net>:
> On Jul 22, 2009, at 9:07 PM, Graham Dumpleton wrote:
>> You are not doing anything wrong, even the mod_python code in
>> subversion trunk is now not likely to build properly on newer MacOS X
>> versions, especially with MacPorts and newer Python versions.
>> My first question would be whether you really need to use mod_python?
> I suppose not, but the development team I'm working with has a strong
> preference for python server pages for a particular project, and the
> creative team handling the front-end interface all uses Macs.  So getting a
> consolidated environment together on a single platform the creative staff
> can use is a priority.  I'm betting the development team could learn WSGI,
> but it's unknown whether the production platform supports it.

You don't need to learn WSGI, there are plenty of Python web
frameworks out there that talk WSGI but then present you with a more
usable interface. These days there are also much better and much more
powerful options to PSP.

> I'm unclear on the future of mod_python -- are you saying that it's going
> away,

There has been no release for a number of years and bo one is actively
maintaining it. The last official release will no longer build on
latest Apache versions and packages are only available for Linux boxes
because Linux package maintainers are patching it in order to get it
to compile. The last official result will also not build properly on
MacOS X Leopard if using Apple's own Apache, or with certain versions
of both fink and MacPorts Python, plus self compiled Python
installations. The last official release also has bugs in PSP
functionality in area of module importing and module search paths.

In other words, the software rot is definitely kicking in and it has
an uncertain future at the moment. No one with any sort of proven
track record of use of mod_python or Apache module knowledge has
stepped up to take over and because of rules for ASF projects, not
even sure how maintenance of the project could even be transitioned
over to anyone as still wouldn't have enough people to satisfy voting
requirements as set down by ASF for release.

The mod_python project does in many respects already classify for
being pushed into the ASF project attic as found at:


This is where unmaintained ASF projects go to die, or wait until
someone else picks them up and starts looking after them.

> and being replaced (sort of) by mod_wsgi?

For hosting of high level Python web applications or toolkits, the
answer is arguably yes. The mod_python module should only really be
required if you absolutely needing a way of hooking into Apache
handler phases or filtering system.

> If so, then it would
> probably be foolish to start any new projects using PSP.

I'd suggest that using PSP shouldn't be your first option. Similarly,
would not be recommending use of mod_python.publisher either. For long
term survival and maintainability of your code, you would be much
better off looking at any of the WSGI toolkits or frameworks. The more
prominent ones worth looking at are Werkzeug, Django, Pylons and
TurboGears. There are many others besides these though and which you
might use depends on whether you want a toolkit or a full blown web


>> If you are using a Python web application that supports WSGI, you
>> would be better off using mod_wsgi as it has sorted out all these
>> build issues for newest MacOS X versions and Python installations.
>> Even then for certain combinations, and if wanting to use mod_wsgi
>> 2.X, as opposed to mod_wsgi 3.0 release candidates, you need to drag
>> down configure/Makefile from subversion repository to get it to build.
>> There will be a mod_wsgi 2.6 which has more MacOS X build fixes soon
>> though.

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