C or Cython Extensions¶
Astropy supports using C extensions for wrapping C libraries and Cython for
speeding up computationally-intensive calculations. Both Cython and C extension
building can be customized using the
get_extensions function of the
setup_package.py file. If defined, this function must return a list of
distutils.core.Extension objects. The creation process is left to the
subpackage designer, and can be customized however is relevant for the
extensions in the subpackage.
While C extensions must always be defined through the
mechanism, Cython files (ending in
.pyx) are automatically located
by extension-helpers and
loaded in separate extensions if they are not in
Cython extensions located in this way, headers for numpy C functions are
included in the build, but no other external headers are included.
files present in the extensions returned by
get_extensions are not
included in the list of automatically generated extensions.
Extension object is provided for Cython
source files using the
get_extensions mechanism, it is very
important that the
.pyx files be given as the
source, rather than the
.c files generated by Cython.
Using Numpy C headers¶
If your C or Cython extensions uses
numpy at the C level, you probably
need access to the numpy C headers. When doing this, you should use
numpy.get_include() to specify the include directory to use, for example:
from distutils.extension import Extension import numpy def get_extensions(): return Extension(name='myextension', sources=['myext.c'], include_dirs=[numpy.get_include()])
Installing C header files¶
If your C extension needs to be linked from other third-party C code, you probably want to install its header files along side the Python module.
includedirectory inside of your package for all of the header files.
[options.package_data]section in your
setup.cfgfile to include those header files in the package. For example, the
astropy.wcspackage has the following entries in the
[options.package_data]section:[options.package_data] ... astropy.wcs = include/*/*.h ...
Preventing importing at build time¶
It is important to make sure that
setup_package.py files do not trigger an
import of the package they are in - so they should be able to be executed without
relying on imports to other parts of the package.
Speed up your builds with ccache¶
ccache is a tool that caches compiled sources so that they don’t have to be recompiled (so long as they are unchanged) even if the outputs have been deleted. This means that if you switch branches or clean your source checkout you can save a lot of time by avoiding the majority of re-compiles from scratch.
Because installation and configuration of ccache varies from platform to platform, please consult the ccache documentation and/or Google to set up ccache on your system–this is strongly encouraged for anyone doing significant development of Astropy or scientific programming in general.