In a rather unceremonious way - Apple has removed Python support (at least from the SDK) in 10.9.

Python IS still installed on the system in...


but trying to link to it under the 10.9 SDK fails. Even with the "CLI Tools" installed, there is no Python in...


I'm no Pythonista... but I do find it interesting that Apple has removed a part of the Developer Toolchain that has been around for so long, and was once so promising (on the Mac platform). Apple often tries to steer the focus towards certain "methodologies"; but historically, when the plug has been pulled - it's over - at least in Apple's eye.

Is this a statement by Apple, along the lines "People aren't using Python very much anymore.. we're gonna phase out support"?

Or simply, "Adoption of PyObjC is anemic, maybe we can reduce the size of the SDK by 3.1Mb"?

Whatever the motivation, it's likely a change that is here to stay. Are there suggestions on workarounds to maintain compile and runtime-compatibility, or insights into why the decision was made?

  • 3
    If that's Apple's intent ("People aren't using Python very much anymore.."), it's a very weird one. Python seems to be more popular now than ever.
    – Izkata
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 19:34
  • 1
    I agree it's weird.. but other technologies have stolen some of Python's "bite", notably JS.. which has been noticeably "embraced" by Apple in 10.9 (JavaScriptCore, etc)...
    – alex gray
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 20:07
  • Well in the past there seemed to be an interest in official support of MacRuby. Don't have a mac anymore or know if its been done or if that was just rumors.
    – Rig
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 20:29
  • 1
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a product decision that Apple made.
    – Jim G.
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 22:55
  • @JimG. When I asked myself the question.. the only answer I had... was that this was the perfect place to ask it, lol. But your comment made me realize that my original question has been needlessly edited - and bears little resemblance to what I actually said. Rolling back!
    – alex gray
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 23:09

1 Answer 1


There is an official support page on the subject:

Changes To Embedding Python Using Xcode 5.0

According to that page the rationale is:

Because Python is a framework, it also resides in the SDK, even though Python (or any scripting language) has difficulties being in two places. Due to both long-term and recent issues, it was decided to remove Python from the SDK.

The subsequent Apple recommendation is to use the standard *nix way of linking to headers instead of linking to Python.framework.

  • Apple's response that Python is a framework seems like they might need a technical writer review. I've never heard a language referred to as a framework. Especially when the next line declares it a language.
    – Rig
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 23:25
  • 5
    @Rig: I suspect that they say "Python is a framework" as a short-hand way of saying "Python is packaged in a framework bundle." (Which is what is written above, in the same article) - the reason for that being that the word "framework" is only used in that page as a synonym for "framework bundle".
    – jhominal
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 23:31

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