bdist_wininst uses the mbcs encoding which is only available on Windows. There is an issue open for 8 years to suggest to use UTF-8 or use the Unicode (wide character) flavor of the Windows API to support running bdist_wininst on non-Windows platforms and to be able to distribute binaries which don’t depend on the ANSI code page: https://bugs.python.org/issue10945
When I look at numpy or Cython: they don’t distribute .exe installers, but binary wheel packages for Windows. I understood the wheel packages is the recommended way to distribute binaries on Windows, and so that bdist_wininst is kind of deprecated.
Does anyone still use bdist_wininst?
Can we start to deprecate bdist_wininst in Python 3.9, and maybe remove it later? The removal can be discussed later.
I would simply suggest to not use bdist_wininst because of its implementation issues, but also because it’s annoying to have to run a GUI to install something, whereas pip can install dependencies in a CLI transparently without buggy the user with dialog boxes.