On Sun, Dec 14, 2008 at 8:12 AM, Sandro Tosi <morph@debian.org> wrote:
while preparing the debian package update for 0.98.5 I went thru a
problem: we remove doc/mpl_data/matplotlibrc because it will be
modified (to change backend (that now is set to MacOSX in the tarball
distributed..?)) and up to now it wasn't used.

Now, doc/make.py fails because of

 shutil.copy('mpl_data/matplotlibrc', '_static/matplotlibrc')

So, can we use another 'matplotlibrc' file or the one in doc/mpl_data
has something specific to doc and needs to maintained?

The default matplotlibrc file in mpl-data/ is created by setup.py during the build process. The default backend is selected according to which gui toolkits are available, and defaults to Agg if no supported toolkit is available. setup.py only selects the macosx backend if the build is being performed on a macosx system. The source tarball is apparently prepared on a Mac, but I dont think it matters that the source dist contains this platform-specific backend, since the file will be overwritten with more appropriate settings anyway when you run setup.py build.

It would really be best to not remove the file that is created as a result of running setup.py build. The mpl documentation suggests users to copy this file into their ~/.matplotlib/ or wherever if they want to modify the default properties, and it contains some documentation for each of the settings.

On the other hand, if you are running setup.py build and the resulting matplotlibrc file still says the default backend is macosx, and you are not running macosx, and you have configured setup.cfg to set some other default backend, then it is a bug that needs to be fixed.