freetype2 and Mac OS X

I am preparing to install matplotlib on a Mac OS X system

    > (10.3.4). The installation page says I need to install
    > freetype2.

    > I already have Apple's X11 and X11sdk. I noticed that
    > /usr/X11R6/lib contains libfreetype.a and
    > libfreetype.dylib (the latter is a pointer to
    > libfreetype.6.3.dylib).

    > Is this what I need? If so, how do I tell matplotlib to
    > use it?

In, there is a dictionary called basedirs, whose keys are
your sys.platform and values are a list of base dirs to search for
includes. libraries etc. That is how you set it.

    > Also, if this is the same thing, any idea what "6.3"
    > means in libfreetype.6.3.dylib? The tar file I got from
    > the freetype web site is named freetype-2.1.9.tar, so it
    > doesn't appear to make sense as a version number.

I think you'll have the greatest chance of success if you compile
zlib, libpng and freetype2 from src and install them to /usr/local,
and then make sure /usr/local is in your basedirs path, preferably
before any fink stuff. If you do that, and make sure you have a
working X11 and GUI backend installed (if you want a GUI, you'll need
a working Tkinter, pygtk or wxpython), then your install should go
fairly smoothly).

There have been a number of posts on the users and development mailing
lists posting build notes for OS X. Unfortunately, the sourceforge
mailing list search capability is about the worst I've ever seen.
Here's one link -
[gst-daily] GStreamer autobuild | GStreamer.

I have an darwin laptop and managed to get every backend installed,
including gtkagg. I had to install all the gtk components from src,
piece-by-piece. I initially used fink but kept getting stuck at
various points (gtk, scipy) and eventually gave up and went old
school, doing everything from src. If you are a fink user and don't
need the latest features, I believe there is a matplotlib fink
package; google for matplotlib fink.

Good luck, please post your compile notes with success and complaints