It turns out that temporarily renaming conflicting dll
> that lives in the windows/system32 folder was the right
> thing to do. Renaming that dll to dll.off prevents it from
> being accessed and GTK works.
Glad you got something working.
> Now I just have to wait for the offending program to
> complain. Then, the dll that I renamed can be moved to the
> folder containing the .exe file. The final step is to
> contact the offending software company and complain about
> their 3rd party dll's in the system32 folder.
It is hard to get the various gtk for win32 packages working together
for this reason.
> The guy who takes care of the windows port of GTK tells me
> that these dll conflicts are very common. It might be
> worth discussing on the matplotlib windows quickstart
It's in the FAQ http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/faq.html#GTKPATH. I
updated the quickstart instructions to provide a link to the FAQ in
case people have trouble.