At present all people buliding matplotlib on Mac OS X must edit
setupext.py. I have modified setupext.py to make it work with Mac OS X
(“darwin”) for Apple’s python, python.org python and presumably Homebrew
python (since that uses /usr/local).
I’ve never actually edited setupext.py in order to build matplotlib using Apple’s python, and it has never been a problem for me. I guess it’s because system python uses the standard include locations (unlike fink and macports).