why does matplotlib require numarray?

Do you mean me? If so, I'm not sure, what I've objected to

    > a lot are two things: procedural, rather than OO style; and
    > compatibility with Matlab, rather than Python. Magic is OK,
    > as long as it's easily over-written. In this case, as long
    > as I can do:

OK, my bad. I was confusing your criticism of the procedural style of
the pylab interface with others criticism of the magic. Both are
valid, and both need to be able to be "turned off' which the OO
interface does...

    > I'm not the OP, but I got the impression that his
    > .matplotlibrc had numarray in it, even though it was not
    > installed, and he hadn't edited it, so there was a mistake
    > somewhere. Where, I don't know.

I don't think that's likely, unless was using an STScI matplotlib OS X
distribution, which I think they ship, or did ship at one point.