On 06 July 2000, Paul F. Dubois said:
This version REQUIRES the new Distutils. If you install Distutils into 1.6a2, remember (which I didn't at first) to go delete the distutils directory in the Python library directory. If you don't you will get a message while running setup informing you that your Distutils must be updated.
The "Official Recommendation" is just to rename that directory away: that way you'll have (eg.) lib/python1.6/distutils-orig and lib/python1.6/site-packages/distutils, and the site-packages version will take precedence without having clobbered the standard library too badly. See the Distutils README.txt.
The alternative was support in the Distutils for replacing/upgrading bits of the standard library; Guido was, shall we say, non-receptive to that idea. Oh well.
This CVS version also separates out LAPACK/BLAS so that using the "lite" version of the libraries supplied with numpy is now optional. A small attempt is made to find the library or the user can edit setup.py to set the locations if that fails.
Oh good, does that mean it'll take less than 20 minutes to compile NumPy on my pokey old 100 MHz Pentium? ;-)