Hmmm. Was it ever? And why is this necessary? Is it so extensions can link against Python.dll, or is it something else?
Anyone out there been following the recent CVS tumult and trying to build stuff on Windows?
Thomas (or anyone else on a Windows box with access to the anonymous CVS tree), if you're feeling hardy, you could try rolling back the command/build_ext.py file one revision at a time until either 1) the problem goes away or 2) things blow up horribly because of other incompatibilities. If #2 occurs, try rolling back all of Distutils a week at a time, or maybe 2-3 days at a time. Let me know if you want help with the CVS trickery to do this. The problem occurred after cvs revision 1.24 of build_ext.py.
Don't know about unix, but on Windows extensions must be linked against python15.lib (or python15_d.lib if building debug versions). The names of the libraries do not need to be supplied on the command line, they are built with compiler pragmas into the object-files. However they must be found, so the directory must be included in the library search path.
msvccompiler.__init__ (on line 162) does this: self.add_library_dir( os.path.join( sys.exec_prefix, 'libs' ) )
(If I understood distutils design philosophy correctly, this probably belongs into build_ext, because it is python extension specific, on the other hand, it may be NT specific).
This dir is later overwritten in ccompiler.set_library_dirs(), which is called from build_ext, line 185: if self.library_dirs is not None: self.compiler.set_library_dirs (self.library_dirs)
Some lines above (line 146) I find the following code:
# Simplify the following logic (eg. don't have to worry about # appending to None) if self.libraries is None: self.libraries =  if self.library_dirs is None: self.library_dirs =  if self.rpath is None: self.rpath = 
So, if I change the code around line 185 to: if self.library_dirs: self.compiler.set_library_dirs (self.library_dirs) then it works because no library_dirs are specified in the setup_script or from the command line, but IMO the bug is still there. I'll leave it up to you to find the correct fix for this. BTW: Another small bug in build_ext.py: self.build_extensions() should be self.build_extensions (self.extensions)