This post is being written from the Rochester edition of the National Day of Civic Hacking hackathon.
I've been doing a lot of things with pygal lately. It's a really neat tool for making SVG graphs in python. One 'problem' is that it needs lxml, and that has C extensions that need to be compiled. This isn't too bad, though sometimes it makes me stop and install a compiler. The real problem is the external header files it needs to compile.
NOTE: this blog post is entirely the result of my own laziness. Had I simply perused the documentation, I would have found this much sooner. Thus, this post is solely a marker of my own eagerness to get things running quickly.
After I was asked for the third time how to install lxml, I finally decided I would figure out how it works so it could be done properly. I did find out what the needed package was, but I also found that if the shell variable STATIC_DEPS=true was set prior to installation, lxml would seek out and download its requirements for you. I don't know how legitimate this is for a Python install, but it was certainly quite useful for me and the others trying to use lxml. It even works inside a virtualenv, though I don't know why it wouldn't.