For one of the many usual reasons, I had to wipe my c:\ hard drive and re-install Vista Home Premium and all my software.
Specifically, I followed the directions in http://www.gimpusers.com/tutorials/install-python-for-gimp-2-6-windows.html to get Python-Fu working again -- NOT!
The first recommended step is to get Python 2.6. The hot link from the above page to http://python.org/download/releases/ vectors you to the Python 2.6.7 page whence you can get ONLY the source code for the latest revision of Python 2.6. Well I don't know how to compile C++ code but I did search Google for "Python 2.6" and found http://www.python.org/download/releases/2.6.6/ which allowed me to download python-2.6.6.msi which seemed to install Python in c:\Phthon26.
Going back to the GimpUsers tutorial, I next hotlinked to PyGTK Downloads at http://www.pygtk.org/downloads.html and tried to install the recommended all-in-one installer: pygtk-all-in-one-2.24.0.win32-py2.6.msi. Alas, it bombed out because something that whomever put the installer package together was supposed to set in some table somewhere, TARGETDIR, was somehow wonky. Well, that was way over my pay-grade so I fell back on getting PyGTK, PyCairo, and PyGObject from:
http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/binaries/win32/pygtk/2.24/ - pygtk-2.24.0.win32-py2.6.exe
http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/binaries/win32/pycairo/1.8/ - pycairo-1.8.10.win32-py2.6.exe
http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/binaries/win32/pygobject/2.28/ - pygobject-2.8.3.win32-py2.6.exe
They installed just fine. Then I re-installed GIMP as per the tutorial. But when I tried to run GIMP, I got a zillion error messages, all saying that "The procedure entry point g_malloc_n could not be located in the dynamic link library libglib-2.0.0.dll." followed by Microsoft Windows saying that "unsharp-mask.exe has stopped working." Followed by the same error message for softglow.exe, etc., etc. I gave up and used Task Manager to shut down the GIMP installer.
I suspect I am in the well-known "DLL hell." Firstly it is my dim understanding that some DLLs do not, in fact, contain executable code and contain, instead, just "pointers" to who-knows-what, who-knows-where. Secondly, as DLLs got updated by who-knows-whom, this or that program, that used a common DLL, needed this or that prior revision of the DLL -- which turned out to be a huge mess (hence the term "DLL hell"). Which problem was "cured" in Vista by simply saving EVERY version of EVERYTHING in a huge hidden file.
The Python people are up to version 3.7 or so and we GIMPers are still using version 2.6. I tried as hard as I could to get all the right versions of Python, PyGTK, PyCairo, and PyGOject. Python-fu usta-did-work for me before my re-install. Can anybody tell me where I went wrong and what I should install instead of the above and/or what to do about the DLL(s) in the error message? HELP!