I spent hours looking for a solution to Why is this autogen.sh script failing?
as it was the same problem I had. Other posts (not in stackexchange) gave me a clue to the problem, and the answer was the missing macros in gettext-tools (a strange place to hide them, and easy for autoconfig to overlook) so having fixed the problem on my machine, I went back and answered the question.
got flamed cant post the answer however was right.
am I missing a secret handshake? can I check a downgrade is warranted?
for the record i've been writing my own software for 40 years