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aclocal, automake, autoconf, and CVS

I'm not sure how all of these work together, but I know that at least some
of the subjects in the title are a part of my problem:

I've been trying to install gnome and enlightenment via CVS.  And for the
most part, it's worked!  The download was a breeze, and installation was
possible after a fashion.

But almost every time I've tried to run ./, I've run into the
following type of error:
capples/url-properties/ variable `GNOME_LIBDIR' not defined
now the specific changes and the variable switches from
GNOMEUI_LIBS to INTLLIBS to GTKXHTML_LIBS, but I don't think it should
matter because as far as I know, I've installed all the appropriate
packages (heck, now that I've got everything up and running, I'm *sure*
I've got the packages, I just wanted to use CVS to update) and so I don't
know why I should get these errors.

Also, autoconf gives me the following types of errors:
Undefined macros: linking is not available on this
platform. Some[AC_MSG_WARN([*** \`esd-manager' will not be built ***])])
and so on.  

Then afterwards runs configure, which inevitably claims it's
found an unexpected token ("AM_CONFIG_HEADER(config.h)" or the like).
Does this combination of problems scream out an obvious answer to anyone?