The first problem, before even running the configure script, is that one of the authors, François Pinard, puts his name in the source code in ISO-8859-1 encoding. It needs to be specified when generating gettext .po files. Edit the file po/Makefile.in.in, find the line that reads something like this:
$(srcdir)/$(PACKAGE).pot: $(POTFILES) $(XGETTEXT) --default-domain=$(PACKAGE) --directory=$(top_srcdir) \ --add-comments --keyword=_ --keyword=N_ \And add another option,
Next, please make sure you have GNU sed installed, and make sure it's in the path searched before the stock /usr/bin/sed, which hangs on processing po/tar.pot file because of the alien character set.
Then, the configure script suffers a problem where .dSYM extension causes gcc to think that it's building a bundle. But it is not. It prevents configure script to detect many functions as present, which makes use of the lib/ compatibility functions. This leads to some catastrophic results (prototype not entirely compatible, conflicting qualifiers, etc.). The fix is to add ac_cv_exeext='' before the configure invocation:
ac_cv_exeext='' configure --prefix=... --program-transform-name=s,tar,hfstar,And the usual make, make install should work.