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Note the script in
which is there because to compile the CSL version of Reduce from scratch you need a load of tools and libraries installed, and in particular you need the DEVELOPMENT bits of libraries. Eg on some linux systems you may need to install a package ncurses-devel not merely ncurses. The above script is an attempt to check for at least the most important such things and it stops abruptly with what is (I hope) an informative message if it finds something missing. By being smaller and more self-contained than the main configure scripts it may be cheaper and easier to work with.
While I am mentioning such things, it seems that to fully regenerate the autoconf scripts you need autoconf at least 2.61 and libtool at least 2.2.4 (no I have not checked exactly what changes are the critical ones) so I have upgraded the scripts etc to check for that much more cerefully than I used to, and if those are not in place the system may still survive I hope!