Yes, you just need bash... a bunch of core utils... and one heck of a lot of time and
Autotools is a nightmare for any non-trivial task (speaking as an ex-release-engineer). How
many different autoconfs do they ship with Debian now? Three? Four? How much time has been
lost to otherwise rational people being forced to wade through impenetrable shell scripts?
I really look forward to the day that standardization comes to packaging. I doubt that it
will involve autotools though!