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autoconf issues [often when upgrading from 2.13->2.53a]


I've been experiencing some strange problems with the autotools as of
late.  First, let me tell you what I have installed.  I have updated to
the latest version of all the autotools and wrapper scripts.  I've been
working on a few packages which required re-autotoolizing to the latest
versions to support shared dll's.  The problem is that lately, many of the
packages get petulant when I try to pass options to them.  

For example:
./configure --prefix=/usr ... --enable-shared

will return:
shared: invalid feature name

I've looked on google and I've check the mailing lists, but I can't seem
to get a definitive answer on what might cause this to happen.  I tried to
follow the autotools script, but it isn't the easiest thing to unravel. 
To get around this, I have to manually edit the configure file and remove
the 3 lines that do the validity test.  I don't think this is the proper
solution, in the long run.  So, my hope is that someone has experienced
this lately and can clue me in on a good way isolate what is causing this.
 I might note that this behaviour started happening after I upgraded to
automake-1.6.2, but I can't say for sure that this is the cause of my
woes.  I wanted to atleast see if anyone else is aware of this on cygwin
before I go posting to the autoconf list.  Maybe I'm not thinking too
clearly and have been working too hard on one of my packages, but this is
driving me crazy.  Any helpful pointers or references to some
documentation I might have missed would be greatly appreciated.


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