Just as a data point.
A lot of autoconf projects (the ones that made "./configure; make; make
install" famous) don't just run like that from a checkout, but they are
never more than 2 steps away from that.
The process for a checkout is usually more like
"./autoconf; ./automake; ./configure; make; make install"
My point is: I don't think there's anything wrong in the install
procedure being different between the checkout and the tarball, but it
should never take more than a couple of fixed (and documented) steps to
convert a checkout to a tarball-equivalent environment, where
"./configure; make; make install" would work.
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