I've tried to install a number of different programs from .tar.gz files, and every time I try the configure command, it fails. I have been following the README files to apply the command only when it's called for.
I'm using Ubuntu 12.04, and there's a few programs that I want to install (e.g. Transcriber, tcl8.6.0) and I can't figure out how to install them without the configure command.
Other answers in these forums seem to try to give specific solutions to specific installation problems, but do not generally give an indication of how to make configure work.