I ran into a libelf issue, where my the default libelf that came with illumos didn't support large file sizes. People have faced this before already,
I was able to address this by installing a different libelf from here http://www.mr511.de/software/ with a prefix of /usr/local
CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include/libelf -L/usr/local/include" LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/lib -R/usr/local/lib" ./configure
make -j 4
I'd installed libelf and libyaml with the prefix of /usr/local, hence the custom CFLAGS and LDFLAGS.
For the longer term, I'm guessing we'll need to closely track eco-systems such as Ruby, Python PHP and the like via Continuous Integration.
[Update:] Update the CFLAGS and LDFLAGS to have the correct content + explain what I did.