Things started off well enough, as I was able to get libxml-1.8.17 to build using gnu's ld and libole2-0.2.4 built without a hitch. However, gnome-libs-1.4.2 was another story. It complains about a lack of db-1.85 compatibility. Since I don't know how to configure a Solaris package, I download the source for db-3.3 and install it by hand, using --enable-compat185. No problem - everything builds fine and I can see the db_185.h file.
My original attempt at just installing db-1.85 failed miserably because it simply refused to see the db.h file altogether (for some odd reason), despite using the appropriate configure options.
No luck with db-3.3 (or 4.1). Same complaint from gnome-libs. Some google searching indicated that it might be a bug in the configure script, but I never found any sort of definitive answer. I submitted a bug report to bugzilla.gnome.org.
Why can't anything *just work*?