1) The webmaster(a)xemacs.org is probably not the best address for
forwarding this sort of question. You can use the
xemacs-beta(a)xemacs.org mailing list if you are using a beta version,
or the xemacs(a)xemacs.org list if it's a released version. (In
general, people ask a lot of questions on the beta list, some of which
aren't strictly related to beta XEmacs versions only).
2) I'm the guy who built the last released binary kits of XEmacs for
Sparc/Solaris, but that was built on a Solaris 6 machine. I did the
build without root privileges, supplying --prefix=/some/scratch/dir
and had no problem
3) You haven't told us what version of XEmacs you were trying to
4) "Dull grey screen" sounds like just the default grey background (?)
You can customize this to your liking - there is lots of info on
customization on the xemacs.org
website. "Strange looking buttons"
might mean you don't have the XPM libraries installed, or they weren't
found during the ./configure. "Some unstable behavior" is pretty hard
to say anything meaningful about ;-)
5) Have you read README.packages ? Some of your problems sound to me
like you haven't installed the Lisp packages.
6) If all else fails, try to install from a prebuilt binary kit. The
one I build on Solaris 6 works fine on Solaris 7; I don't have a
Solaris 8 machine to try it on. If you felt like testing it out and
giving us some feedback that would be great!