Notes: - creates Makefile and is the standard way of working - standard configure, make, make install. - great for a heap of distros and different architecture - great for anything but windows. - bit more painful for Windows - it's old, but it's reliable & stable. - good for specific languages c,C++,objective C, erlang. Not so much python, ruby, lisp, perl.
- configure.ac - where is the compiler, where are the tools, uses M4 language - autoconf - creates configure shell script. - configure - how we are going to build things - Makefile.am - what do you want to build, where are those files
Simplified - You only really need to worry about these two files
- autoscan can create your configure.ac, it's not perfect - autoproject - same but from debian, it's complicated.
- autoconf uses any file with a '.in' extension.
- AC_SEARCH_LIBS allows you to find libraries depending on the distro
- autoheader - lots of defines - autoconf-archive - finds a lot of libs - gettext - I18n, compiles into different languages. - libtool - Huge library tools. Helps with many systems for library.
Further Reading - Don't bother with the 'Goat book' - Read GNU manuals, really good. - man pkg-config, lists all options you need.
It was mostly a one sided arguement for systemd. Join the mailing list for an ongoing debate between the two.