Just get to the point
This article could have beeen about one-fourth the size if the author had not spent all that time and space nitpicking about his personal aggravations and making completely biased generalizations.
"Most Unix people have not even heard of m4?" Where does one come up with such a thing? Anyone who has ever set up Sendmail, the most popular MTA on the Internet, has most likely used m4 at one time or another. It's a very powerful macro language, and IMHO very suited to autoconf's purpose.
Building from source is not easy. Supporting every platform imaginable is not easy. This article didn't even cover the most glaring problem, which is the incredible size of most configure scrips generated by autoconf due to the fact that they're written in straight Bourne shell. Many of his problems with generating Makefiles are not autoconf-, but automake-related. The only thing the configure script does with Makefiles is filling in variable fields.
That being said, the author is severely misguided in his target for this article. Somehow he can write an entire piece dedicated to the destruction of autoconf, and yet his only real point is that Makefiles are, as powerful as they can be, severely flawed.
No kidding. This is news?
The BOFH is dead?
Bah, what ever happened to the Bastard Operator
From Hell idea? This takes all the fun out fo
being an admin!