We are comfortably fond of autotools here at Openismus. It’s not perfect but we can use it, it does what we need, and it doesn’t have the problems that we see in other systems.
Years ago I wrote some popular introductory web pages showing how to do the obvious important stuff. David King has updated them and put the examples in git. They are now even simpler, because autotools got even better in the meantime. I think they will be useful.
Autotools with Qt Creator
Some of us like the Qt Creator IDE. So we asked Peter Penz to create a qt-creator plugin that provides some autotools support making it easier to use qt-creator with lots more existing projects. For instance, you can now have some code-completion in qt-creator with autotools-based projects, and you can run the whole build cycle from inside the IDE. Looking at the code, it seems fairly easy to create these plugins once you know how.
It currently works with the stable qt-creator 1.3 (ignore the uneven version number) though you’ll need to build it from source yourself for now. There is some interest from the qt-creator maintainers, so we hope to find time to update it for qt-creator’s master branch, which uses Qt 4.7 (currently unstable, but eventually stable with the same uneven version number), and then make a proper gitorious merge request.
By default, qt-creator uses qmake, though I think there is some CMake support. qmake is a time-wasting copy/paste-encouraging feature-lacking broken failure, so anything that helps people to avoid it must be good.