If you eat and drink open source, chances are high that you might have downloaded an open source project code, only to see files like: aclocal.m4, configure.ac, Makefile.am, Makefile.in and what not. You might have also used commands like ./configure, make etc but what are these files? More here
Does they really belong to the project you download? Do I need to understand them? In this blog post I look forward to answer all your question, as well as introduce you to not so popular Autotools – A GNU Build System.