asql allows you to run SQL queries against log files formatted in the Apache common log file format. You may load multiple log files into a session, then run queries using a full SQL implementation, to find things such as the most common referers to your site, the greediest downloaders, and much more. Internally, each log file is parsed and imported into a temporary SQLite database, so performance is very good.
Personally I found the info documentation a little hard to get to grips with, but I found the GNU Autoconf, Automake, and Libtool (http://sources.redhat.com/autobook/) book very useful.
The book is available online as well as in hardcopy and took me through converting my project into an autotool based project - along with the libraries it used.
A lot of the proposed alternatives to autoconf/automake are very interesting, I've not used any of them to be honest - but as long as they don't rely upon end-users, (well installers of your package), to have special software they are fine.
Half the reason that the generated scripts produced are baraque is because they rely upon nothing special or non-standard installed, I guess with the limitation of GNU Make.
Re: screen for X?
> A proxy for X *does* exist, but don't ask me about the details.
It does indeed. It's called XMove (http://www.ensta.fr/internet/unix/misc/xmove.html) and it's a simple apt-get away if you're running Debian.