Suggestions wanted for building and installing large systems.

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http://forums.fedoraforum.org – I am looking for some ideas on the best way to build, distribute and install a moderately large system. The project consists of an Eclipse workspace with several component projects. These are mostly C++ built with CDT/autotools, scripts, and one Java program. There will be various libraries as well as programs and configuration files, data files, etc. In the long term I expect to create an RPM to package it, but was looking for something that would just use tar during the development and test phase of the project. I also intend to upload to SourceForge at some point - once there is a working (HowTos)