A couple of years ago (ouch) someone (Rich Salz) had a go at making a verion of my text retrieval package which used autoconf. Unfortunately this broke the code, and I started to have another go but, as with pretty much every time I have tried in the past, I didn't have more than a couple of hours to spend on it in any given month, and that's nowhere near enough time to do anything useful with the GNU configure packages.
If you're interested in helping out (and I'll ask Rich this too) or if there's a better alternative these days, please let me know (liam at holoweb dot net; mention the colour of your socks in the Subject for a faster reply :-) )
I've also been working on making the package play safe with UTF-8. It's not far off, although there are problems with the curses-based viewer and front end (I might just abandon the front end but the viewer is maybe useful). I know there are going to be problems with RTL/LTR indicators and snippets, though. Sigh.
Also finding time to work on my pictures from old books, inbetween a W3C XSL FO Workshop, XQuery and XSLT 2 work and so forth. Plus trying to get the house painted!