I think Make has gone through many versions and recent version seem to support even more functionalities. However, due to the popularity of Java and the classic ANT, most ppl have turned to ANT for their needs.
The only time we need to wade through Makefile is to do legacy program maintenance and also to understand some vendors that still shape their products with Makefile along.
However, for C++ libraries in particular, I guess the C++ developers still prefer Make over ANT :)
Most people haven't turned to ANT. I'd like to know where this information came from and what you base it on. Alternatives that simplify the basic tasks such as Jam, Cmake, etc. are becoming more popular but even then, Makefiles are still dominant. I've seen ANT in Java but hardly ever anywhere else.
ANT is an old story. Many Java projects have migrated to Maven2 (which pretty much sucks) or the most advanced projects to Buildr / SBT (which are the story of the future). But C++ compilation system is probably too low-level to be supported by them fully. In C++, source dependency checking is a task for the build system. In the Java ecosystem, source dependency checking is a task for the compiler. Thus, I don't think old make is going anywhere.
Can you please stop killing the thread? Let it stay on topic. I know this sounds rich coming from me, given my history of derailing threads (which I haven't done outside of the Lounge for a long while), but this argument will go nowhere and is detracting from the quality of the article.