I want to understand the Ruby build process in particular, and the 
general open-source build process in general. From what I see, most open 
source products use the same configure/make/make test/make install 
procedure. Can someone please tell me, or simply point me to docs about, 
how this works? For instance,

Is the configure script fairly constant across all products? Is it 
maintained by someone? Is there documentation on it?

Are the make files standardized? Is there a general model for what a 
makefile should look like?

Are there (pseudo-)standards about how products install to minimize 
stepping on other products and causing trouble.

I realize that this isn't really a Ruby question, but the answer to my 
question is applicable to my study of Ruby.