Current Situation

Right now, the "automake" command is set up as an alternative, and all these automake* packages provide those alternatives, with automake1.9 having the highest priority. This situation isn't ideal because users can't just install automake and get the expected latest version.

The Plan

Now before I can implement this master plan, I need to fix all the packages that still build depend on "automake"[1]. To proceed with this I'd like to file wishlist bugs (with patches) against these packages one week from today. One week after that, with the Release Team's blessing, I'd like to start NMUing as much of these packages as I can. Once that is complete, I'd like to make the transition and raise the severity of any of bugs that remain.

Bug Filing

Please file bugs with wishlist severity. Make any bug you file block 376047.

Bug title: Please stop Build-Depending on automake

Bug header text:

The automake maintainer is working towards reclaiming the automake
package name, which currently rests on automake1.4, the oldest version
of automake. Your package Build-Depends on automake, hence this bug
report. Please see http://wiki.debian.org/AutomakeTransition for more
information on this transition.

Text for unneeded automake dependency:

It appears your package does not use the automake package in the build
process. This is normal, as most packages don't require automake at
build time. The attached patch removes the build dependency.

Text for updated automake dependency:

Your package appears to work with the latest automake1.9 package. 
Attached is a patch to update the build-dependency.

Ubuntu has a complementary page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/AutomakeTransition