The download web page states in part:
"Distributing MinGW this way is beneficial both for MinGW maintainers and permanent users ..."
While it may be beneficial to the maintainers, let me tell you emphatically that, as a permanent
user of mingw32, your current way of distributing the sytem is not beneficial to me. The advantage
you claim for the user is that "users can make use of this flexible maintanance scheme by deciding
themselves what and when they install or upgrade".
I am one of those permanent users of mingw. I have been using mingw for several years now.
However, you have left me behind. I would like to upgrade to the current release (releases?), but
the descriptions that you have provided on the sourceforge website do not give me a clue as to
how to go about it. The problem is that mingw is (or was in the previous release) a holistic compiler
system. I do not know what pieces it was put together from. I do not know which of the packages
you currently list on the download site are already installed. I have been very happily using the
compiler system without knowing any of these things. You haven't told me how to find out which
of your current bits and pieces are installed. You haven't explained how I could possibly know if I
want to upgrade some particular piece. Nor have you explained how your current arrangement
interacts with the automatic installation done by the windows installer in the previous release.
Most of all, you haven't given me reason why I should care about deciding for my self what and
when to install. There might be people who can and want to make use of your flexible maintenance
scheme, but I would respectfully request that you also consider the people like me who just want a
tool they can use. I don't care how you folks decide to divide things up for ease of development or
maintenance. I don't want to wonder how I could ever know whether some particular bug fix
affects me, and I don't want to spend time trying to grok such things. I have other things I'd
rather spend my time on.
From my perspective, Mumit Khan had the right idea in the last release: put together a standard
release with a windows installer. Then you will know that all the pieces work together, and I will
know how to install a working compiler system. THAT will be very beneficial to the user.