First, the other reviews are mostly pretty silly and unusable. "Thanks, nice app!" "Works great" etc. I guess if you want to give some stars, you have to write *something*. I started using MinGW at the request of a coworker. I work from home frequently, and use cloud-based file storage to make that easier. I installed MinGW at work, found it to be OK, and then a few weeks later, went back home to install it there. I got the graphic installer UI which seems rough and incomplete -- no select all function etc -- and on top of that, I got a different version of MinGW! So, right off the bat, I was dealing with the side effects of using a toolchain which is constantly rocking and rolling its changes. It would be NICER if there were a "long term support" vs. "bleeding edge" kind of distinction such as is made on projects like Ubuntu, so users can choose what is more important: stability or the latest features. Don't get me wrong, so far I have found the gcc toolchain implementation to be quite good. I have gotten my project running and don't have any severe gripes with the compiler itself. However, with Visual Studio Express 2010 available for free download, I don't quite understand why C/C++ developers *who do not need cross-compilation on Mac or Linux/BSD* would struggle with something so "minimalist". And, compared to the slick, easy, full-featured IDE provided with the Visual Studio *free* download -- easier to learn that, say, Eclipse -- hacking away on the command line or using _make_ just seems so .... primitive and unproductive. For those who need what MinGW can uniquely offer, I applaud the effort and thank the developers for their gift to the FSF-based community at large. I don't wish my critique of the project to in any way diminish my awe and astonishment at the time these folks put into _giving away_ some really useful software.
The previous version (5.1.6) had a relatively clean Windows installer interface, but the new version is completely different and totally opaque. I had a working installation and all I wanted to do was add gdb, but now I have this nightmare of 1990s style command line downloads and builds with no coherent documentation and no support. What gives here?
There are no 2 star reviews.