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MinGW, the minimalist GNU for Windows
I am used to VC6++, but I thought I want to try MinGW, and I have to say, it works very well.
MinGW is the minimalist GNU For Windows and is a collection of freely available and freely distributable Windows specific header files and import libraries combined with GNU toolsets that allow one to produce native Windows programs that do not rely on any 3rd-party DLLs.
Probably, the only thing that one needs to know to compile and link windows c programs with MinGW is the -mwindows flag. That is, when a windows program is linked, it needs this flag, because otherwise, it gives a undiefed reference to ... linker error.
Here is a minimal windows prgramm that can be used as a starting point for a windows application.
Here is a sample program to embed a database in a c program that I compiled with MinGW. The database is SQLite.