MinGW (Minimalist GNU for Windows) was created by Colin Peters. Colin used a very early release of the Cygwin suite to compile the first version of the MinGW compiler code and had made it available on his website.
The very first native MinGW compiler was provided by Jan-Jaap van der Heijden. Besides GCC 2.8.1, Meister van der Heijdens' contributions included GNU binutils, GNU make and just about everything else needed to develop your own software using MinGW.
Mumit Khan took the baton and over a couple of following years has been doing great work of maintenance and development of MinGW. He did many developments for supporting Windows32 specific features in GCC and Binutils (which is of course of great value for entire GNU/Windows32), provided binary releases of them (with each new release of GCC and often before one was available for Cygwin) and developed more comprehensive bindings for runtime libraries. Significant addition to MinGW was Anders Norlander's w32api headers, which brought more comprehensive bindings for Windows API than what were previously available.
To the second half of 1999, the user base of MinGW became large enough to split off Cygwin mailing list and set up it's own mailing list moderated by Earnie Boyd and Dale Handerson.
At the beginning of Y2K, there was exposed public interest in development of MinGW, as well as offers for public services helping with open source development, such as SourceForge, were made. It was decided to set up such a project for MinGW and call for maintainers and developers. In August 2005, MinGW was chosen as Project of the Month on SourceForge, and an interview of Earnie Boyd and Luke Dunstan was published for this occasion.
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