historically, we don't use M$ compilers, notably because of buggish pre-processor.
We use the mingw layer as target architecture instead.
Cygwin offers all the necessary tools to cross-compile for mingw target for a long time, so we used that.
Nowadays, it could be wsl as well as it can perform cross-compilation for mingw target easily too.
Now that Eliot added makefiles for using LLVM compiler, we could completely avoid mingw layer, but the makefiles still use some unixy commands, so we still need a unix layer; I guess that Eliot just reused the already existing cygwin dependency...
If you want to replace it with something simpler (maybe msys minimal shell), you're welcome!
Still, I find it nice to have a choice, compilers gradually exploit the presumed absence of undefined behavior more and more aggressively, compiler bugs happens too, we might also depend on some implementation details like stack handling, so keeping a mingw target (either thru gcc or clang) still has some value IMO.
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