Ah! We are now (back) to "do it yourself". So you are honestly saying that every "plain user" should setup his own compilation environment to build their own breed executable? Oh come on.
I know just the fact you need to type something in the console makes you not wanna do it, that's why I propose there be "compiler front-end" so it all looks exactly like some standard software installation on Windows. You simply check or un-check the options you want and click the start button.
Would you not prefer to have that freedom of choice to make your own build with whatever features you wish at any time you want? It would be no more complicated than installing say Microsoft Word, it would only last longer, I guess, but in turn you could have it optimized for your particular processor. Does that sound better?
>> Seems they contradict you though, saying about weird dependencies (people that are not active in the development may not know about), huge build time etc.
All I know is that at the end there surely must not be any problems with compilation, otherwise the build is simply not ready for the release. For *END-USER* compilation must always work if using official compiler and official source code, even across various operating systems. That's not a problem, that's what MAME is already good at, just needs some more user-friendliness, that's all.
>> Hmmm... Let all open source projects stop making executables for users whadayathink?
Yeah, that's exactly what most of them actually do, especially ones that strive to be cross-platform portable since that's the most universal type of software distribution there can be. Perhaps lately the trend has become to release binaries too, but that's not for the benefit of the user, it's for their laziness, and in return they get less than optimal build for their particular system and needs.