Review of the Simple DirectMedia Layer by PaulBlay
Preferred IDE : Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition
Preferred Platform : Windows XP
Other requirements sought : Unicode support / Works with SQLite
Experience with SDL
SDL with SDL_ttf is one of the ports supported by Vanilla Angband. It was pretty easy to install SDL (not so easy for SDL_ttf) and the code to produce an window was quite a bit simpler than wrangling with the Windows API directly. It works well with VC++, the minor 'gotcha's being that you can't use the Debug version of the runtime library and you need to add the parameter SDL_INIT_NOPARACHUTE to the SDL_Init() function or you will not be able to set break points / step through the code. The core SDL itself has large 'gaps' in functionality that are, in theory, covered by separately distributed libraries (such as the afore mentioned SDL_ttf which handles fonts and text display). SDL is distributed with the required libraries and dll files pre-compiled for Windows.
The instructions for SDL_ttf were not as clear and it took me a few times round before I got my project compiling smoothly using it.
So far SDL 'plays nice' with the other bits I'm using, such as SQLite.
Practical and usable. Lacks the flair and professional looks of some other solutions looked at, but is (so far) better behaved.