As you might have already guessed I'm completely new to OpenGL, and graphics programming in general, and I have what might seem like a stupid question:

Why do you have to build a workspace/project using tools like premake, CMake etc, in order to use OpenGL?
A lot of tutorials says that you have to, but I have yet to find one that can give a good explanation as of why.

And as an extension to that question, I wonder: Wouldn't it be sufficient to simply put all header files, code files, link libraries, and so on, in the appropriate folders and directories,
and simply supply the compiler with the appropriate flags and search paths?

I fail to understand why one cannot simply compile OpenGL applications like any other C/C++ application, are OpenGL applications, or any other graphics application for that matter, so different?