Making balsa suitable for small devices

Hi people, I'm an arm-linux, Debian and Embedded Debian developer and I'm
involved in a project that wants to use balsa on a small web-pad type device
(but with a real keyboard).

Our biggest constraint is flash size - we've got an awful lot of stuff to
shoehorn into ~60Mb. Balsa seems to have a pretty reasonsble footprint for
it's functionality (better than sylpheed which is the main competition :-)
), however it's still too fat.

What I'm hoping I can get from you guys is some clues on what options there
are for minimising the footprint, and help with making it good to use on a
touchscreen (only one sort of click, no tooltips, big icons).

Presumably there is room for some shinkage by missing out libraries or
functionality or languages?  What tradeoffs are there are to be made (both
easily or with some development). Does it have a --without-gnome option
(like gnumeric) to remove a load of gconf and bonobo stuff for example?

The things we definately need to keep are HTML mail (spit - I hate it!) and
POP and IMAP, and decent fonts. Much of the rest is up for debate.

There will definately need to be UI changes for the touchscreen use -
presumably you'd be happy for these to come back into the mainstream for
others that need this? We're keen for our changes to go upstream wherever
possible as it makes our lives easier, but there may be some things we want
to do which aren't really what the balsa team is looking for. I need
guidance on that.

One problem we have right now is that it's a bit flaky - it crashes far too
opften (we're testing with the Debian build 2.0.17-2) and it's running on an
arm-based device. I don't know how much testing has been done on arm. Is
flakiness expected?

And finally there is a possiblity of some paid work making said changes.
Anyone who is in a position to work on it _this month_ should tell me what
they can do, when they can do it, and how much cash they'd need to
concentrate their minds (off list is probably best). You would have to sign
an NDA to keep you quiet about the details for the next 3 months or so
(These corporate clients don't like anyone to know what they are doing :-)

No promises at this stage, but we have a lot to do in s short time and using
the relevant experts whilst giving something back to the community is the
best way in our experience.

Sorry to come barging in here in such a businesslike fashion - I hope I can
contribute something useful to the project one way or another.

Aleph One Ltd, Bottisham, CAMBRIDGE, CB5 9BA, UK  Tel +44 (0) 1223 811679
work:     play:

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