Re: Making balsa suitable for small devices

On 08.06.2004 11:20:45, Wookey wrote:
Hi people, I'm an arm-linux, Debian and Embedded Debian developer and
involved in a project that wants to use balsa on a small web-pad type
(but with a real keyboard).

Our biggest constraint is flash size - we've got an awful lot of stuff
shoehorn into ~60Mb. Balsa seems to have a pretty reasonsble footprint
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
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
easily or with some development). Does it have a --without-gnome
(like gnumeric) to remove a load of gconf and bonobo stuff for

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
others that need this? We're keen for our changes to go upstream
possible as it makes our lives easier, but there may be some things we
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.
flakiness expected?

And finally there is a possiblity of some paid work making said
Anyone who is in a position to work on it _this month_ should tell me
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
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
the relevant experts whilst giving something back to the community is
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.

Two things are for sure: 2.0.x does not use neither gconf nor bonobo. I am not sure you would need filters for your settings (I have no idea how much room you can save without them, but it is certainly interesting). Also pref management could be shrunk a lot putting reasonable default (and you don't need the flexibility to choose colors for messages...).
On the other balsa 2.1.x is much better wrt to memory footprint but this makes a difference if you have big mailboxes; the problem is that it is still a bit buggy (though it improves really fast) and it certainly has been less tested that 2.0. AFAICT it would not be a problem to get rid of bonobo also, and it does not use gconf.
For any version you must decide if you want gpg support (this means more libs dependancy).
Hope others can correct my claims and add other comments.

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