These days he’s been carving away at system start times and overall system requirements by relying on mdev instead of udev, and building Xvesa independent of the full X arsenal.
The net effect, to hear him describe it, is quite exciting. Those changes, coupled with some hard-wiring of the system startup (mostly compiling the startup scripts, if I understand it correctly), is resulting in some extremely lightweight systems that boot in single-digit start times with memory profiles under 16Mb. And those are Openbox-plus systems, not my ultra-slim Awesome systems.
If you’re the owner of an old machine (sigh … or a netbook owner, I guess 🙄 ) you might want to take a closer look. Most of it sounds no more difficult than compiling a few programs and building a few scripts, and I can vouch for his helpfulness if you run into a problem.