So I am actually playing with the idea of building a tiny embedded like distribution with my most used apps for daily desktop use.
My goal is to use as less space as possible and therefore I was looking for a suitable package management system. Dpkg and APT are too bloated for my sense, use separate meta data and on top of that apt is written in c++ which means it will require libstdc++ (it may be possible to compile it against uclibc++ don’t know).
So I found ipkg which looks like a suitable replacement for both dpkg and apt, it is already in use by the OpenMoko and Free/OpenWRT folks.
Unfortunately documentation is a bit sparse and outdated. Also I think it could still be a bit smaller, ipkg-cl + libipkg compiled from cvs are together about 170K. Ipkg uses some parts of libbb and there may be some plans to integrate it into upstream busybox which would save some space, I guess.
If time permits I will take a closer look at it, also there is a ipkg-utils package with various scripts to build and publish self created ipk’s.