Front ends can also be ran on clients with very low cpu power such as mobile phones.
That's a good approach for mobile. Programmatic API used by PHP (any language) to present a web UI covers remote admin, mobile and any other client that can't be online all the time with a static IP. It would be like webmail. It would be easier for new users to get started if they only need to create an account on a website, not install software.
The app could be pre-seeded before downloading. Pre-seeding would also cure the TOR+IRC problem. I know that people will want to run this system over I2P+TOR.
Yeah, we can phase out IRC when there are enough static nodes to preprogram a seed list. Once you get seeded, you don't need IRC.
Also you could pre-seed the blocks so they won't have to be downloaded upon initial run. (Downloading 28,000 blocks on a slower ADSL takes forever I couldn't imagine how long it would take when there are millions of blocks -- a lifetime).
There were some issues in 0.1.5 where the initial block download could get bogged down. 0.2 has code to make sure it goes smoothly. It ought to take less than an hour, I think. I need to hurry up and get 0.2 out the door.
The blocks increase linearly, it'll be decades before it's millions. In theory, the block download time should top out 8 months from now when Moore's Law will be growing faster than the block chain.
Can you give me CVS access or something? (If not, can I send you patches?) I'd like to help out.
It's SVN on sourceforge. PM or e-mail me your sourceforge account and I'll give you access.
I am mostly a Linux/BSD guy and I would like to lend my expertise in those areas.
That's great because that's where I have less expertise. For instance, I haven't researched the best way to do the "Start Bitcoin on system startup" feature on Linux. On Windows, the option adds/removes an icon in the Startup folder.