I compiled it too and had the same issue (it doesn't want to run as root). You can either add -DALWAYS_ROOT in the makefile or patch utility/shared.c line 1305 (function dont_run_as_root) to just return. I'm trying to fix the size too, but it's not working well so far ... no yet at least
PS : to make an IPK start with one from the pdaXrom feed, untar it, untar control.tar.gz, edit control, tar with tar czf control.tar.gz ./control, create a data.tar.gz containing your package (best in a usr folder, data in usr/share, be sure you have a proper ./configure with a right --datadir to search in) with tar czvf data.tar.gz ./usr and finally tar czvf mypackage_version_armv5tel.ipk ./debian-binary ./control.tar.gz ./data.tar.gz
Don't forget the ./ ! If they are missing your package will not work.
If you compile with -mcpu iwmmxt I think it may be good to change the armv5tel suffix (so that SL-6000/SL-xx0 don't try to install it and get illegal instruction) but there is no standard yet (I'll try to contact sashz about that)
Ok..so the root thing looks solved. (It did work after you added -DALWAYS_ROOT, right?)
on the size thing.... maybe thereis a way to break apart the "control window" and the "map window" and then run 'em tabbed? I have absolutely no idea how to do that, but it would be a good solution for small screen play