libgnomeui would be better named "libkitchensink". It brings in all kinds of libraries from avahi to zlib. How much effect would removing this dependency have on memory? I decided to try out on gnome-volume-manager (which handles volumes as in mounts, not as in sound). Hackishly, I commented out the session management stuff that requires libgnomeui. The results were pretty good.
That's 800kb of memory (I'm using the private dirty rss number, aka "the number that matters"). There are 17 processes on my desktop using libgnomeui right now. If we can remove the dependency from all of those, it would get us 13 MB of savings. In addition to the memory savings, this would likely speed startup speed quite a bit. FYI, the list of processes using libgnomeui right now is:
/usr/bin/gnome-session /usr/lib/control-center/gnome-settings-daemon /usr/bin/gnome-panel /usr/bin/nautilus /usr/bin/update-notifier /usr/bin/gnome-volume-manager /usr/bin/gnome-cups-icon /usr/bin/gnome-power-manager /usr/lib/gnome-applets/trashapplet /usr/lib/gnome-panel/clock-applet /usr/lib/gnome-applets/mixer_applet2 /usr/bin/gnome-terminal /usr/lib/firefox/firefox-bin /usr/bin/eog /usr/bin/evolution-2.6 /usr/lib/evolution/2.6/evolution-exchange-storage /usr/lib/evolution/2.6/evolution-alarm-notify
I'm quite sure that we can kill the library from many of those. If one looks for GNOME VFS (which is responsible for quite a bit of the bloat), there are even more processes that could use dependency pruning.