No, I actually clean installed this exact same build (August) and I haven't updated the ROM since then. I'm using the gapps from first page here and nothing is missing for me. But I no longer update Play Store and some other programs, which may require a newer version of Play Services (newer versions take too much space).
May be something else went wrong, I don't know? It happened to me once with another ROM - I had force close errors right after clean install for no reason and another clean install fixed it.
Sorry, I must have missed the word "fitting" or just assumed you didn't know the size was changed in the last 2 releases (it's a common mistake). :) As for the problem, I've been using the same release from August for a long time and never encountered such.
No such thing. The recovery just stopped copying the last few files before 180 MB (at 177 MB) because there was no space left. So nothing is missing in the ROM itself, the problem is in your system size. I suggest you reinstall with a proper system size, because some other things might have failed to be copied and you won't know until something fails to work.
I agree, this ROM is certainly one of the best and it's nice to have the latest possible Android version. But if you are rarely going to use the phone, then it may not be worthed the time and efforts to change partitions and reinstall everything. It's up to you.
If you still want to do it, you can skip making a new partition on the SD card - it's only needed if you want to use the included int2ext script, to have more space for installing apps. But this script also inevitably slows down the phone (even with class 10 SD card). I'm currently using the ROM without it and it's significantly faster. The drawback is you have less space for apps, but you can still use the build-in Move to SD card option in Settings - Apps.
I never said it won't happen, but not only ART has be ported, it will have to be working without problems. And then a 5.0 ROM has to be ported and be good enough, otherwise users will start complaining a lot with a half working or slow ROM. We have no active developers here and even KitKat was a big surprise. Blade is a lower-end phone from 2010, we should to be realistic and thankful for what we have.
Even if the ROM is dead, we already have a nice KitKat version. It's very unlikely that we will get any newer Android versions (at least not such that actually work well), because our phone is extremely slow and old and Android 5.0 "Lollipop" requires ART, which is not compatible with ARM6 CPUs such as ours.
So enjoy the version we have OR if you want something new and working - buy a cheap new phone like Moto G or Moto E (both will get official Lollipop). Thankfully, nowadays there are many cheap phones with good quality.
I appreciate everything zeelog accomplished with this ROM and if he is no longer interested in upgrading it, it's perfectly understandable. Blade is an ancient phone, those who want new (working) software for cheap should get a new phone like Moto E.
You haven't lost anything, in the ROM zip you can delete the file \system\etc\init.d\40int2ext and then make a clean install (full wipe) with the modified zip. But don't be surprised if other Int2Ext methods don't work at all (they are older, not compatible with KitKat 4.4 and not made for this ROM). As for Mounts2SD - I had the same problems with it (free space is bugged) when I was using CM10.
So zeelog's choice of CronMod is more than likely the best possible option.
The int2ext script (CronMod) was NOT created by zeelog and is not technically part of the ROM (just an addition). CronMod was not updated since 2013, same for Mounts2SD (and these can be considered the best).
You can test your speed by copying some files. The results you linked are irrelevant - the test and cards are from 2011, they show only very small files (apps size is now MBs, not 4 KB) and the top class 4 card there is expensive model (huge difference with common class 4 SD cards). Today's cards are all class 10 (or higher) for a reason.
@killadroid: You can read other comments from different threads in the forum, but in any case using class 4 card with ext and with such old slow phone is a bad idea.
Actually, there are many variants of CronMod and I'm almost sure the one included here doesn't mount data/data. I had some problems with Mounts2SD too (I used it with CM10 for a long time), so I guess nothing is perfect.
BTW, I hope you changed you SD card to class 10, otherwise any lag you have is caused by slow SD.
I strongly advise you NOT to install CM11/4.4, it will not run well with so little RAM. Even 512 MB is too little and it slows down frequently (and I have over-clocked and optimized everything possible). You can try Eco CM9 if you want a lighter ROM (you will find working download links on the last page there).
I mentioned this problem few pages back, I also had it and the likely reason is that the int2ext script failed somehow and is bugged. Make a clean install (wipe first) and it will be fixed. The problem is not in the ROM itself, but in the inlcuded script (I think it's CronMod).