the only thing that bothers me with FTEQW is the huge amount of unused code everywhere, tons of conditionals like that one you mentioned and, well, just cruft. It feels like a lab experiment. An awesome one, but kind of messy to base your stuff on.
I highly recommend using QSS. It feels leaner and has all the goodies from FTEQW without the cruft.
Another interesting base is this: http://fte.triptohell.info/moodles/junk/onedraw.zip
i think that's Spike's attempt at a minimal engine