so i came across this little gem of a thread on the bin utils list from last october. in it, openoffice hacker michael meeks provide a fairly extensive patch that improves start up times dramatically for c++ apps that rely on dlopening libraries. what kind of apps might benefit from that? well, openoffice and pretty much every kde app for starters. and how much of an improvement does this patch provide? it achieves somewhere around twice the current performance. yes, that means that many apps would start up twice as quickly (though not all, of course; there are other things that can wreck start up time ;)
we have a nicer fontconfig start up profile, lots of optimizations happening in the desktop applications and libs and it's all helping; wouldn't it be nice to see this patch in the next glibc and binutils releases? well, keep dreaming for the time being because ulrich drepper, the maintainer of this package, apparently doesn't understand the patch and is letting it bit-rot. rather disappointing to see such an improvement that would help so many projects in a real-world manner get blocked due to one person acting as a (blocked) bottleneck in the process.
apparently some distros are going to be rolling out binutils/glibc's with at least parts of meek's patches, but that's hardly the best way to go. here's to hoping someone wakes up and gets this contribution pushed into upstream so everyone can enjoy the benefits of it, including users of red hat linux who happens to employ drepper.