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Waldo Bastian: Making C++ Ready for the Desktop

May 08, 2001, 18:36 (49 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Waldo Bastian)

A reader writes:

Since it has been fashion to complain about KDE/GNOME faults on LinuxToday lately, I thought it would be worthwhile pointing out that these desktop environments are not the ones that are solely at fault. The fault could just be GNU/Linux. Waldo Bastian has put up a nice little paper concerning the speed issue in KDE, especially the speed of application start up and how the GNU linker is a main bottleneck.

"In this paper I would like to bring the attention to an important performance bottleneck in the ld.so linker on GNU/Linux systems wrt C++ programs. I will try to offer some suggestions for improvement and hope that this paper will lead to a discussion in the GNU/Linux community that eventually will lead to a solution that addresses this problem.

It should also be noted that ld.so currently does a fine job for the things it was designed. The problem is that it wasn't designed for todays Linux Desktop.

Starting a KDE application from the command line is slow. Slow is a very subjective term, but when it comes to a graphical user interface, things are typically perceived as slow when there is a latency of more than 0.3 secs. between action and reaction. So if I click on a button, it should bring up a window on my screen within 0.3 secs. If it takes longer, users tend to perceive the system as slow.

KDE is slow. Since I am very concerned about KDE I have been looking into the reason why KDE is slow. Obviously there are a number of factors that contribute to the problem. What we are interested in is the startup-performance which I would like to define as the time it takes between the moment the binary image is being executed and the moment the first visual feedback appears on the screen."

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