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(Ustr, micro string API)
(and-httpd - simple, fast and secure)
(String library comparison)
However, I think you might be missing the point a bit. Criticism is always hard - in particular if the word is "not good enough" after you've put in a great effort to make things better. Of course things can always be improved, but I don't think that's the point.
Well I tried to make sure I mentioned it in the article, and I did link to the performance tests on different yum versions, but yes we know that older versions did cross the threshold from "fast enough" to "not fast enough" for various reasons. However current YUM code (I'm using 3.2.16 in Fedora 9) does "simple queries" in less than 2 seconds and "simple installs" in about 6 seconds (but note that you'll often need pacakges to be downloaded, and even if not RPM will need to install the packages -- which will add significantly to this) on the other end a full Fedora 8 to Fedora 9 update takes less than a minute within YUM (40ish seconds, IIRC).
I appreciate that CentOS 5 is still on 3.0.x, so anyone using that is going to have a radically different experience. However I assume the 3.2.8++ based version will be available "soon", given that it was released by Red Hat today. And I'd heard they'd been thinking of putting a 3.2.16 version into centosplus.
So my point was that, while those numbers could get smaller (and for all I know apt/zypper/etc. could be better in all cases) it is not the most beneficial goal to have the YUM part of install go from 6 seconds to 2 seconds.