the gconf issues there are fairly well-known; I posted a mail a while
back with some analysis but Google isn’t finding it again.
The big win is not complicated optimizations, it’s just to avoid
loading and parsing a ton of documentation translations that will
never be used. If you do that then gconfd can continue to be horribly
inefficient but still be far faster since there’s far less
data. Cutting down the amount of data is the order-of-magnitude win.
One approach is an mmap cache like the icon cache.
Anyway, it just lacks someone doing the work.
(This post was originally found at http://log.ometer.com/2005-07.html#12)