- Using the wrong programming language (e.g. shell scripts)
- Using higher order algorithms (e.g. quartic and up, exponential).
- Gratuitous I/O and/or using large numbers of unnecessary files (e.g. /var/db).
- Unnecessary system calls (especially exec)
The current 'emerge sync' takes approximately 5 minutes to rsync and 25 minutes to "update the portage cache" on the test machine, a 2HGz thinkpad with 2Gb of RAM. All submitted solutions must terminate deterministically.
A slightly larger prize will be offered to anyone who can cluebat the portage developers into fixing any or all of the above issues. I'm actually surprised both that anyone has managed to do such a bad job, and that they manage to make it worse with each successive version. Although, I do note that after many years of resisting the temptation, they have finally added one to the release number.