A number of significant opportunities for performance improvements seem to be just over the horizon for Linux systems. OSNews regular lemur2 submitted an overview of the most important potential performance improvements to us.
One of the most popular freedom software programs in the world got a major boost this week. GCC 4.4 adds in lots of new features, the biggest of which is the Graphite Framework. There are a number of new command line switches that provide better optimization. Any improvements in compiler optimisations have potential to achieve performance gains for a vast array of software.
The long-standing latency issues with the Linux ext3 filesystem, which most famously manifested itself as the much-lamented Firefox system-freeze problem, might be finally cured by fixes which are due for inclusion in the upcoming Linux 2.6.30 kernel.
On a related note, the patches adopted in Linux 2.6.30 introduce many significant changes affecting data security and Ext3 and Ext4 performance. Support for the EXOFS and NILFS2 file systems is new, as is the cache for the AFS and NFS network file systems.