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dpkg -S very slow?

On of my debian machines is an aging 486/DX 100.

However, I was still surprised to see how slow dpkg -S is.

Is there any reason that dpkg -S is an order of magnitude slower than an
equivalent grep?

% time dpkg -S tamad
tama: /usr/sbin/tamad
dpkg -S tamad  51.13s user 1.02s system 99% cpu 52.310 total

% time ls /var/lib/dpkg/info/*.list | xargs grep tamad
ls /var/lib/dpkg/info/*.list  0.38s user 0.31s system 40% cpu 1.697 total
xargs grep tamad  0.56s user 0.80s system 48% cpu 2.790 total


|  Jelibean aka  | jules@jellybean.co.uk         |  6 Evelyn Rd	       |
|  Jules aka     | jules@debian.org              |  Richmond, Surrey   |
|  Julian Bean   | jmlb2@hermes.cam.ac.uk        |  TW9 2TF *UK*       |
|  War doesn't demonstrate who's right... just who's left.             |
|  When privacy is outlawed... only the outlaws have privacy.          |

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