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. It appears to be an optimization to work around poor caching of shared object handles in old libc implementations. After some testing, I have been unable to find any meaningful performance difference from this cache, so I propose we remove it to save the space.
My initial tests were on Linux (Ubuntu 18.04). I saw no discernible difference in the time for running the Python test suite with a single thread. Running the test suite using a single thread shows a lot of variance, but after running with and without the cache 40 times the mean times with/without the cache was nearly the same. Interpreter startup time also appears to be unaffected. This was all with a debug build, so I'm in the process of collecting data with a release build to see if that changes anything.