gnome startup and hostname

Running redhat 7.0 gnome/sawfish

What is the reason that gnome needs a hostname to startx?
Can it be turned off without causing big problems?

I've had occassion several times while configuring IP connection or
other things where I had the hostname stuff in disarray.  Causing
gnome to go thru quite a lenghty delay while it tried to lookup an
incorrect host name.

I'd like to be able to startx painlessly and quickly under
misconfigged circumstances if necessary.  Hard to see why gnome
shouldn't be able to startx with no hostname at all if need be.

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