I only heard this through word of mouth (from a Lufthansa Cargo pilot), but he said that Douglas reworked the entire Smoke Removal or Smoke in the Cabin (or whatever checklist they used) to make it shorter and more expeditious.
Apparently the original checklist took almost 30 minutes to complete.
What you heard is correct, however, it was swissair that made the changes with Douglas' input. Delta's version was approx. half as long for their MD-11s already.
Check out this web page for safety advisories and recommendations that have been made by Canada's TSB. swissair
As I have personal reasons for taking a special interest in this particular accident, I have very detailed information regarding the IFES (inflight-entertainment-system). This has been suspect since the accident as the remaining systems were disconnected due to poor installation practices, suspect paperwork and internal conflicts regarding the STCs and DAS (designated alteration stations), among others.
It's a very long story, but it was confirmed that this system had some problems and was improperly wired directly to the aircraft's main buss #2 which also supplied essential aircraft systems. This limited the pilots' ability to disarm all non-essential passenger cabin systems as the checklist for smoke contained. The FAA banned the system on all U.S. MD-11s shortly after the accident.
If I remember correctly, there was also a dispute as to whether the checklist was properly updated after the installations of these systems. Obviously taking the AUX busses off-line would not interrupt power to the IFES.
The main thing changed was the power to the inflight entertainment was re routed to NOT by-bass the smoke switch. That's what is said to have caused the fire and there was no way to isolate it. The entertainment system was installed by another contractor of SwissAIr not McD. Insulation materials were changed to.
Hyper and Corky's comments are very accurate. I flew on SwissAir MD-11s a couple of times after the accident and the in-flight entertainement system had been de-activated. Additionally Boeing ( Long Beach Division ) had very strong reasons to believe it was the in-flight entertainment system that caused the fire. That system alone required a tremendous amount of power and the way it was wired onto the bus ( after market ) was very suspect.