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    SubjectRe: [RFC] Improved inode number allocation for HTree
    > Though the journal only becomes involved when blocks are modified,
    > unfortunately, because of atime updates, this includes all directory
    > operations. We could suggest to users that they should disable
    > atime updating if they care about performance, but we ought to be
    > able to do better than that.

    On a separate note, since atime updates are not usually very important
    anyway, why not have an option to cache atime updates for a long time,
    or until either a write occurs anyway. Holding a large number of
    atime updates in a write cache is generally not going to be a major
    issue - the worst case if a partition isn't cleanly unmounted is that
    some atimes will be wrong.

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