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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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