Linus (one of those people who no longer needs a last name) often says things that seem hasty and/or extreme. I’ve criticized him for it in the past, when he said things about specs or debuggers or typedefs that I considered wrong. Sometimes, though, a bit of hasty and extreme commentary is just what’s called for.

if you write your data _first_, you’re never going to see corruption
at all.

This is why I absolutely _detest_ the idiotic ext3 writeback behavior. It
literally does everything the wrong way around – writing data later than
the metadata that points to it. Whoever came up with that solution was a
moron. No ifs, buts, or maybes about it.

I share his amazement that anybody would think writing metadata before data was a good idea. Contrary to one Very Senior Linux Developer’s assertion, this has not been a problem with FFS/UFS since soft updates were invented (in fact it’s kind of why they were invented). It’s something most filesystem developers have known about, and been careful about, for over a decade. Unless they’re ext* developers, I guess. I find myself similarly amazed at another mis-statement by the same VSLD.

these days, nearly all Linux boxes are single user machines

No. Wait, let me think about that some more. Still no. It might be the case that the majority of Linux systems only have one user logged in, but that’s not relevant for the great number of Linux installations on servers or embedded appliances. The relevant number is not how many users are logged in but how many are requesting service, and that’s far more than enough to make “nearly all” untrue. What’s worse is that this untrue statement was used to brush off a security concern, as though multi-user systems aren’t even worth worrying about.

Keep in mind that this is not some late arrival working on Linux out of the goodness of their heart. This is someone who has been involved with Linux since very early days, who for years has been paid to work on and represent Linux full time. If I had shown such an extreme lack of judgment in my design or coding, then compounded that by making such egregiously false and reckless statements about both my own employer’s and others’ products, I would expect an even stronger reaction than Linus’s.