What the author is arguing, and I agree with him, is that applications need a method to guarantee that the data on disk is always good, whatever version it is, but without the penalty of a full fsync. That may not matter _that_ much on a server or desktop, but a laptop, that means the drive absolutely has to spin up from sleep, or can't sleep in the first place. This is an substantial battery hit. I don't have any easy way to test it, but hard drive spinups are expensive as hell (and slow), so it wouldn't shock me if this ext4 behavior change singlehandedly wiped out a good chunk of the work done to improve kernel power usage on laptops.
Atomic rename is not the same thing as fsync. Telling application authors that they have to use fsync is yet another example of, when something is hard to do in Linux, telling the user that what he or she wants is wrong and stupid. This pattern goes way, way back.
Once upon a time, in the early days of Linux, I commented on Slashdot that ext2 was a bad filesystem, and would lose data if the computer crashed or lost power. I was informed, by numerous people, that the data loss was my fault because the computer wasn't on a UPS, and that I should 'simply' have manually run a disk editor and restored a backup superblock to recover the corrupted files. Seriously: lost data, they claimed, was my fault because I didn't understand the layout of ext2 well enough to fire up a hex editor when it crashed.
Well, sometime in the next year or two, journaling showed up, and suddenly everyone was all about how wonderful it was, how horrible ext2 was in comparison, and how no sane person would use ext2 in production. But when I'd said that, when there was no other option, I was wrong and stupid for wanting reliability in my filesystem.
I see this argument the same way; by accident, the ext3 writers provided a very useful feature. Atomic rename isn't fsync; it's much lighter weight. People are not wrong and stupid for wanting it, but because it's hard, that's practically the first thing out of people's mouths. "You can't do that on ext4. That's not the POSIX semantics, and you're foolish to expect this behavior."
I disagree vehemently. It's a very good feature, and even if it "isn't the Posix standard", you guys should bring this behavior forward. Doing it via the regular rename operation might be a good choice, because it's backwards-compatible with the original accidental feature. Or, perhaps you'll instead want to add an explicit atomic rename operation, so that filesystems like xfs won't surprise users unpleasantly. That would require more pain on the part of application developers, but would make the guarantee explicit instead of implicit, which is probably better from a design perspective.
But telling people to use fsync instead of atomic rename, and that they're wrong and stupid for wanting a feature that's hard to do, is just a tired repetition of a very old game indeed.