Coming at it from a gentoo / SuSE user's viewpoint ...
Gentoo shoves all its compiles into /tmp. And when compiling LO, you need a lot of temp space. So rather than having space dedicated to tmp for compiling, I have something like 10 or 20Gb of swap (plus 8Gb RAM), and simply have a huge tmpfs /tmp.
SuSE on the other hand ... Why oh WHY can't they give you sane defaults! Swap space defaults to twice ram (good) but without doing a "wipe and redo manually", you can't *increase* swap space! I always set swap space to at least twice the mobo's max ram.
The other thing I didn't realise, is that tmpfs defaults to half available ram. So with 8Gb, the first few times I tried to compile OOo, I couldn't work out why it kept crashing !-)
So yeah, I'm all in favour of /tmp in tmpfs. But make sure you have *sane* defaults, and those defaults are *easy* to over-ride. SuSE, I'm glaring at you !!!