My first reaction was "Why not add pioctl and use that?". For those who don't know pioctl: it's a syscall used by AFS and a couple of other remote fs implmementations. It's essentially ioctl on paths instead of file descriptors. This means that you get rid of the dnotify problems with the need of having the watched file open.
I have on the other hand not studied this in any depth...
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