So the sensible thing to do is to treat rename as dependent on the data write. Now, any program that truncates a file and then writes to it will tend to lead to 0-length files in a system crash, but that also tends to lead to 0-length files in an application crash or in a race with other code, or at least be a case where it's okay and expected to not find any particular file contents. If your desktop software actually erases all of your files and then hopes to be able to write new contents into them before anybody notices, that is an application bug, but using ext3 won't change the fact that it's failure-prone even aside from filesystem robustness.
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