I already linked to the LWN article discussing the 2009 controversy. You can follow that link and the links within that article, or Google "ext4 delayed allocation". (The third link there is "Linus Torvalds upset over ext3 and ext4"! The Wikipedia article currently has a whole section about "Delayed allocation and potential data loss".)
I'm aware that XFS implemented delayed allocation before ext4. I'm also aware that XFS became notorious for badly messing up files and filesystems when there are power failures or similar; I'm especially aware of that since it happened to me multiple times, but any discussion of Linux filesystem reliability inevitably includes mention of XFS's problems. I investigated and learned that XFS had been explicitly designed for server room situations where the power *never* fails. Before that I was a big fan of XFS (having actually used it on SGIs in the 90s), and after that I went back to ext3 and have not had any problems with it.
I'd really like to hear from someone who acknowledges the 2009 controversy (and that those wary of delayed allocation at the time had a point), and who can explain how it's improved since then to the point that it's considered safe for ext3 users.
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