It has nothing to do with subliminal effects, but rather what kind of
effect this microoptimization is going to have in the Big Picture. What
I'm contending is that the Real World difference between the correct
version of the optimization will have no significant performance effects
compared to the incorrect version that you and davem are so gleefully
advocating. This means not running through "bullshit" benchmarks that
test one and only one thing, but running apps that actually put memory
pressure on the system (Oracle does so quite nicely using a filesystem
without O_DIRECT) which in turn causes page scanning (aka the clearing
of the referenced bit which is *THE* code that is being contested) but
should not cause swap out. To me, this is just part of the methodology
of being thorough in testing the effects of changes to the VM subsystem.
Frankly, I'm suitable unimpressed with the thoroughness of consideration
and testing to the changes currently being pushed into the base tree.
Again, this is why I'm not bothering to run base kernels.
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