I'll tell you why a flat object directory format simply isn't an option.
Hint: maximum directory size. It's limited by n_link, and it's almost universally a 16-bit number on Linux (and generally artifically limited to 32000 entries).
In other words, if you ever expect to have more than 32000 objects, a flat space simply isn't possible.
Eh?! n_link limits the number of *subdirectories* a directory can contain, not the number of *entries*.
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