Why does a build create so many temporary files?
I've just done the first deep update of my system. To my surprise and satisfaction, it recompiled specifically for my machine quite a few packages that had originally come with the stage 3 tarball, including gcc. I was also impressed by the messages that portage gave me, explaining exactly what tidying up operations would be necessary afterwards.
While gcc was compiling, I monitored the number of files the build was creating by using df -i periodically (I already knew it was a large number). The number of inodes consumed was about 55 thousand! That is grotesque! What kind of a process needs 55,000 files? I know that the compiler must create an object file for each source file but were there really 27,000 source files in this package? Just what is going on here?