Originally Posted by LinuxNoobX
Eg: If a file (x) is placed in /home/esr/WWW/ldp as opposed to /home would it play any role in how smootly/successfully x is accessed because there are more i-nodes to look up or is the difference negligable?
My suspicion (...not done any testing...), is that, for the question that you mean, the difference is negligible, but that it needn't be.
I think that you are thinking of the case in which both /home/esr/WWW/ldp and /home are on the same partition.
In the case that they are not, all bets could be off. The extreme case, eg /home/esr (and the way down from there) would be on an SSD (or, say, on a big Raid array), and the SSD would be a lot faster than the clanking mechanical drive stuff, and whatever difference in the accessing of the metadata would be overwhelmed by the time taken to read the data, assuming that there is any reasonable amount of it. Also, once the data is on different partitions, the file system could be different, the journalling options could be different (...and that can be one of the reasons for having the data on different partitions...) and you might even have atime set.
I am told it is the Linux distro that most resembles an official...
Well, I know what you mean, but you'll probably cause less controversy with a word like 'pure', in as much as Slack probably makes as few home grown tweaks to some kind of unmolested Linux. The other side of that particular coin is that Slack probably comes the least distance to meet the User in making things easier by messing about with a 'pure' Linux base, too.
There isn't, in the sense that you probably mean, an official Linux; there is, more or less, an official Kernel, but everything that an ordinary user interfaces with isn't the Kernel, but Userland tools and GUI, so that doesn't really constrain what the user interfaces with in any real way.