Note that HDFS is not meant to be Linux compatible, rather, it's meant to be POSIX-compatible
Quoting Hadoop Security on sticky bit:
... it [sticky bit] means that files in a directory can only be deleted by the owner of that file. Without the sticky bit set, a file can be deleted by anyone that has write access to the directory. In HDFS, the owner of a directory and the HDFS superuser can also delete files regardless of whether the sticky bit is set. The sticky bit is useful for directories, such as /tmp, where you want all users to have write access to the directory but only the owner of the data should be able to delete data.
The Linux's behavior is documented/defined here: http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man1/chmod.1.html
RESTRICTED DELETION FLAG OR STICKY BIT
The restricted deletion flag or sticky bit is a single bit, whose
interpretation depends on the file type. For directories, it
prevents unprivileged users from removing or renaming a file in the
directory unless they own the file or the directory; this is called
the restricted deletion flag for the directory, and is commonly found
on world-writable directories like /tmp. For regular files on some
older systems, the bit saves the program's text image on the swap
device so it will load more quickly when run; this is called the
However, I found no mention of sticky bit handling in Open Group specification regarding rm command: http://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/009695399/utilities/rm.html
This wikipage describes the behavior of removing files under sticky-bit attributed directories: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sticky_bit
As you can see, there is no common behavior across all Unix-like operating systems. But for operating systems that use sticky bit to protect files removals, HDFS's behavior is definitely different. So I think it's safe to say the old behavior is unexpected to most Unix-like users, and the new behavior is what most Unix-like users would expect.