Thanks everyone, so far, for your views
@TerryL, very interesting reflections. I agree from user perspective, systemd works just fine. My discussion is more about where we might hope Debian’s decision might go, as it could have knock-on effects on more popular distros and fundamentally, on what might become an eventual assumption or expectation of dependence on systemd (and possible wider implications of this for other applications), and systemd, as you say, goes against the Unix philosophy, whose validity today can also be debated.
@Mr_McBride, I think the speed advantage in start-up due to concurrency, might be a significant reason for adopting systemd in many distros that now use it.
@vinylninja, I’m with you all the way in supporting vanilla Debian Stable, though the wealthier members of our community enthusiastically able to invest in the latest hardware may differ due to Debian taking a long time between releases, and basically freezing the kernel and most applications during that time except for security updates. I think sysadmin experts do cite some of the advantages you mention for systemd configuration - more uniform and therefore manageable, probably. I’m also with you in the hope that Debian retains official support for init diversity though.
@astronautsupplier, definitely there’s a philosophical issue here, though my primary concern is the practical consequence either way. If Debian official supports init diversity, more work could be necessary to ensure applications can be built without being dependent on systemd, for example. If Debian does not support init diversity, there are longer-term issues that I think some people don’t like, such as over-dependence on a complex system, which if it starts to go wrong, could then become a big problem.
@TRST, thanks for your reflections and references. I haven’t followed-up those particular ones, though I will when able For me it’s not just a matter of systemd. It’s already been adopted by most distros. It’s Debian’s position on systemd and crucially on alternatives, that I think matters a lot because of Debian’s position amongst other distros.
@Leviticus, I agree with having choice. I’m thinking about maintainers at Debian and their choices - which will eventually affect end users too.
@david.smyth, good - I agree on keeping the diverse option I definitely agree with the idea of possibly modularising systemd, though I don’t know enough about it to know if that’s actually possible or not. After I’ve built the two versions of LFS (systemd and non-systemd) I’ll know more though!
@esbeeb, my hat off to you - fantastic to hear from such a long-term Debian user! It’s my favourite operating system, though when I started using Linux back in about 1995, it was Slackware, then RedHat, then Fedora I used, before not using Linux for some years when I changed profession, then returning to it and having used Debian mostly since approx 2013. Some very practical reflections you offer, on possibly forking systemd if ever necessary, and redirection of resources into areas that the Debian project absolutely needs them for, I agree, such bug-tracking system. Devuan seems to be pioneering in trying to establish an alternative to Debian over the systemd issue, though I’d be happier if somehow the communities could come together and work at it, as a part of me still favours the diversity option