Imminent Debian fork?

The news is hitting the web. Debian might be forked in case systemd is the only viable init system in the future. Pay attention to the word viable.

The news is about this web page: debianfork.org. The site claims that a bunch of veteran Unix admins that use Debian for their work are going to fork Debian in case systemd will be become so closely coupled with the rest of the system, that no other alternative init system will be able to work as exactly that, an alternative init system. They say that systemd betrays the Unix philosophy (and in my opinion, they are probably right, as many other people out there think so too) and they don't want to use it (and I guess they're not the only ones). There are sites that refer to this action as a threat to Debian, which is a word I don't like and surely is not used on the site itself.

As there are many articles and news out there about the legacy of sysvinit and that it's not the best init system nowadays and that something better must be developed, I guess it gets the job done. Some of the technical advantages of systemd are greater control over services, faster startup, etc. and some of these come with at the expense of close coupling with Linux itself, but I guess that when it comes to servers that reboot only when there's a new kernel update, sysvinit gets the job done pretty nicely and all this fuss about systemd is pretty much all about the desktop, etc. I don't have the technical skills to criticize the benefits of either systemd or sysvinit, so I have to stick with all these articles out there about systemd and its alternatives.

So, coming back to the Debian fork news, I guess that forking a project might not seem at first as the right thing to do and is not easy to know up front where this fork will lead. There have been some project forks in the past, that after time, seemed like the right thing to do at that time. Forking Debian will not be the easiest thing to do, since there are many developers and users out there (not mentioning the distros that use it as a base), so in case this happens, only time will tell if the fork was the right decision.

I like Debian the way it is now. But for a server use. I've become rather comfortable administering it, it gets my job done pretty well and I wouldn't want to see it forked. Things might go wrong.

What do you think?

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