When Ubuntu switches to systemd, when Mint adopts it, too (in a way that infringes on freedom), I will be looking for another distro.
I have used slackware (really ancient), Debian (90s, reliable, it was my firewall), Gentoo (00s -- emerge is not always your friend), Ubuntu (dabbled -- but they lost me after Gnome2 went away) and now Arch. I came upon the systemd controversy after lots of the flames had flown and after it had already caused me a bunch of pain (I wonder if some of my on-going pain isn't a result of it as well but I'm currently blaming heat and hardware on that front).
systemd's advocates promise all kinds of things -- and admittedly my LaserJet1020 printer has been slightly (but only very slightly) easier to keep running in a systemd world, but not by very much. "Quick booting" isn't why I came to Linux. I consider it an undesirable feature actually. I'd like the boot to go at a speed where I can just barely keep up with the dmesg lines going by -- whenever I'm forced to do a full re-boot, like on a kernel upgrade, that is. It gave me a sense for the health of my system and if the shape of the message stream changed it functioned as a canary -- either of more change than I thought I had adopted, or of something going/gone wrong.
I say the following with no personal animus, just a feeling that "The Art of Unix Programming" was never read and taken fully to heart by the people who wrote and decided to adopt systemd:
1. I question the wisdom of a 40Mb program running as PID1. It's bloat-ware at the one place there should be no bloat. Speaking from a security point of view, it's a set of broad attack surfaces that we shouldn't put up with.
2. Anyone who doesn't like scripts (as L.P. has stated he does not) shouldn't be writing a PID1 program. Not liking script is a sign of failure to be enculturated in the Unix Way -- go back and read the Rootless Root: "Three pounds of Vax!"
3. Anyone who cares that PIDs climb up into the thousands during boot up (as L.P. has stated that he finds distasteful) shouldn't be writing a PID1 program. Who cares! All those little processes were wonderful in their moment: they started, they did their work, they died ... and they left clear messages about what they did so that if anything went wrong we can figure it out -- even if the logs are in 5 different places, the single fact that they exist as text files that we can use less and grep on is a treasure beyond words.
4. Responding to "Corrupt Journal file" as a bug with "RESOLVED-WONTFIX" is so wrong-headed, language fails me (to be clear: not an FS journal, all logs in a systemd world go into the journal, accessed through journalctl).
5. Log files trapped in a binary journal that you can't read unless your system is running is even worse.
6. And haven't enough people been hurt by Pulse Audio [for the record, I haven't, but tales of woe from this corner are so common that they give me cause for caution] that we should be far more cautious about accepting anything else from the same people? Even I have my besetting idiocies -- I just don't insist on imposing them on whole communities and then callously ignoring the complaints.
So, when a version of Mint adopts systemd to the deprecation or exclusion of others, I will go quietly into the night. Even if sysvinit can't hotplug the way somebody wants it, too (I hadn't noticed a problem myself), there's got to be a more Unix-like way to do it than systemd.
I admire Mark Shuttleworth's calm tone in his piece on "losing gracefully". He's acting like an adult in the sense of not getting het-up about this issuse, where "all around are losing theirs". But I also think that the nose entering the tent, claiming to be that of a camel (a necessary, useful animal in some settings, if really frustrating and annoying notwithstanding) really belongs to a basilisk and the time for torches and pitch-forks (double-entendre there, absolutely intentional) is only just beginning.
(mis-quoting a 70s rock tune) Hold the line! It's not always 'bout booting time... ank