Systems. An opportunity done wrong?
Yes. Pardon my grammar but there may be an angle on systemd that is being overlooked. At present all the focus is on what systemd is taking away from the Linux users, in the form of choice (namely that of desktop environment).
However, there could be a flip side to this. If systemd were to become the glue which makes everything between the Kernel and the user’s application become both transparent yet decoupled from the user land applications (which appears not to be the current approach) then the application development community could focus all their efforts onto the pure app development and forget about the Gubbins under the hood. Potentially this could deliver greatly enhanced user applications in terms of quality and functionality.
Unfortunately these potential benefits appear to be ebbing away from us as the systemd development team take an alternative route toward another goal.
I genuinely believe that once the early life cycle bugs are worked out of the basic systemd implementation many system administrators will reap the benefits of this new approach. Many reports already contain details of the significant technical merits of systemd which should not be overlooked.
Given some tempering of the systemd ambitions there really could be a positive outcome for the humble users here.