Almost all distributions are working in some way or the other at improving the init system: Ubuntu develops its Upstart, openSuse tries to improve the init scripts massively, and some distributions picked up projects like InitNG.
It was generally agreed that Fedora must also do something in this regard, however the plans to improve the situation for Fedora 7 have been delayed to Fedora 8. There were some discussions but really happened, and not even benchmark tests were done.
However, now Harald Hoyer updated several related wiki pages showing the possible future: /etc/rc.d/rc will become dependency aware making it possible to boot services in parallel. Also, D-Bus will be included to get more information about the system services. Also, the window manager will be fired up quite quickly, possibly even with flexible dependencies (sometimes you need network, sometimes not), to give the user the fastest possible feedback.
However, there are several things I don’t like about these new proposals: I have the feeling that all other attempts were not even really tested – although InitNG is already part of Fedora Extras, and although I for example also made upstart run on Fedora. Why were these attempts not tested in general?
I must admit that I cannot even see reasons against Upstart, because it does deliver the features needed: dependency handling, parallel booting, a connection to D-Bus. At least the first two are also handled by InitNG.
In general I miss a real discussion of the pros and cons of the existing solutions and existing attempts to solve the problem for Fedora. Scott Remnant, the main developer behind Upstart, spent quite some time comparing existing solutions with each other and figuring out the needs of today’s Linux distributions. I have seen nothing comparable from the Fedora developers yet. And with comparable I mean a paper like discussion of the topic, not the existing (worth reading) e-mail discussions.
After all I would like to know why there should be yet another solution developed while there are alternatives like Launchd, Upstart, InitNG and also openSUSE’s attempt available. I don’t like the idea of an init war.
But maybe the changes for Fedora 8 will be more temporary until it turns out which new init system really is worth porting?