> AIUI, systemd's goal is to create a platform upon which you can rely upon certain features existing such as a way to make sure your application starts at boot, during a user session, on socket activity, after the SQL server started, or whenever.
This is important because it describes the problem/disagreement: What systemd provides more than anything isn't a technical improvement over previous options but the promise of *uniformity*, which can also be read as a lack of choice. Its goal, or one of its goals, seems to be unapologetically saying "Distributions should not be free to be different in some ways because we know the best answers to some problems and deviation is not acceptable." Usually this level of uniformity is achieved only through standardization (e.g. posix) and consensus, but with systemd it's being attempted sideways: build a new system and push for adoption based on its other virtues, but get uniformity as a result.
It's ultimately not about better boot times, even though that's an oft-sited 'benefit' to systemd. It's also not about better service supervision, because that is a goal which can be achieved in a non-confrontational, evolutionary way, too. It's about *one* way of doing things, which 'presumably' is the best way, because if it isn't then what's the point of all of this?