"Having had several issues with systemd, and really not liking the philosophy behind it, I am looking into alternatives. I really prefer something that follows the Unix philosophy of using small, focused, and independent tools, with a clear interface. Unfortunately, my favourite distro, Arch Linux, is very much pro-systemd, and a discussion of alternatives is liable to get you banned for a month from their forums. There is an effort to support openrc, but it is still in its infancy and without much support.
So, what are the alternatives, besides Gentoo? Preferably binary... I'd rather have something like arch, with quick updates, cutting edge, but I've already used a lot in the past Mandrake, RedHat, SourceMage, Debian, Kubuntu, and so on, so the package format or the package management differences don't scare me."
[ED Note: I'm imagining FreeBSD sitting in the room with the all the Linux distros he mentioned being utterly ignored like Canada in Hetalia.]
"I think not using Gnome is a plus in itself."
I have to agree. I used KDE for years, then as it got too slow to use, so I went to xfce for a little while, then ratpoison, then awesome for a couple years, and lately have settled semi-permanently on xmonad. I tend to switch every machine, work and home, that I have access to, which is pretty easy in a modern environment.
So, I wake the machine up, log in, hit alt-p and start konsole (for its good utf-8 support and tabs) in term 1 and chrome in term 2. And I switch between term 1 and 2 a couple hundred times per day (alt-1 ... alt-2 .. alt-1 ... alt-2 .. is my only interaction with the WM or "DE").
My "work" is done in ssh sessions started in konsole with the occasional IDE or whatever X forwarded back to my machine and shoved in term3. Yes I admit I used eclipse on occasion although its usually more of a productivity reducer than increaser.
Now here's the question... if I switched to Gnome or KDE, how exactly would the above paragraph improve my experience? What would I do differently? What does everyone else do? There seem to be a lot of community organizers trying to "represent" people who do this and need that and demand the other thing, yet the people they claim to represent don't actually exist or never speak for themselves.
I use neither (KFS or Gnome), I am simply lazy and prefer to install both and be agnostic in the utilities each provide, both libraries end up being installed either because of that ebuild or the other. Hence systemd, because Gnome pretty much enforces it and yes, Gnome does play a role in a lot of desktop users so I felt it was worthwhile to mention that even with Gentoo might be difficult to avoid.(True, I pollute my system but I get less issues and less hassle)
But you do raise right questions and the old "if it ain't broken don't fix it" creeps up on my mind. What was so wrong with the clean and lean OpenRC? Wrong to the point of prompting a complete re-engineering.You make mention to the users and their opinion. Can be that I am not in the right circles to hear them speak for systemd, but within my relationship circles I am still to find an advocate for it so those questions do feel rather relevant.