Ian Jackson's general resolution to prevent init system coupling has failed to pass, the majority vote deciding that the resolution is unnecessary. This means that not only will Debian's default init be systemd, but packages will not be required to support other init systems. Presumably, this means that using other init systems on Debian (without using systemd as a base) will not be possible without major workarounds, or possibly at all. It also leaves the future of Debian projects such as kFreeBSD unclear, as systemd is linux specific.
The vote results can be found here
The winners are:
Option 4 "General Resolution is not required"
I think the dark days were the multiple resignations resulting from the way the debate has been carried out, including personal and physical threats against people. I don't care which side such things are coming from but, to me, people being threatened away from working on FOSS is a lot darker than _any_ technical decision.
The vote result may be good from that point of view - a massive majority against FD and clear support for the process working as it already is. It's not a split or close vote like the TC, and again that is good - it's not going to split Debian in two.
None of this takes away your choice of init system - one of Joey Hess's pre-resignation posts made it clear that the init system package maintainers were working together in consensus to maintain choice of init system. Assuming they haven't all been driven away by threats now, that is very reassuring (less good is that Joey seemed to feel that the GR was stomping all over that consensus way of working).
Dependencies don't take away your choice of init, though they might create consequences from it, and they aren't created by package maintainers either - the maintainers job (surely?) is to assess and document the dependencies that are already there from upstream. Blaming maintainers or Debian as a whole for dependencies introduced elsewhere is just shooting the messenger. Indeed, I think the GR could conceivably have lead Debian into demise - if Gnome devs make it irreversibly dependent on systemd, and KDE does the same, and maybe the other desktops too, where would that leave Debian if the GR had passed, without a desktop, as a headless server-only distribution ?
The way it is, if Gnome requires systemd then Gnome users can still use Debian and non-systemd users can still use Debian, the only restriction is that you can't use Gnome and not-systemd, but that will be the same for every distribution so Debian continues to give you as much choice as possible. Under the GR as far as I can see if Gnome becomes irreversibly dependent on systemd then it would have to be dropped from Debian, thus reducing choice.
There will be no choice. Every time systemd proponents assure us that they would NEVER do something, they then do it. If debian or other large distros don't maintain a system which works without systemd, it will soon be almost entirely unworkable.
People weren't driven away by threats, they were driven away by bureaucracy, mostly. The dark days started when Debian thought GNOME3 should go in stable. Remember how long they had KDE3 in stable because KDE4 was buggy? Several years after slackware, even. The quality has been diving for some time and they just informed us that they will not be slowing down that trainwreck.
Every time systemd proponents assure us that they would NEVER do something, they then do it.
I didn't know the reborn Walter Ulbricht [the-berlin-wall.com] develops systemd. ;-)