Improving the Debian Policy Manual

The Debian Policy Manual was never properly updated to reflect either the outcome of the Debian systemd packaging hoo-hah or the switch to systemd as the installed-by-default init system in Debian 8. It describes things as if van Smoorenburg init and rc were still the defaults, fails to account for differences and obsolescences introduced by systemd, and treats alternative init systems (including systemd!) as mere addenda.

In 2014, at the tail end of the hoo-hah, I attempted to rectify this. I wrote a modified policy and sent it off to Russell Nelson for passing along to the policy people. Unfortunately, it apparently got lost in the shuffle when M. Nelson resigned from the Debian Technical Committee. So here it is.

(In August 2016, I drew attention to this on the Debian Policy mailing list with reference to Debian bug #835520 which I had noticed had been raised a couple of days earlier. The sole public response was a rather daft one asking whether I had discussed this on that very same mailing list that I was right there discussing it on, claiming that a bug needed to be raised when the bug that had already been raised was in the subject line of the message, and claiming that the work of writing was not done when there was an actual patch with an entire revised chapter of concrete text right here. To this day, Debian policy still primarily talks about runlevels and treats the default installed system as an "alternative" in an addendum.)

The patch only alters §9.3 of the Manual and its footnotes.

I have adhered to a few self-set rules here:

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