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.

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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