The explosion on interest on Devuan seems to have reached its current capacity to deal with bugs. Judging from the absence of feedback on the Dev1 forum on issues, lack of any recent updates, the summer vacation excuse seems to be running out of time. It is easy for us to judge and criticize but we reach the point of cruelty unless we have dealt with development itself. The interdependence of packaging is so complex that at some point the whole project needs to halt, fill all the holes opened, and then be able to move to a next step. I suspect that part of the problem has been on putting too many eggs in a broken basket. The basket in this case was Debian Jessie which had issues and in the past year it was put on hold to help speed up the delayed development of Stretch. Stretch has had so much re-engineering that much of it can not transfer to Jessie. While Debian went into freeze, testing/Stretch had hundreds of bugs open, while Jessie had four times as many. Devuan’s first stable edition, Devuan 1.0 – Jessie, came at an unfortunate time when Jessie was a mess. Patience and belief on the potential of the system can be rewarding. At the moment Jessie seems stable and is just lacking the expected development. Meanwhile ascii is not that bad for most of us, and it also seems to be lacking any development. But both these systems seem stable enough to work on. They seem more like fixed distributions than rolling. Meanwhile, the time of extended support of Debian wheezy is clicking fast. With all troubles systemd has developed especially for server-enterprise systems, when Wheezy will reach EOL (end of life) there will be a tsunami of interest in Devuan. And Devuan must prepare for this stress test. Thousands and thousands of experienced sys-admins will be inquiring on the differences. On the other side Artix is still the secret weapon few know about. Artix seems to be further down the development path before it announces its first official stable distribution than Devuan has ever been. Artix seems to be maturing within a small community of users. People from Manjaro-OpenRC, Arch-OpenRC, Arch-Bang, Parabola, Void, seem to be taking an interest already. The problems uncovered seem to be minute and negligible. Developers seem to be active and responsive in peoples’ questions as the FAQ is getting wealthy of relieving continuous repetition of what is what. As the testing repository is getting nearly ready, the unstable counterpart seems to have evolved as well. The freedom of choices seems to be endless. The installer has not received a single revision as it doesn’t seem to need any. It comes with a base, an i3 desktop, and an LXQT, preconfigured script, but still allows you to make a choice of packages before or after the base installation. I suspect the Artix developers didn’t take a vacation this year and all this work is paying off.
Meanwhile the systemd maze and web is expanding to choke all other distributions and forcing them to submit to a universal and centrally controlled system. Debian instead of admitting defeat is eagerly trying to become the central part of this monopoly but with little warning to their faithful users. In a few years it won’t matter much which systemd-based distribution you use as it will all be one system with no variation and with the inherent inability to configure anything on your own. Only time will tell us whether we are wrong or not.