Recently on a mailing list of IToolBox I am subscribed to, I read there is another replacement for sysvinit in the works. This looks to be very promising and is being done by the same people who bring you (k)ubuntu.
It is called upstart which I am sure is a play on words and it is a "replacement for the init daemon". Here is what they say about the need for this program "Running a fixed set of scripts, one after the other, in a particular order has served us reasonably well until now. However as Linux has got better and better at dealing with modern computing (arguably Linux's removable device support is better than Windows' now) this approach has begun to have problems."
I myself have noticed that Linux is getting longer and longer to start. When I first went full bore Linuxonian :) I reveled in how it would start up faster than windows on the same hardware. Now it is hard put to tell the difference. Over the years there have been several replacements offered for init which try to solve this problem but upstart is different and as they say "upstart is an event-based init daemon". This means that it runs asynchronously so a fast starting process doesn't have to wait for a slow process if they are not dependent. A lot of the other alternatives also break compatibility but "upstart will continue to run the existing scripts for the foreseeable future" so it can be used as a drop in replacement.
This looks to be a very exciting leap forward for the Linux community and I can't wait to see how it develops. Already DIY Linux is testing it for possible inclusion. You can read all about upstart here and here. How do you compare upstart with the other startup methods? Have you had problems with the venerable sysvinit?