Re: I don't understand the hype
You CANNOT fully remove SystemD from Debian - that is just a myth.
AT THE MOMENT it is near enough possible to get rid of all the functional bits of SystemD, but as time goes on, SystemD spreads it's tentacles into more and more packages.
Basically, SystemD re-implements many previously standard and well understood interfaces. Logging ? Syslog or one of it's modern replacements). Time ? NTP. And so it goes on.
The SystemD camp keep deprecating these standard interfaces - so that packages increasingly over time have to use the "new 'improved'" interfaces or they can't run properly on SystemD systems. Once they do that, then they won't run on systems without those interfaces - ie they won't run without SystemD.
And because Debian (through a very flawed vote process that actually didn't support it) chose to make SystemD the default - any bugs along the lines of "doesn't work properly without SystemD" are just closed as "won't fix".
What Devuan does is take all the Debian base stuff, and fix all those gratuitous dependencies on SystemD. The vast majority of packages are just taken direct from the Debian repositories - the Devuan specific ones are the ones with the crap removed. The expectation is that over time, unless Debian sees sense, that Debian will slowly diverge from Devuan as it allows the SystemD crap to spread.