First of all HUGE thank you to the Devuan developers who have obviously devoted much time and effort to make this a reality.
I am an older computer user (baby-boomer gen) but abandoned Windows in favor of linux in the late 90s and have not looked back. Soon gravitated to debian-based distros in favor of the Redhat-based ones as I found Debian's package management system to be more sane. Tinkered with Ubuntu briefly but returned to pure Debian soon and stuck with it until the present.
Learned of the systemd controversy only recently (December 2015) but when I investigated it bothered me greatly. At the time I was using Debian 6 on a HP laptop (AMD chip) and Debian 7.6.0 on an ASUS desktop (Intel). Installing a second drive into the desktop, I decided to experiment with alternatives in case upgrading beyond Debian 7 forced me to use systemd against my will. In fact, an attempt to install Debian Jessie on the desktop resulted during network configuration in a failure unless I downloaded and installed some low-level software related to DHCP config. It looked as if it might actually alter the embedded firmware of my RealTek network card, so I declined. How could that be necessary, when it was not for any other Debian version? And if one proceeded and it did alter your network card's firmware, would you thereafter be locked in to systemd? I don't know enough to answer, but it confirmed my determination to steer clear of systemd upgrades or distros.
Briefly dabbled with FreeBSD as a possible alternative and although I recommend it as an excellent learning process for anyone with Unix-like OS experience, and for basic productivity desktop (mail, browsing, editing, printing, audio-video), it failed for me in one category: multimedia full function, specifically lack of support for Flash Player for online streaming video.
Then Devuan announced it had released its beta Jessie ISO files and I jumped on the opportunity to give it a spin!
My first impressions couldn't be more positive. The installation procedure was smooth (on the desktop, Intel i386 architecture) and was placed on a secondary drive while the primary was running Debian 7.6.0 (Wheezy). Grub installed on the primary drive and offers me the choice between Devuan vs Wheezy at boot.
Adding a line to /etc/fstab allows me to mount/unmount the Wheezy drive at will for very convenient backups between drives. I have had no difficulty installing any software packages so far, nor configuring my printer.
Xfce4 as default window manager took some getting used to; however it is a perfectly good GUI and is easy to customize and very stable, low overhead on CPU etc. One note is that although I had made a point of installing several other window managers (WindowMaker and Enlightenment), they did not show up as alternatives from the graphical login screen. I believe this could cause some new users grief, so I mention it here and offer the solution which some may not be aware of. The default login manager is the minimalistic /usr/bin/slim ("Simple Login Manager") which has no mouse support; just a field to enter your username and password. It boots directly into the default WM (Xfce4). However, if you have alternates installed you can select for them with the F1 key, which pressed sequentially will display the WM to be selected as a rotational sequence. Once you've selected the one you want, proceed to enter your username & password to login.
In addition, you can enter commands into the username field, such as "console" for an xterm, "exit" to drop to a console login, "halt" to shutdown, or "reboot" to reboot the machine. So, slim the "Simple Login Manager" is not so bare-bones after all..
One more thing I am impressed with: the Enlightenment window manager runs! A complicated and slick interface, this window manager has proven very difficult to install on previous Debian systems (for me), as it has so many dependencies which were not available from the repositories as such. However Devuan developers have seen fit to include everything Enlightenment 17 requires to install via synaptic package manager, and it runs like a charm. Thank you so much for that.