Here is a very interesting Linux project called upstart which aims to replace the way all processes are started and stopped on the system. This would supercede init, cron, inetd and anything that needs to control a running process based on criteria. Upstart would be event based, so that all of cron’s functionality is a special case of event, name “It is now 01:52 on Saturday” or “It is 10 minutes after any hour”. You’d configure upstart to start a process when that event happens, and away you go.
The exciting thing is that this fixes problems with initialization of a system, namely what happens if one of the filesystems isn’t available at boot time for some temporary reason – a slow hard drive that is still spinning up or a network drive that is temporarily unavailable. Interesting stuff, I’ll be following this closely.