Axel has been working on this for a while now, and a couple of days ago he finally introduced it to the Haiku world in a blog post, the new launch_daemon. This daemon will replace the current shell based boot process, with the goal of making it flexible, giving the user choice of what or what not to load, after the daemon comes into play. At the moment you can, for example, have software startup automatically, or prevent system components to launch. For what's down the road, Axel would like to implement, among other features, the possibility to monitor running services and use the syslog for error reporting.
According to Axel, basic functionality is already in place, allowing Haiku to boot using the launch_daemon as it's been doing so far (without it), and he plans to merge his work into the main repository in the next few days. Looking forward to see how things progress from this point onward, good stuff.