I made the jump to the release client last night, well so late that I woke up to finish the upgrade in the middle of the night because it took so long to pull down all the files. Here’s a brain dump of things I’ve noticed but bear in mind that fixes and changes might be pushed before official launch in a weeks time.
Hate the Simple Greeter for GDM and loathe the broken functionality of GConf-Editor. If you want to dump the user list at the login page issue the following on the cli => sudo -u gdm gconftool-2 –type bool –set /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/disable_user_list ‘true’ (Thanks to Gramps at Ubuntu Forums). Bottom line, I hate user lists for login and it is a personal preference. Moreover, it chaps my ass when the supposed tools for adjusting behaviors of apps fail to work. Adding salt to that chapped ass is the UX disaster that the simple-greeter becomes after you disable the user list, tapping the enter key to type your own name is senseless and counter-intuitive. If the user list is disabled present the username input box.
The disk check on boot feels like a UX regression as it a tiny terminal window that continually refreshes the overall state of the scan, the UUID and percent complete, in a scrolling list. If the the information isn’t changing beyond the percent why not just so that clocking up? The disk check dialog from 9.04 was much more polished and it is possible that 9.10 will implement something similar so I’ll reserve judgment.
Sound events has taken on an odd crackle, like the discharge of static, when my laptop is muted. No idea what that is all about but I have been going back through all the preferences and been disabling sound events since I am more a visual person for notifications.
Gwibber 2.0.0 is double-plus good. Polished, clean, and solid. Best experience so far was that on launch it recognized that Facebook was in an incomplete configuration state and walked me through finishing it. Well done, Team Gwibber!
Shutdown does feel faster over earlier releases but boot is a mixed bag in that it feels like you get to the login screen at a decent time but strapping the desktop environment after login feels slow; could be a Compiz issue but I am not sure. I’m waiting to try suspend and hibernation to see if those improved any as my experience has been that both were notoriously slow.
Empathy, in my 60 second whirlwind setup, seems to be much more polished then when I last used it earlier this year. I was able to set up all my accounts including my work chat via Google Apps with absolutely no issues. The integration with the desktop is nice though I’m still trying to get my head around how to call up the chat list without invoking Gnome-Do. Also, it’s implementation of conversation logging is very nice.
Ubuntu One is much less bitchy about a lagging Internet connection and now will re-connect without forcing me to re-authorize my laptop each and every time. +1 for basic functionality.
The usual raft of “essential” apps (Firefox, Tasque, Gnome-Do, ec2 tools) have been working without a hitch which is nice because as far as I can tell no updates occurred for those programs (well, alright, I was already on FF 3.5 and I fetch my own ec2 tools).
So far so good but like any new release it is a little bit of a mixed bag. I’m hopeful that somethings will improve after the launch, like the GDM, but also very pleased that doing an early upgrade didn’t put me in the position of firefighting. All that said, this is a very solid release and after the official launch I will have no problems recommending it to Management or my mother-in-law.