Ubuntu 9.04 is going to be released in around three weeks. As usual I couldn't wait (and saw that some bugs that were irritating me every day were fixed in Jaunty), so I upgraded to the current beta.
After a little hiccough at the beginning, the upgrade was the smoothest Ubuntu upgrade I've ever had: I spent those two and a half hours browsing the web, watching screencasts and chatting on IRC, while update-manager worked in the background. Firefox was mostly very responsive, only stuttering when update-manager got around to unpacking openoffice.org-common. There were few debconf or conffile questions (one from sysstat 2 minutes into the upgrade, then a conffile question after 1 hour and 20 minutes, then two more after 15 minutes, and one more 5 minutes later. And the last one 10 minutes later). There were no ugly theme changes or failing GNOME applet error messages during the upgrade. Near the end X-Chat automatically started showing new-style notifications (beautiful!) and Firefoxes nicely asked to be restarted with a fold-down notification bar.
Nice. Now, after a reboot things were not so nice: I couldn't login. After typing in my password and a couple of mode changes I was kicked back to the GDM prompt. I panicked and started logging into the text consoles and trying to run startx, quite in vain, since when I just tried gdm again it worked fine.
The intel video driver feels slower, as promised by the release notes, but it's acceptable as long as you don't try to rotate the external screen. Then it's horrible and unusable—a regression since Intrepid. I'll have to retry with UXA.
Compiz failed to enable a plugin (GNOME Compatibility), so a couple of key bindings didn't work (Alt+F1 to get the menu, Alt+F2 to get the run dialog, my custom keybinding to open a terminal) until someone on FreeNode told me what to enable.
The Flash plugin is now swfdec, and it is unable to cope with Youtube music videos—the sound is all choppy. I'm wondering if this is swfdec's fault, pulseaudio's fault (it's common knowledge that all audio problems stem from pulseaudio, right? ;) or X.org's fault (top shows it's X that's eating 90% CPU when swfdec is trying to play a video).
A lot of very irritating bugs are gone. I don't need to restart Compiz after playing with xrandr. X doesn't crash after I play with xrandr. Two-finger scrolling with the Synaptics touchpad doesn't produce phantom scroll-down-17-pages events when I take my fingers off the touchpad. The GNOME panels don't migrate to the external screen when I play with xrandr (but one of them jumps from the bottom to the top when I play some more). The new splash screen has a pretty gradient for its progress bar (but is displayed off-center, maybe because I added vga=872 to my GRUB kernel options list to avoid ugly stretching of text consoles). X.org no longer distorts the aspect ratio of 1024x768 when stretching it to fit the 1280x800 screen—now I get sensible black bars on the sides. The new notification bubbles are beautiful!. I could stare at them all day. (But the new indicator applet is ugly.)
Overall I'm happy. A bunch of very irritating bugs were replaced with a smaller bunch of somewhat less irritating bugs. The intel video slowdown scares me a bit, though, but the prettiness of the notification bubbles outweigh everything else. What can I say, I like pretty things—Ooh, shiny!