This is now available for download from the Raspberry Pi website. I tried it this morning and have updated my guide on getting wireless working on this new distribution as previous instructions didn’t quite work.
The main change, as far as I’m aware, is the speed. It certainly feels a lot snappier when running the GUI. This is mainly down to the kernel and toolchain now supporting hardware accelerated floating point maths, rather than it being done in software. There are more details on the changes here on the Raspberry Pi website.
I’ve compiled the application I first tested on Squeeze (see My First Raspberry Pi Application) and the results are in:
Compilation of my route search application is much quicker; 1 minute 38 seconds compared to 2 minutes dead. The route calculation and render took about the same time; 9 seconds.
I suspect the rendering is now the bottleneck rather than the route calculation; lots of line draws and text.
Other changes include a nifty configuration tool (raspi-config) to set common options; this is presented once upon first booting the Pi so you can quickly change things like overscan settings and passwords and can be invoked from the command line at any point thereafter. This is perfect for the beginner.
The utility also has an option for expanding the root partition on larger SD cards but this did not work for some reason when I tried it.
Finally I noticed that I had to install fewer libraries to get my application compiled; I only had to install libx11-dev. A boon for the C/C++ programmer!