No, not so much changed in 1.8.4 that I need. I was more curious about the delay time from release to update on dreamhost.
As far as Rails goes, I thought I had heard future releases would work under 1.8.4 or greater only. Given your response, it seems you would move up the version of ruby with the upgrade to rails once debian package maintainers got on it. That's all fine by me!
i suppose I just wanted to understand how the process of upgrades worked.