Monday, October 3, 2011

From The Ashes....

From the ashes of the Phoenix rises another new but familiar project, it's the amazing, beautiful and pure Phinx Desktop.

   Original Screenshot of Phinx 2011.8

The Phinx Desktop is a linux distribution with the well known PCLinuxOS as it's base that uses Xfce as it's desktop environment and it has been the little sister of the PCLinuxOS Phoenix community edition before.

Now Phinx has gone it's own way. The developer, packager and maintainer Kori (a.k.a. Sproggy) wants the project, where he worked on for 18 months, to stand on it's own feet from now on.

Things will be explained soon by my good friend Kori in an exclusive and indepth interview a bit further below in this blogpost.

But first i would like to give some more info about what happend through the years and most of all lately, which is related to me, PCLinuxOS and the Phinx Desktop project.

I used PCLinuxOS in the past when i first started out with linux myself somewhere in 2007 and was amazed by it back then that i worked with it for a few months. After that it was almost four years of distrohopping, sometimes even switching to another distro within the same day.

Last May or June, can't recall that exactly at the moment, i found the test 2 iso of the upcoming PCLinuxOS 2011.6 32bit and installed it on my laptop. Since almost 3 to 4 months i've been running the various PCLinuxOS versions and to be very honest... i've been sneakpeaking at another rolling release... LMDE. But however, i came back 100% to PCLinuxOS, the community on the forum and even on IRC.

Soon i found myself trying all the newly released 2011 editions and have to say they are all great in their own way. Even the 64bit KDE test 4 version was running very fast and smooth on my laptop. It's too bad that i can't run all of them because i own only a netbook and laptop. Virtualbox is something i don't like so i don't use that. While running the 64bit KDE test 4 version on the laptop, with the Phinx edition to the left of me installed on my netbook and hanging out on the PCLinuxOS IRC channel,  i took notice of a little conversation which got me confused at first, after that, while getting small pieces of info..... more confusion because it still wasn't clear to me what was about to happen.

I thought that Kori just put up another blog or site to keep the Phoenix and Phinx editions more or less separated from each other to give each one of them their special place on the web.
That they would be separated is true but.... i never thought that it would turn out into a lot more than just separated blogs.
The Phinx Desktop site took shape and i figured out that a forum had been added. The first post on the new site, the added forum and a post on the PCLinuxOS forum made clear to me that  what was and is about to happen is indeed a lot more than i ever could imagine. Phinx is going it's own way!

If there is something i like it's new projects and to be honest, i like Kori's work. So i found myself running his PCLinuxOS Phoenix Edition in no time on my laptop instead of the 64bit KDE and Phinx still running on the netbook. I registered myself on the new site and forum, leaving a reply with the offer to help Kori on the board as a moderator only if he wanted and liked to.
That choice was quickly made by me.... I know if something is good and i want to be a part of that, no matter what.... I love to see it grow, evolve, help and even help to promote it where possible. Within a day it was all settled. Kori plugged me in as a moderator and i entered the new Phinx Desktop realm.

For me this is a new beginning, also rising from the ashes sort of speak together with the Phinx Desktop project. PCLinuxOS and it's community gave me back the feeling that i lost somehow. The feeling when i first started with linux..... lot's of fun that want to get you involved more and more, bit by bit. I've been in various places but no other community achieved it to keep me hooked and to stay like they do. And now with the rise of the Phinx Desktop project it has been made complete.......

Screenshot of a slightly customized Phinx 2011.08

Now.... let's switch over to the promised interview with the man behind the Phinx Desktop project and the PCLinuxOS Phoenix Edition: Kori.





M: How long ago did you start with Linux, what's the first distribution you
used?

K: Mandrake 7.2 ... couldn't get it to do dialup so binned linux for a while ...
 then did the full distro hopping thing ...


M: When did you get involved in the PCLinuxOS project and how long have you
been developing the Phoenix and Phinx editions for now?

K: i kinda fell into helping late 08 early 09 ... some things we not right with the Dev team at that time and they all departed ... leaving just a few Dev's and Tex... i first started with Providing Artwork ... 2009.2 was the release that i orchestrated, altho alot of the original work was Geminiguy's he gave me   carte blanche to make it into a full theme ... which is the beautiful sky blue  theme for 2009.2 ...

At that time there was an XFCE called SAM ... when the Dev's left they took SAM
with them and based it on something else ... this left a massive XFCE user
base without an iso to install ... from this event came Phoenix ... 2009.4 ...
the story of how she has her name is old history but if you don't know ... like
a Phoenix that DE rose from the ashes ... Phinx came later as a project to
create a smaller and purer XFCE experience ...



M: Not to long ago i picked up on IRC that the Phinx edition took a departure
somehow, which shocked me at first, and is no longer a PCLinuxOS community
edition anymore but has become a project that you want to stand on it's own feet
if i'm not mistaken. How did it come to that?

K: The decision was made for Phinx to stand alone because PCLOS has always had a drive to keep certain things across all the DE's exactly the same ... the Menu is a good example of this ... with the arrival of XFCE 4.8 ... there also arrived a new menu structure ... look ... and feel ... this would not be in keeping with the PCLOS look and feel ...

We have seen many times that reviewers always give PCLOS the bad turn when
something new is introduced ... and rather than a negative review delivered to
PCLOS ... in creating Phinx with the XFCE defaults ... the reviews should not
have any negative effect on PCLOS ...



M: Curious as i am sometimes i couldn't help myself and went on to take a look
on the new site you have put up for the Phinx Desktop project. To be honest...it
got me hooked on it from the very first look and really like what you have set
up there knowing it's still a 'work in progress' at the moment. Are you working
alone on the site and it's looks?

K: Yes all the work is mine alone ... whether you are aware or not i am quite multi talented ... artwork and internet go hand in hand with me ... so creation of the site was quite easy ... my bigger issue's is to ensure the user base start using
it ... and filling it with new ideas etc ... after all it is for them



M: Who designed the Phinx logo? Realy like that one.

K: The Phinx logo is the head of the Phoenix logo but twisted to an upright
position as if ready to receive food from it's parent ...



M: As you know i'm running the Phinx edition on my netbook which i really like a lot by the way. The Phoenix edition took it's place on the laptop for now which
is also a favourite of mine. Would you be so kind and explain to our readers
what the differences are between the two editions, besides from that Phoenix
still remains a community edition and Phinx has become a more 'stand alone'
project with PCLinuxOS as it's base?

K: It's simple ... the 2 editions are seperated by 1 simple thing .... Phinx is a
pure XFCE environment ... using only XFCE recommended Applcations, Settings and Tweaks ...

Whereas Phoenix ... uses all apps and settings from any other DE ...



M: I have read that you have been working on Phinx for 18 months now and that
you have released a 32bit version. Those 18 months... are these the 'development
months' for the currently released Phinx version only? If so... How was it for
you to work on it that long, what was your experience during that time?

K: Well it has taken 18 month solely because i have spent 9 months with a jaw break and shoulder seperation ... so in realiy i have only had 9 months of development... packaging .. testing and tweaking ... and working on it has been fun all the way along ...

M: Knowing that PCLinuxOS is a rolling release distribution and Phinx Desktop
uses it as a base, does this mean that Phinx will also remain a rolling release
distribution?

K: Quite simply yes ...


M: You have told me and i have read it on the Phinx Desktop site that you're
planning a 64bit version too, which i'm waiting for to be released by the way.
But what are your further future plans for the Phinx Desktop project, what
vision do you have?

K: Yes a 64bit version of both Phoenix and Phinx are in the plans ... with regards
to the vision ... i am hoping to ensure Phinx stays the purest of desktops ...
and hopefully move it into getting more native XFCE apps available for it ...



M: Do you appreciate the input from the users to help shape the Phinx Desktop
distribution with their ideas? And are you willing to change it here and there
that might help it to grow to achieve your goal?

K: Absolutely ... any and all feedback is listened too ... i hope to find great
individuals who can share the vision and help with their great ideas and input
to help it become the great environment i believe it can be .
..


M: Thank you so much Kori for taking your precious time to do this interview,
which was my first one ever by the way and i hope you enjoyed it as much as i
did. I appreciate it a lot.

K: you are very welcome dude



So there you have it, another awesome project explained by a great guy.

For those interested in following the great Phinx Desktop project that provides a more pure Xfce desktop environment can have a look at the site and feel free to join us on the forum to provide us with feedback:

Phinx Desktop


Phinx Forum 

For a download of the iso have a look here:

Phinx 2011.08 


4 comments:

  1. Phinx looks really great

    ReplyDelete
  2. hey dude ... this is an awesome article ... and a very good read ... just want to add that all your readers are free to join the site and add feedback for any testing and using of Phinx ... again thankyou for the opportunity of the interview ... great site aswell

    Kori :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. ariedejonge,

    It does look great indeed. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sproggy:

    Glad you like the article, thanks. Also again thank you for doing this interview, i told you that i wanted to make it special somehow and put the word out there about you and the Phinx Desktop project. I think that this is a nice start to make more people aware of it. :D

    ReplyDelete