My first job of the year is to migrate from i3 to sway - it’s not super urgent, but long-term it may be a good idea to move away from X11 - or not. The point is to be prepared.

i3 and sway are similar enough that a stock i3 config could be a drop-and-go replacement. Of course, I have wandered far from the path of stock, and have forgotton how many tweaks I have made to match my workflow, so I’m taking it a step at a time.

Basic plan

  1. Install Sway
  2. Display on portrait and landscape monitors correctly.
  3. Have different task bars on portrait and landscape monitors.
  4. Sway-friendly apps.
  5. The heck-tonne of unintended stuff.

Desired taskbar features landscape

The intention is to match my existing status bars feature for feature. There is, of course, room for improvement, or fewer features. Who knows!?

Task Bar Landscape

left to right

  • Tides
    • Current Tide
      • current tide rising or falling arrow
      • time of this tide minimum/maximum (depth m)
    • Next Tide
      • next tide rising or falling arrow
      • time of this tide minimum/maximum (depth m)
  • Astronomy 🔭 😀
    • Sunrise (orange/yellow)
    • Sunset (red)
  • Weather
    • wind direction
    • wind speed
    • Temperature °C, colour coded cyan, amber and red for heat
  • Mail
    • unread count gmail, colour coded
    • unread count other, colour coded
  • Disk space
    • free space for /home, colour coded
    • free space for media storage, colour coded
    • raid status of media storage, colour coded
  • System
    • pacman packages needing upgrade, colour coded
  • Date and time
    • fuzzy time eg Five past One
    • date in '%a %d/%m/%Y' format
  • Notification area [not shown].

Desired taskbar feature portrait

Task Bar Portrait

  • Music
    • now playing, show ⏸️ buttons when paused and 🎵 character when playing

Both screen desktops

Ironically, desktop wallpapers are the least-needed feature for window managers - I have them anyway and rarely see them.

Portrait and landscape of existing i3 desktops

What next?

Next weekend, I’m going to start with the install and display orientation. Then I plan to tackle steps three and four later after familiarisation.

Step five may be never-ending.