State of Sway August 2017

Published 2017-08-09 on Drew DeVault's blog

Is it already time to write another one of these? Phew, time flies. Sway marches ever forward. Sway 0.14.0 was recently released, adding much asked-after support for tray icons and fixing some long-standing bugs. As usual, we already have some exciting features slated for 0.15.0 as well, notably some cool improvements to clipboard support. Look forward to it!

Today Sway has 24,123 lines of C (and 4,489 lines of header files) written by 94 authors across 2,345 commits. These were written through 689 pull requests and 624 issues. Sway packages are available today in the repos of almost every Linux distribution.

For those who are new to the project, Sway is an i3-compatible Wayland compositor. That is, your existing i3 configuration file will work as-is on Sway, and your keybindings and colors and fonts and for_window rules and so on will all be the same. It’s i3, but for Wayland, plus it’s got some bonus features. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new since the previous state of Sway:

  • Initial support for tray icons
  • X11/Wayland clipboard synchronization
  • nvidia proprietary driver support*
  • i3’s marks
  • i3’s mouse button bindings
  • Lots of i3 compatibility improvements
  • Lots of documentation improvements
  • Lots of bugfixes

If this seems like a shorter list than usual, it’s because we’ve also been making great progress on wlroots too - no doubt thanks to the help of the many contributors doing amazing work in there. For those unaware, wlroots is our project to replace wlc with a new set of libraries for Wayland compositor underpinnings (it fills a similar niche as libweston). We now have a working DRM backend (including output rotation and hardware cursors) and libinput backend (including touchscreen and drawing tablet support), and we’re making headway now on drawing Wayland clients on screen. I’m very excited about our pace and direction - keep an eye on it here. I have also taken over for Cloudef as the maintainer of wlc during the transition.

In other news, our bounty program continues to go strong. Our current pot is $1200 and we’ve paid out $80 so far (and a $280 payout is on the horizon for tray icons). I’ve also started a Patreon page, where 26 patrons are generously supporting my work as maintainer of Sway and other projects. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed financially to Sway’s success!

That wraps up today’s post. Thanks for using Sway!

* I hate this crappy driver. It works, but don’t expect to receive much support for it. Linus said it best.