Sway Borders and Art - October Status Update

Nov. 5, 2020 Update 4 min

Hey! I'm writing this just after publishing my first package on the AUR, sway-borders-git. Over the past week, I've done some important work to improve sway-borders1 and get it ready for packaging. As promised in my original PR to upstream, different classes of border textures are now supported for different container states (focused, focused_inactive, unfocused, urgent). While cleaning up the rendering code, I've also fixed a long-standing bug with floating containers having only one border drawn. While certainly a little stressful, I'm happy to contribute to the AUR and hope to continue doing so in the future. Go try it out:

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/sway-borders-git.git
makepkg -si
sway

Continuing with a little more Sway, I've gotten my graphics tablet working and decided to try my hand at a little bit of digital art. Here are my attempts at some crystals which I drew with the help of a few tutorials.23

My first attempt, which got inadvertently mirrored.

A much better second attempt, great for a profile picture.4

I think I overdid it with the white highlights, but otherwise it's quite nice.

Moving on, I've thought quite a bit about what place Snitch (and, by relation, Sentry) has in my planned logging infrastructure and what direction I want to take it in. Initially, as I stated in my original post,5 I wanted it to be a centralized place for all my errors. However, this has some flaws:

  1. It's too much: I'm an individual, not a large, or even small, team
  2. My email inbox is a great centralized place for alerts
  3. Django, the web framework I've used for most of my running projects, natively supports email alerting for errors

Alright, a little disheartening, but the solution seems super easy, just switch to emails! Well...

  1. If many errors occur, I'll get spammed: not the greatest
  2. Two places of configuration: Alertmanager6 & Django
  3. Some extra processing on errors to add more context or other helpful information is something I'm interested in7
  4. Temporarily ignoring and grouping the same kinds of errors is also quite handy

Now some of these are definitely a stretch, I don't need extra processing or grouping. The first point is really the only hard requirement I have, and it could be quickly solved with a custom logging handler. However, there's another tool that I'm already going to be using which handles everything I need: Prometheus's Alertmanager. It takes alerts, groups them, inhibits them, and sends them through whatever communication channel is configured. That only leaves #3, alongside the connection between my application and Alertmanager.

And so, the new direction that Py-Snitch takes will be to add meaningful context to Python exceptions and pass them on to Alertmanager's HTTP API. Eventually, I plan on doing this with other languages I use, and I think that a centralized service that sits between the integration and Alertmanager might eventually prove useful (read: won't happen), for example to combine errors from multiple applications, so I'll leave the name Snitch open for that.

That's it for this month, see you next time :D

                .....well this blog post turned out to be a bit longer than I thought it would, back to coding-


  1. My fork of Sway which adds custom borders.

  2. https://www.deviantart.com/pikishi/art/Crystals-Progress-Tutorial-202585015

  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MXLbEHmZO8

  4. wink wink, nudge nudge - please don't use it yourself though.

  5. Third paragraph of https://theavid.dev/status-update-2020-09

  6. I will be using Alertmanager to notify me of important changes detected through Prometheus metrics.

  7. Such as adding relevant, nearby source code snippets or Django request properties.