It seems like learning i3 may decrease the time it takes to switch windows, but ALT+TAB works fine for me, why would I want to learn a bunch of key shortcuts. Is there anything spectacular that i3 does that gnome can't?
Tiles windows efficiently.
I use it just because it saves me a lot of time tiling across my 40in 4k.
It also doesn't use nearly as much ram as Gnome, leaving the rest for git and mysql. (I work with some large databases and git repos)
i3 is one of those things where you won't enjoy it if you don't go into it with a mindset of "I want to learn this for reason x"
I3 is basically what I throw on every single laptop I install... Lets me control the WM without needing additional peripherals to maintain a steady workflow.
from what i understand, Window Managers [ie Awesome and I3] don't do much of anything your standard DE doesn't. they're just very light on resource usage, uncluttered, and cater to programmers and/or people who like to have their hands on the keyboard for work etc.
I ran bspwm for a while and it was ok. I might take a look at Manjaro i3, the new version is all ready to go out of the box..
TWM have no compositor as such and don't support vsync or little notification effects ( okay you can copy paste one from somewhere else )
Running compton is a bit rubbish because for one there is no compositor on/off toggle which is essential for many Linux games that don’t support vsync in fullscreen, i have read some posts where people are getting lower performance with gaming using i3 which is not what you would expect, again this might be the compositor i don’t know.
Gnome has a really nice tiling extension and you can also match i3 with xfce :) best of both worlds.
ohh KDE has one now: https://github.com/faho/kwin-tiling
^ you still get your kwin effects like sliding and blurs, animations and really decent window compositing for gaming.
I hate to be that guy, but is very intuative once you know the basic key bindings. The simplicity of i3 is the real beauty of it. The barrier to entry is really just reading a few pages of the manual, and setting up your own hotkeys for basic things like volume control, which are absent by default.
Now I have nothing against any other window managers, you like what you like, but using i3 vs traditional window managers is like night and day in terms of ease of use and efficency
OK, I might try it when I get time tonight
As someone who uses i3 as a daily driver, it's really hard to learn but when you get the hang of it you can never go back to using a conventional GUI.