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Apparently, the Emerald window decorator, which runs with the [Compiz window manager] (somehow I get the feeling that "runs" is not the correct word to use here), offers many fantastic-looking themes to the desktop. However, its ppa is not included (though the default repositories contain Compiz somewhere) and it must be manually added before it can be sudo apt-get installed.

Compiz's documentation on it is a bit spotty, but then again, a lot of Compiz's documentation seems a bit incomplete (as in, there are section headers that have no content beneath them). Is Emerald still actively developed to keep up with new OS releases, or will there be performance losses/quirks due to slight incompatibility? It looks great; I just don't want to use it if it won't work 100% correctly.

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The code is open-source and thus this means anyone including yourself are able to grab the source, edit it and preferably handback changes.

Looking at the log of emerald, the last substantial change was in 2011 - so, no it is not "actively" maintained.

But as you can see, there was a commit just 7 days ago to fix a compile issue.

Compiz decorators have not greatly changed for a number of years - until Ubuntu 14.04 which has completely replaced the standard GTK decorator with its more forward looking GTK3 themeable variant.

Thus - you should be able to take the source and compile and install it - I've answered a how-to for Ubuntu 13.04. This should in theory work for 13.10.

As with any legacy code - yes there will be quirks and incompatibilities - it just needs people to give the code a bit of love and attention to iron out any issues.

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