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I've just installed gnome-shell in Ubuntu 11.10, but I miss one of the Compiz settings greatly.. the ability to use my scrollwheel to change window opacity.

I don't really want to change back to compiz/gnome classic just for this one ability, as I rather like the direction gnome shell is going with the overview page and workspace management.

Please tell me this is possible, someone!

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Yes, this is possible, but not now.
I mean, at least we will be able to make effects like this, becuase the opacity of the windows can be changed easily in Gnome Shell.

But we need an extension that binds the scroll event to increasing or decreasing the opacity of windows. When this kind of extension is written, we will be able to do that.

Refer to this link Does CCSM work with Gnome-shell?

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