Smaragd, the Emerald engine for the KDE window manager KWin, is nearing its first alpha release. While there is still no comfortable theme installation procedure, the engine has seen many improvements compared to the first announcement.
In the latest 0.0.7 version, support for shadows, animations, and button glow has been added. Additionally, many bugs have been fixed, and it should now support all Emerald themes, including those that do not provide its own button pixmaps.
If you want to test Smaragd, make sure you first try without custom button positions enabled in System Settings. Smaragd is then able to use the button positions from the theme and this guarantees best results. If you later would like to swap some buttons, or remove some, then you can enable custom button positions.
To manage your downloaded themes, you can use the following command (if you did not install KDE4 to /usr, then you have to adjust the path):
This downloads .emerald theme files to the .kde/share/apps/smaragd/themes folder. To select a theme, extract one of those .emerald files to .emerald/theme/ and restart KWin. Make sure you delete any old theme files you had in .emerald/theme/ before you extract a new .emerald file.
Please report bugs or suggestions to http://kde-look.org/content/show.php/Smaragd+(Emerald+for+KDE)?content=125162 or add a comment here.