Looking Glass is a project that allows creating an innovative 3D desktop environment for Linux. It is sponsored by Sun Microsystems.
Looking Glass is programmed in the Java language using the Java 3D system to remain platform independent. Despite the use of graphics acceleration features, the desktop explores the use of 3D windowing capabilities for both existing application programs and ones specifically designed for Looking Glass.
The project is still in early development. The prototype is now working on Sun's Java Desktop System.
One of its most notable features is the creation of reversible windows. This capability can be used for features like allowing the user to write notes and comments on the windows' backs, or displaying application dialogs without risking them being detached from the application they relate to.
All windows start by looking like a normal 2D or 2.5D window, but can be manipulated as thin slate-like 3D objects which can be set at any angle or turned completely around by the user.
Other features include provision of a panning virtual desktop, icons that reflect the live status of the window they represent and zooming of a window when it receives focus.