Out of curiosity, I downloaded and installed Looking Glass 3D 1.0. This stuff is pretty sweet. It reminds me a lot of the early days of Compiz, in that there’s an enormous sense of potential, waiting to be tapped. It’s a lot of fun to play with, even if it still feels very rough around the edges.
I took some screenshots, because … well, so I can gloat. And because I wouldn’t read this blog if it didn’t have screenshots. Fair enough. Feast thine eyes.
First of all, before I go any further, there are some resolution issues that need to be mentioned. I’m using a 1280×1024 monitor, and LG3D is resizing that to something like 1024×768 — and to compound that, the backgrounds are a widescreen image that looks like it’s being further stretched. So if things look fuzzy, there are a bunch of reasons for that.
I should start at the beginning: Technical requirements are pretty low: 1.4Ghz, 512Mb and a video card with 32Mb and OpenGL 1.3. If I’m running it on my lowly 64Mb Geforce4 440 MX, I’m guessing you’ll do fine.
Installation was a breeze. There are Debian packages available directly from the site (Ubuntu is mentioned by name ;) ) and it’s a simple matter to sudo dpkg -i *.deb once they’re downloaded. Startup is via a terminal command, and you have the option to run inside a window or fullscreen; I had some mouse issues with the windowed version, but fullscreen ran like a champ.
I’m not real fond of the color scheme, or for that matter the default backgrounds, but I have a feeling a talented Java guru will tackle that soon enough. As you can see, the windows and panels are transparent, much like Beryl, although the sensation of depth is much more effective. The taskbar and system menu are both done in three dimensions, and without becoming a hindrance.
There are some nice touches here and there, too. Moving the mouse around the screen causes a slight shift in the background image, and that, as well as the twisting windows effect, is pretty neat.
This is going to sound funny, but as I see it, depending on the wallpaper, you can bounce from left to right over your desktop, much like switching workspaces. That probably doesn’t make much sense, but you’ll see what I mean if you try it. It’s cool when you get the hang of it.
There are some fun little packages installed as well, and you have access to anything you might run via terminal command as well, via xterm. I had no problem starting up my usual Xfe file manager, and as you can see, it works fine. As does Firefox and a couple other things.
And yes, you can take notes on the back of a windowpane, although to be honest, I can’t imagine what I would use that for.
In all it’s a fun little trick. The fact that it runs over top of an X session is clever, and the fact that it’s platform independent is a definite plus, too. If this gets the same kind of attention that Compiz did, and perhaps a community following, it could possibly gain the same kind of fan base as Beryl. Beryl it is not, but like Beryl it could be. :D