Apple opens code for OS, Rendezvous

Apple Computer Wednesday released the code for its networking protocol, Rendezvous, which enables computers to recognize such things as printers and consumer electronics devices over wireless networks without the need for any configuration by end users.

As Apple had indicated previously, it has made Rendezvous available under its Apple Public Source license, which allows users to view and modify the code. The move is expected to speed up adoption of the technology, Apple said.

"With Rendezvous, our goal is to make this a technology that is applicable across the entire industry," said Chris Bourdon, product line manager for Mac OS X. "We don't want to create a proprietary networking technology here."

Some of the first companies that have pledged to support Rendezvous include Epson America Inc., Hewlett Packard Co. and Lexmark International Inc. Each have said they will release printers that can be identified over wireless networks using the networking technology. Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV has also said that it plans to release television and stereo systems with support for Rendezvous so that users can do things like view on their television digital photos stored on a computer.

In addition to recognizing hardware, Rendezvous can also identify applications or services that are available on a device. For example, Apple's new instant messaging application, iChat, can automatically create a buddy list of other iChat users in a local network. If a new user appears in the network, iChat will automatically recognize that user through Rendezvous, Bourdon said.

The Cupertino, California, company this week also released the code for the latest version of the Darwin operating system, an open source version of Apple's commercial software Mac OS X . Darwin Version 6.0.1 brings the open source operating system up to date with Version 10.2 of Apple's Mac OS X operating system, also known as Jaguar, the company said.

Darwin 6.0.1, which was made available on Apple's Web site Monday, can be installed on computers that run either on PowerPC processors or chips based on the x86 architecture, Apple said. Darwin and Mac OS X are partly based on the Free BSD operating system, a variant of Unix.

Developers can find more information about Rendezvous and links to the code on Apple's Web site at http://developer.apple.com/darwin/projects/rendezvous/.

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Matt Berger

PC World
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