Apple has 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 the company had previously indicated, 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, HP, and Lexmark. Each has said that it will release printers that can be identified over wireless networks using the networking technology. Philips has also said that it plans to release television and stereo systems with support for Rendezvous, so that users perform actions such as viewing digital photos stored on a computer on their television. In addition to recognizing hardware, Rendezvous can identify applications or services that are available on a device. For example, Apple’s new iChat instant messaging application 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. Darwin evolves
Apple has also released the code for the latest version of the Darwin operating system, an open-source version of its 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 on 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 based partly on the Free BSD operating system, a variant of Unix.