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Apple Opens Rendezvous Code

True to its word, Apple Computer Wednesday began "open sourcing" its code for its new Rendezvous zero configuration IP networking technology.

Rendezvous is deeply embedded in Jaguar, Apple's latest operating system release and its AOL-enhanced iChat application. The technology is based on open Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standard Protocols such as IP, ARP and DNS, uses industry standard networking protocols and zero configuration technology to automatically discover and connect devices over any IP network, such as Ethernet or 802.11-based wireless networks like Apple's Airport.

Currently, developers can download Rendezvous as open source under the Apple Public Source License from its Web site (http://www.opensource.apple.com/projects/rendezvous).

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Macintosh-maker said its Rendezvous news is part of a broader open source release, which includes the Darwin 6.0.1 operating system and additional Open Directory plug-ins (found at: http://developer.apple.com/Darwin).

"By supporting an open standards process and providing open source software that is available today, Apple is encouraging the rapid adoption of Rendezvous technology," said Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller.

The Rendezvous source code includes software to support UNIX, Linux, and Windows-based systems and devices. Apple said it is working closely with the IETF Zeroconf Working Group to help develop zero configuration IP networking technology and is submitting Rendezvous as an open standard as part of the ongoing IETF standardization process.

Database management, network printers and consumer electronics companies including Canon, Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Philips, Sybase, and Xerox have announced their support for Rendezvous for their future products.

This is not the first time that Apple has turned to the open source community. In 1999, the company entered into the open source development fray with its Darwin software.

The choice to go open source was fueled by both philosophical and practical reasons, Apple says. One of main reasons was the richer pool of talent in the open source development community. Another was the superiority of the ultimate product. Apple's historical relationship with educational IT departments, research organizations, and the teaching profession also made the open source approach a no-brainer.

Based on its decision, Apple created its Apple Public Source License as well as a CVS repository. The database contains the source code to Darwin available on the Internet (with few exceptions only available as binaries). The development infrastructure also includes mailing lists, a tracking system, on-call Apple engineers, and a documentation project under the Common Documentation License.