The Rendezvous logo.
Rendezvous is Apple's trade name for its implementation of the IETF Zeroconf protocol - a computer network technology used in Apple's Mac OS X from version 10.2 onwards. It uses standard DNS packets in a new way. Thus it is a new service, but it is using a technology that is relatively old, DNS over IP.
It has been widely rumored that due to a 2004 settlement between Apple and Tibco Software Inc., Rendezvous will be called OpenTalk in the future, as Tibco had a different product called Rendezvous before Apple. Industry insiders agree that a name change is likely, but doubt that OpenTalk will be the new name. Apple has so far declined to comment.
Rendezvous is a general method to discover services on a local area network. This technology is widely used throughout Mac OS X and allows users to setup a network without any configuration. Currently it is used by Mac OS X to find printers and file sharing servers. It is used by iTunes to find music shares, iPhoto to find photo shares, iChat to find other local iChat users, and SubEthaEdit to find document collaborators. Additionally it is used by Safari to find local web servers, such as configuration pages for local devices.
Without special DNS configuration, Rendezvous only works on a single subnet. There seems to be a misperception that a service made available over Rendezvous is "on the Internet", or available to the world-wide users of the IP network known as the Internet. This is not true. Services are automatically made available to only the users of a single physical network, be it Ethernet or FireWire IP-based, which usually encompasses a fairly small area.
The term rendezvous is also known as a synchronization strategy for message exchange of machines and persons.
Related projects and software
General Zeroconf information
Other implementations of Zeroconf
- Zeroconf - The SourceForge.net project page for a Linux and Unix implementation of Zeroconf
- Howl - The SourceForge.net project page for Howl, a cross-platform implementation of Zeroconf
- JmDNS - The SourceForge.net project page for JmDNS, a Java based implementation of Multicast DNS (part of Zeroconf)
- ZMAAP - A Java based ZeroConf implementation
- MDNSD - A lightweight open source implementation of Multicast DNS (part of Zeroconf)
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