The move is designed to entice developers to use the code to incorporate the "zero configuration" technology into their own applications. The software allows network devices to automatically connect to other components of a network and to communicate what features they have to offer. The technology competes with the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) technology that Microsoft has developed.
Apple made the announcement Tuesday during its.
While Apple open-sourced the code to Rendezvous for the Mac OS X and the underlying Unix-like Darwin operating system almost two years ago, the latest development release adds new tools for users and expanded functionality.
"By supporting an open standards process and providing open-source software that is available today, Apple is encouraging the rapid adoption of Rendezvous technology," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said in a statement marking the original release of the code.
The current release includes full support for linking to other devices using standard Internet protocols and allows Windows machines to advertise and discover Web servers and file servers on a local network using Internet Explorer. A printer setup wizard allows Windows networks to use Rendezvous compliant printers.
The Linux development kit is a bit more raw, but includes three components that allow Unix, BSD, Linux and Solaris computers to communicate with other Rendezvous devices.
The software can be downloaded from Apple's Web site.