Rendezvous: Coming to an App Near You!
by Jason Deraleau
I've talked about Apple's Rendezvous technology in the past. I strongly feel that it is changing the face of networking as we know it. Setting up a functional network with basic services is no longer the realm of the geekier among us. Rendezvous empowers the common man. Today I'm going to highlight three Mac OS X applications that make excellent use of Rendezvous.
Hydra is a Rendezvous aware text collaborative text editor. It allows a user to share plain text files over a link-local or IP network easily. It makes use of Rendezvous to help you discover other shared documents in your local area network. Shared documents appear in Hydra's Rendezvous browser, complete with the user icon and name of the person sharing the file.
Joining a document is as easy as double clicking it in the Rendezvous browser. The person sharing the document then approves your request to access it. You can then make changes to the document in realtime, with Hydra handling contention as well as highlighting the changes made by each user. Hydra also features syntactical highlighting for several different markup and coding languages and works over an IP network, allowing users to work together even if they are not on the same local area network.
EvoCam is a webcam application that features several different output methods for your captured images. With the release of version 3.1, Evological has added a Rendezvous advertising web server that allows your webcam to be viewed from any browser that detects Rendezvous servers. Apple's Safari and Camino both support Rendezvous, allowing users to easily connect to your cam.
In addition to Rendezvous serving, EvoCam features the ability to record both still images and video, can handle multiple cameras simultaneously, and allows you to add logos and text to your captures. It's everything you could ever want in a webcam app and then some. One of the coolest features is its AppleScript support, which allows you to create scripts that will be run during certain EvoCam events. I have one which queries iTunes and lists my currently playing track on a text overlay element.
The last app I'm going to discuss is KavaSoft's iConquer. I've always been a Risk fan and am impressed with this Risk-like game's creative AI and its convenient interface. Throw in the support for Rendezvous based gaming and it's a clear winner. KavaSoft has taken a classic board game and brought it to the Macintosh platform in a unique and enjoyable way.
More in the Pipeline
These are just three applications that I've enjoyed using recently. I'm already looking forward to the new applications that are being developed with Rendezvous in mind. I'm especially hoping for a good IRC application that can detect Rendezvous chat rooms. I imagine such a program would be a huge hit at the various Mac expos. These programs are just the beginning. Rendezvous... it's the future baby ;)
What are some Rendezvous aware apps that you enjoy using?
The Belt: http://homepage.mac.com/felinegames/games/thebelt/
iStorm and iChalk
I've been enjoying Math Game House's iStorm and iChalk.