Chapter 2

Mac OS X Parlance

Computers running Mac OS X use a variety of protocols to communicate with other machines. Many of these are common protocols used by all computers—for example HTTP, FTP, or SMTP. Through the years, Apple has designed some protocols that, while often available to other operating systems, are used almost exclusively by Macs. An example of such a program is Bonjour. Also, some important Mac OS X applications rely on rather obscure protocols such as Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP). While many applications in the world may speak RTSP, Mac OS X is the only major operating system that processes this protocol by default, out of the box, with both QuickTime Player and Safari. In this chapter we take some time to dissect these particular formats and protocols to better understand the types of data consumed by the Mac OS X applications.


Bonjour is an Apple-designed technology that enables computers and devices located on the same network to learn about services offered by other computers and devices. It is designed such that any Bonjour-aware device can be plugged into a TCP/IP network and it will pick an IP address and make other computers on that network aware of the services it offers. Bonjour is sometimes referred to as Rendezvous, Zero Configuration, or Zeroconf. There is also wide-area Bonjour that involves making Bonjour-like changes to a DNS server.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Zero Configuration Networking Working Group specifies ...

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