D-Bus and Bonjour service discovery

Tim Wilkinson tim at hiveminded.com
Tue Nov 21 23:41:49 PST 2006

So, firstly forgive any repeats if this has been discussed recently  
on the mailing list - I did have  a bit of a trawl but nothing  
obvious popped up.

I was looking at what d-bus offered and I was wondering what the  
plans are, if any, to extends the rather compelling concepts (and  
simplicity) to small networks.  Specifically, as a generally happy  
Apple user I've got very accustomed to the Bonjour service discover  
concepts; the ease of using my scanner on one Mac from another, easy  
sharing of photos or music, distributed compilation, etc etc etc.   
Now, while I fully understand that Bonjour is supported in the  
freedesktop domain, I can't help but feel it'd be terribly useful to  
have a 'bonjour d-bus' - that is, the ability to use d-bus to connect  
to services made available on a bus spanning multiple machines on the  
same network.

For example, I quite like the idea of running d-bus inside my  
firewalls and routers since it would enable me to create services  
such as port forwarding (I know, uPNP .. but I mean .. really) or  
networking traffic monitoring, reporting and management (be quite  
useful at work to have a sensible way to monitor changes in the DHCP  
tables for example).

Another thought would be to run d-bus on one of those new Linux  
phones (the ones that are actually open so you can change stuff) so  
that you could utilize the phone from your laptop over d-bus rather  
than be constrained by a bunch of annoyingly limited bluetooth  
protocols (for example, I'd rather like to use my cellphone as a  
speaker/microphone connected to Skype on my laptop).

I know - these are not the most compelling examples and there are  
other solutions - but these solutions all seems to highly specific -  
a bluetooth profile here, a random binary transport protocol there,  
etc. etc.  While d-bus might not magically make it all happen, it  
provides a unifying infrastructure to allow people build stuff that  
others can consume - and my office and my house is no longer one  
machine doing it all so I need that interconnectedness.

Anyway, be interested in comments before I wander off and write this.


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