Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
The fond dream of computer users everywhere is to plug in their computers and watch as networking automagically sets itself up. Computers are connected and give themselves IP addresses. Network resources are available without having to lift a finger: wireless devices, printers, local Web sites, image galleries, music collections, the boss's greatest inspirational speeches collection, the rude body noise collection — anything that is network-able. Apple users have long been able to do this with Bonjour (formerly Rendevous). No messy hassles with DHCP, DNS, smbclient, or NIS; no horrid kludges to enable interoperability with cliquish platforms like Windows that hate to share with non-Windows systems.
Gnarly old network admins who are accustomed to keeping a tight grip on their realms tend to be resistant to the whole idea — why, it's as free-for-all as ad-hoc wireless networking or NetBIOS, with users running rampant and sharing everything and no one is in charge. The security implications are obvious; Zerconf is not suitable for sites that need tight controls, or to use over untrusted networks. But it's great for home and small business users, small groups inside the enterprise, and get-togethers like business meetings and trade shows. Some consumer devices like Tivo already use it, as well as a whole world of Apple printers and network devices.
Don't Get Happy Yet
Zeroconf is coming to Linux, but it has a way to go.