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What is the name of this protocol? Can I interact with people using other chat programs, like Pidgin on linux or Adium on OS X? Which programs recognize it, and which don't?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Empathy uses Telepathy connection managers for each protocol it implements; "People nearby" happens via telepathy-salut, which in turn mainly uses link-local XMPP. Pidgin, Adium and iChat should support it, among others.

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+1 correct and well documented. The protocol also goes under the more well known name Apple Bonjour en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeroconf –  msw Oct 30 '10 at 16:08
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Or, in other words, Apple's implementation of Zeroconf is called [Bonjour](en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonjour_(software%29) and the implementation used by Ubuntu is called [Avahi](en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avahi_(software%29). –  Firefeather Oct 30 '10 at 18:22

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