back to article GitHub to replace master with main across its services

GitHub will drop the term "master" as the default branch name from its hosted repositories in response to protests about ingrained racism. Activists in the software community have long campaigned to replace the terms “master” and “slave” with terms that don't invoke actual human slavery. They argue that continuing to use such …

  1. BigE

    I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

    Imagine the bible according to M$. The Egyptian mains mistreated the Hebrew underlings? Or what about the New Testament? Pretty sure that slavery is mentioned there too.

    Excuse my cynicism but if they have a guilty conscience about how they have been and/or a treating their staff then they should act to rectify those wrongs.

    1. BigE

      Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

      I look forward to you getting a spellchecker.

      1. Mike Shepherd

        Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

        I look forward to your getting a grammar checker.

        1. Maximum Delfango

          Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

          I look forward to this conversation continuing forever.

          1. Flywheel Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

            Hmmm, so what are they (we) going to start calling the Slave Trade? Presumably it won't be removed from history books just yet.

            1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

              Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

              NEVER BREAK THE CHAIN, as Stevie Nicks cautioned America

              1. Maximum Delfango

                Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

                I look forward to this conversation continuing longer than forever.

      2. ST Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: I look forward to you not replying to your own posts

        Troll-For-Hire mistake?

      3. macjules Silver badge

        Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

        Harry Potter has a spare Spellchecker I hear.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

          oops, my coffee and keyboard...

          (keep the PUN-ishment coming, though, I need a laugh)

    2. Nifty Bronze badge

      Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

      Right, so now I'm underlinging for a living.

      1. BigE

        Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

        As a non white, semite (yet not Hebrew nor Jewish, but identifying with Shem), not straight, yet not a poof, neither identifiying as male or female, but rather as *it* and therefore at the tip of the apex of the marginalized, there is nothing that you could say to me that could not cause me offense.

    3. HildyJ Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

      I look forward to people realizing that this isn't censorship (or even sensorship) any more than calling a distance an Osman is censoring the term fathom. It's one project changing some terminology.

      1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

        It is censorship. Ugly woke censorship.

        1. forivall

          Re: I look forward to M$ sensoring the classics...

          How so? Github made the free will choice to change and by agreeing to the ToS, you're consenting to use Github and abide by their principles.

  2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Proposal: Parent & Child

    I propose we call it Parent-and-Child.

    However, if the chassis has two supervisor card and then Cisco VSS it'll be called parent-n-child (for the same chassis) and stepparent-n-stepchild for the other chassis.

    1. wolfetone

      Re: Proposal: Parent & Child

      Thats offensive to people who can't have kids, or don't like children.

      1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

        Re: Proposal: Parent & Child

        I don't like children, but I'm okay with some parents. So I'm gonna be committing everything to, er, main from now on.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Proposal: Parent & Child

      The PC term is the child responsible adult.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Proposal: Parent & Child

        The PC term is the child responsible adult.

        I thought the PC term was 'skint sleep-deprived adult'...

        1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

          Re: Proposal: Parent & Child

          Fiscally-challenged differently-slept non-child.

    3. J27 Bronze badge

      Re: Proposal: Parent & Child

      Those terms are already used to describe repos cloned from another repo.

  3. daveyj

    Master copy

    The mistake here is that "master" has nothing to do with master/slave but is more akin to "master copy".

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Master copy

      Pick a more welcoming, inclusive word... or stick with the word that reminds some people of past and present acts of inhumanity. Such a tough choice.

      As someone else said, what's the harm in making the world a little better?

      And if changing a word makes you feel angry, frustrated, and powerless, imagine those facing injustices on a near daily, weekly or monthly basis.

      C.

      1. daveyj

        Re: Master copy

        There's no slave in git though. I'm not saying getting rid of that is wrong e.g. in zfs (where the new terminology makes more sense too). It doesn't make me feel anything if it becomes "main", but it isn't logical.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "There's no slave in git though"

          It's still a reminder of the outdated master-slave trope in computer science. Also, there's no point calling it master. The main branch makes more sense, anyway.

          Miss me with this master recordings stuff, too. That doesn't apply here. Masters are the official finalized recordings from which copies are made. A Git master branch constantly updates, so it should be main or devel.

          Also, some people seem to think that by changing the word from master to main (or blacklist to blocklist) it's a condemnation of those who previously used the terms. It's not.

          C.

          1. Joe W Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            "main makes more sense". Yes. Oh so much. (though that is my personal feeling as a non-native English speaker).

            1. BigE

              Re: "There's no slave in git though"

              I don't know whats worse. Git, or the M word.

              1. logicalextreme Bronze badge

                Re: "There's no slave in git though"

                Microsoft?

          2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            Nothing in the definition of master implies finalisation, especially in any form of electronic media. It's the authoritative source from which duplicates are made.

          3. really_adf

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            Masters are the official finalized recordings from which copies are made. A Git master branch constantly updates, so it should be main or devel.

            The "master" branch is analogous to a master copy in that it is (in many cases) the one from which copies are made (new branches). Of course, I can't deny the "finished" aspect breaks the analogy, but then there's no such thing as finished software :).

            Also, some people seem to think that by changing the word from master to main (or blacklist to blocklist) it's a condemnation of those who previously used the terms. It's not.

            Regardless of the motive for change, the problem is that there are some people who will see it as a reason to condemn those who previously used the terms.

            Edit: the point of this being that you can't win.

          4. cornetman Silver badge

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            > It's still a reminder of the outdated master-slave trope in computer science.

            Not, it's not really.

            I have a number of points:

            1. Is there anyone out there that has been associated directly with slavery that is calling for this change? I suspect not. The reality is that this kind of thing is proposed by young white right-on types who don't have the first clue about what they pontificate about.

            2. The term "master" is a pretty central core concept in git. Branching and how the master branch pertains to that is a tricky subject that many find challenging and it is a bit of a mind f*ck for a lot of people coming to the distributed model for the first time. With respect to getting to grips with GitHub, a tricky subject is going to be made a lot more tricky now that all the blog articles, StackoverFlow posts, GitHub and other related documentation are going to be out-of-date. Let's be clear, the vast majority of it is not going to be updated. Talk about causing unnecessary barriers to youngsters coming into the field that many of their go-to references are going to be a little less helpful. :(

            3. I really hate that ignorant people are dictating the agenda here in regards to the use of the term master, in particular in this case. There are far more positive uses of the term "master" than there are negative ones and this kind of tokenism just panders to the idea that the English language lacks context and nuance. When we talk about, say, a "master swordman", we are conferring an honorific to one who has achieved mastery or expertise in that field. There is no sense of slavery, only that one is rightly greater than the others. That title is not taken, it is given as a sign of respect for hard work, knowledge and expertise. The master in this sense is the source of authoritative knowledge, the last word on what is true. This is the sense in which "master" is used in git. It is a positive use of the term: the authoritative source; the most up-to-date; the best source at this point in time. This despicable, dishonest and ignorant distortion of the use of this term in this context, is abhorrent to me and we are no better as a species for walking that path.

            1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

              Let's go through this point by point

              > Is there anyone out there that has been associated directly with slavery that is calling for this change? I suspect not.

              I suspect so. If this is the reaction from *White* people asking to move away from problematic wording, can you imagine what would happen if people of color spoke up? I don't blame them for trying to keep quiet -- but enough is said behind closed doors, in private conversations to necessitate this change.

              > The term "master" is a pretty central core concept in git.

              I suspect GitHub will alias master with whatever they choose to use instead; that is the hard part of the switchover. It may only be the default branch name going forward that's changed.

              > I really hate that ignorant people are dictating the agenda

              I guess you feel powerless, like you're losing control? Someone else is telling you what to do, and that the old was bad? You feel red faced. I get it. But you have to look beyond it. Don't take it personally. It's just picking a word that is more inclusive.

              > When we talk about, say, a "master swordman"

              Great cool but that's not what's happening here.

              Let me put it this way. Imagine you're Black and you've grown up in a White society that treats you different your whole life because of the color of your skin, and all the history associated with that.

              You get an education and you enter computer science or software engineering and you find people holding on dear to things like 'black list' for banned things, and 'master'.

              Yeah, I'm White, though I've PoC friends and I've had Black housemates. Don't assume this isn't some right-on crusade. Some of us are trying to listen to and respond to and help friends and family who are minorities.

              C.

              1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                Re: Let's go through this point by point

                "It's just picking a word that is more inclusive."

                No it isn't. It's changing a perfectly good word for silly reasons by pretending the word meant something different to what it actually does.

                Going forward most examples on Stack Overflow are going to start use the "main" branch, breaking these examples for anybody not using GitHub.

                If they use an alias ( they surely will ) then you could think of this as GitHub intentionally breaking a lot of future non-GitHub advice on the Internet.

                Not that I'm paranoid but who owns GitHub now?

                1. sed gawk Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  Re: You are making his point for him imo

                  I really don't care what word you use in code. I don't see why a cheeky /${old_word}/{s//${new_word}/g;} should cause such upset / help in such way.

                  But whenever this comes up, some people seems to be so triggered by it, I am forced to consider that I'm missing the utility of this change.

                  Git lets you name a remote whatever you please, so altering the default name is a harmless change.

                  Why does it trouble you? To be clear, I couldn't care less what term you use in the code, provided it's vaguely comprehensible and mostly consistent.

                  As for the wont someone think of the poor juniors? sod em, if setting up 's/master/main/g' and 's/master/main/g' as smude and clean hooks are too complex for them, another line of work is recommended.

                  Again, please help me here, why do you care so much? Why not meh, eye-roll and carry on with your day?

                  1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                    Re: You are making his point for him imo

                    It is Microsoft subtly making any Internet advice ( eg: Stack Overflow ) not work with their competitors ( git without GitHub ) with the justification that some woke-and-racist-in-a-paternalist-way white people on Twitter think that black people are too stupid to see this as an irrelevance.

                    And you're clapping them along.

                    1. sed gawk Silver badge

                      Re: You are making his point for him imo

                      I'm not clapping, I'm baffled by this.

                      I have git remotes with a variety of stupid names chosen by the teams that operate them.

                      Develop, master, deploy-main, integ.

                      Why do you expect me to care?

                      Github is not git, the fine documentation available for git makes clear that the name master is simply chosen as an exemplar,

                      <refname>, e.g. master, heads/master, refs/heads/master

                      A symbolic ref name. E.g. master typically means the commit object referenced by refs/heads/master.

                      https://git-scm.com/docs/gitrevisions

                      I am blissfully untroubled by what MS do, I don't work on their platforms, and my code runs there only through cross compilation. So as a *nix head, why do I care about some random wording change?

                      It's not like you are forced to use them, setup a vsp, install git and off you go..

              2. Mark 65

                Re: Let's go through this point by point

                If this is the reaction from *white* people asking to move away from problematic wording, can you imagine what would happen if people of color spoke up, though?

                Sorry, I don't follow your straw-man construct - probably due to the visibility issues caused by the large plume of smoke as it burns to the ground. I think the point the OP you respond to is making is colour agnostic. They are more offended by the ignorance shown. That doesn't have to come with any colour attached and is more a sign of the times where any little twat gets offended on someone else's behalf.

                Perhaps we should also get started on binary whilst we're at it - those 1's and 0's are very male-female centric and not entirely inclusive for those that perhaps don't identify as being strictly one or t'other.

                1. sabroni Silver badge

                  Re: Let's go through this point by point

                  It's not a straw man at all. Look at Marvin Rees, the black mayor of Bristol, being asked why he hadn't removed the statue of colston. If the first thing a black mayor did was remove statues of white slave traders can you imagine the backlash?

                  That's why white people have to join the fight. You think this change is stupid? Suggest something better!

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Let's go through this point by point

                    You've proved our point.

                    Removing a statue of a slave trader is a good thing. It should never have been there in the first place.

                    This is nothing like changing unrelated words with no applicable context just to appear "woke"

                    I remember a black friend at uni telling me he was pissed off that the blackboard had to now be called a chalk-board. It had no racial connotations until the white PC crowd made it so.

                    1. cbars Silver badge

                      Re: Let's go through this point by point

                      @anon: It wasn't just one statue, the man was a philanthropist and *many* things in that part of the world are named after him.

                      Are you saying we shouldn't be renaming all the Colston monuments/buildings and organisations that still bear his name, because the word Colston isn't directly offensive?

                      Ah, its the association that's relevant, gotcha.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Let's go through this point by point

                        A philanthropist? With all the money he made selling slaves? Well, that's ok then!

                        And your "wise crack" has neatly highlighted the issue here:

                        Rename the buildings that are named *after him*, not that have the name from another source - that would be stupid - sorta like renaming a software project that has got nothing to do with the slave trade.

                    2. cbars Silver badge

                      Re: Let's go through this point by point

                      r.e. chalk board - are you sure its not actually because modern chalk boards are quite often green, so calling them black didn't make sense as a general term?

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Let's go through this point by point

                        Yes, I'm sure it's not.

                    3. caradoc

                      Re: Let's go through this point by point

                      That raises the issue of what do we do with the colour black, we should think of another name for it. I'm sure our woke friends can come up with something.

                      "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."

                  2. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: Let's go through this point by point

                    You think this change is stupid? Suggest something better!

                    Ok, how's about.... master?

                  3. Lunatic Looking For Asylum
                    Trollface

                    Re: Let's go through this point by point

                    ...You think this change is stupid? Suggest something better!

                    If it ain't broke - don't fix it.

                  4. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

                    Re: Let's go through this point by point

                    Why do we need change for the sake of change?

                    And yes, people feel angry about the removal of statutes, and rightly so.

                    This dictatorship of woke idiocy should end. It is counter productive as it oblivious leads to division.

              3. LDS Silver badge

                Re: Let's go through this point by point

                There are several negative meanings of the "white" word too. For example, "to whitewash". White is often used for "empty", "blank". It's also connected with cold, fear, ageing, even death - phantoms are usually white. A white flag is a symbol of defeat and surrender. What about "white noise" instead of "random noise"?

                Still it's funny to see such furor in a country that still denies basic rights like unionizing, and where companies don't break the law if they actively hinder it.

                Maybe the problem is not the words "master" and "slave" - but the underlying society, which still likes slaves under a different name? And hiding the words is just a way to focus people on irrelevant issues instead of tackling the real ones?

                Where's a US leader asking for a labor reform in US, bringing it to the level of the most advanced and democratic societies? Yes, the Wall Street "masters" will suffer a little, poor lads. They will still be richer than most workers.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Let's go through this point by point

                  Yep. So can I also claim I'm offended for "white space" and insist it is renamed? (Because darkmode is now a thing!)

                  1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

                    White space

                    You can, and if there's a collective movement supporting it, then sure.

                    Also: oh look, now who's easily offended?

                    C.

              4. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: Let's go through this point by point

                It's just picking a word that is more inclusive.

                No, its attempting to map woke culture over the top of all others. Basically fascism with a hint of tyranny.

              5. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Let's go through this point by point

                You do realise POC is an offensive term in British English?

              6. DemeterLast

                Re: Let's go through this point by point

                "I guess you feel powerless, like you're losing control? Someone else is telling you what to do, and that the old was bad?"

                You make it sound like this change is less about righting a wrong and more about retribution.

              7. cornetman Silver badge

                Re: Let's go through this point by point

                >I suspect GitHub will alias master with whatever they choose to use instead

                So there term will still exist then? So the change will be largely pointless, if there was indeed a point to be made.

                > I guess you feel powerless, like you're losing control? Someone else is telling you what to do, and that the old was bad? You feel red faced. I get it. But you have to look beyond it. Don't take it personally. It's just picking a word that is more inclusive.

                Instead of engaging in petty condescension, you might at least have grappled with the points.

                Your willful misunderstanding tells me all that I need to know about your own agenda.

              8. cornetman Silver badge

                Re: Let's go through this point by point

                > Imagine you're Black and you've grown up in a White society that treats you different your whole life because of the color of your skin, and all the history associated with that.

                We don't need to imagine. Black people exist and they are all around us. Why don't we just ask them instead of nannying them? And I don't mean BLM nutcases, I mean real, ordinary black and other historically oppressed people?

                I know what Thomas Sowell would have said on this subject in the economic realm, a man who has certainly achieved mastery in his field from a genesis of abject poverty.

                I paraphrase, but "No one ever asked black people what they wanted or needed. They never asked for handouts, they just wanted to be left to prosper."

              9. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

                Re: Let's go through this point by point

                You realise that the wokeness of those idiots who like to dictate others how they should talk offends people who grew up under Communist regimes and don’t want to return to the nasty world of ideological control from the same types that used to control them.

            2. Bullseyed

              Re: "There's no slave in git though"

              > When we talk about, say, a "master swordman", we are conferring an honorific to one who has achieved mastery or expertise in that field. There is no sense of slavery, only that one is rightly greater than the others. That title is not taken, it is given as a sign of respect for hard work, knowledge and expertise.

              You brought intelligence to a discussion with one side who is unarmed.

            3. Paradroid

              Re: "There's no slave in git though"

              Master swordsman - very good point. What will high end watchmakers do with their "master chronometer" certification? The problem at the moment is that no-one is prepared to argue against a change, even it doesn't make sense.

              Using both master and slave together (e.g. ZFS) is a clear case to me where the terms could be improved, but master on it's own, surely it's just a word?

            4. Lunatic Looking For Asylum

              Re: "There's no slave in git though"

              What's going to happen to all the schoolmasters ?

          5. daveyj

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            Actually i said master copy ... yes you make duplicates from the master, like how you (usually) branch off master. I assume that's the analogy, albeit an imperfect one.

          6. ChrisC

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            "Masters are the official finalized recordings from which copies are made."

            Until the master gets remastered...

            1. (m)any

              Re: "There's no slave in git though"

              "Until the master gets remastered..."

              Until the main gets remained...

          7. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            >It's still a reminder of the outdated master-slave trope in computer science.

            Glad I don't have a masters degree

          8. Trigonoceps occipitalis

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            " ... condemnation of those who previously used the terms. It's not."

            I just can't help the feeling that in a few years time there will be cyber pitch forks out:

            They used the M word in their software! No platform them!

            I hope not but one thing the Internet is good at is demonstrating the lack of thinking in some.

          9. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            I don't mind calling it 'main'. I mind why it's being changed.

            There have been too many instances of this already. My overall comments and opinions remain the same, regarding activism forcing (read: bullying) the rest of to comply with ever-changing "rules".

            That last part is why I do NOT like it.

          10. SmartAlec

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            You know what "git" means right?

          11. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

            Re: "There's no slave in git though"

            Why it is “outdated”? Because some woke idiot decided it is?

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Master copy

        Pick a more welcoming, inclusive word... or stick with the word that reminds some people of past and present acts of inhumanity. Such a tough choice.

        That's the definition of political correctness, assuming that the concept comes from the word, when in reality the opposite is true. The idea that one human being should own and control another is abhorrent to most of us, yet the idea of a mechanism faithfully tracking the operation of another is just engineering. Both use the terms "master" and "slave". Changing the term for the second concept will not change the first, it will only change the language, which will then evolve.

        Let's start completely afresh, and replace the computing terms "master" and 'slave" with meaningless invented words, say "fribble" and "frooble", words with no historical baggage. I am absolutely certain that in 10 years time we'd be reading about gangs run by evil fribbles, and their trafficked sex-froobles.

        Fix the problem, and the name won't matter. Changing the name alone is pointless.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Fix the problem, and the name won't matter.

          That's certainly a better solution, you make it sound simple.

          How do we fix institutional racism?

          I'm presuming you've got some better ideas, let's hear them!!

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Fix the problem, and the name won't matter.

            How do we fix institutional racism?

            That's a somewhat dangerous term, since it tends to lead to knee-jerk reactions, the "All Police are xxxx" sort of thing, which of course is itself a form of ingrained prejudice.

            Institutions are generally made up of people, and any racism comes from some (rarely all) of those people, and often those in charge, so let's address the real problem.

            I'm presuming you've got some better ideas, let's hear them!!

            One way is by not hiding the symbols or history, but keeping them in the open for discussion, where our children can ask about them. Hopefully we can then educate them not to make the same mistakes in their institutions.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Fix the problem, and the name won't matter.

            Is the software racist? Or version control? Or which institution are you talking about?

            Or is this yet another example of tokenism: making a symbolic change to deflect criticism? In the US focussing so heavily on skin colour has meant that poverty is rarely addressed and it has given a focus for resentment, though it should be noted that the court cases against positive discrimination have largely been brought by asian Americans.

            Prejudice is insidious and yet I suspect we're all guilty of it to it to varying degrees.

        2. Andy Landy

          Re: Master copy

          "Changing the name alone is pointless"

          this, a thousand times this

          it reminds me of the spastics society rebranding as scope, because in playgrounds up and down the country, the word "spastic" was used as an insult. intended result: stop people using the word spastic. actual result: we gained the word "scoper"

          1. Lunatic Looking For Asylum

            Re: Master copy

            What would Ian Dury Say ?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQdfMNcuy-s

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Master copy

          > Fix the problem, and the name won't matter. Changing the name alone is pointless.

          There is no magic wand to wave and fix the problem. Permanently defeating racism can only be done through constant small steps. Changing terminology is one of those small steps. It's small, but not pointless.

      3. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: Master copy

        This sort of action reminds people of that etymology much more.

        And - standard, never addressed point: where does it stop? Masterful? Masterpiece? Mastering a topic? These are all related to master the same way that Git's master is.

        I don't particularly care, but the utter lack of brain used when people spout what you just did is pretty offensive.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Master copy

          Where does it stop? Don't you mean "think of the children!!".

          It's a slippery slope, this one.....

          1. The First Dave Silver badge

            Re: Master copy

            Presumably it all stops some time AFTER they have renamed Washington State (and Washington D.C.) to something that doesn't commemorate a slave owner?

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Master copy

              No don't you understand?

              Only the south / confederacy is racist. Everything done under the stars and stripes is pure and holy and good.

            2. stiine Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Master copy

              Why stop there, Amerigo Vespucci owned slaves.

          2. Robert Grant Silver badge

            Re: Master copy

            I'm not making a slippery slope argument; just an inconsistency one. If we want to abolish a few words that have ever been connected to historical bad events, rather than all of them, then it would be good to know why.

            What's odd is you've memorised "slippery slope is bad" and "someone think of the children is bad", without noticing that the motivation behind this whole issue is very similar to the latter of those.

      4. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Master copy

        So what about "masterpiece"? The etymology of "master" has nothing to do with slavery. The Latin word "magister" (from which "master" comes from) means both "leader" and "teacher". In Italian the word became "maestro" which is used for an elementary school teacher - or a great practitioner of an art (and the latter does not feel ashamed by the former use).

        What about headmaster? Mastering an art is now wrong? What about an audio master? What about a master's degree? What about a ship master? Should we burn any "Mastering...." whatever books?

        Also, avoid any use of "patron" and their derivatives - they come from the word "patronus" which is inextricably connected to slavery in ancient Rome - albeit it means "protector", it was also the term used for the previous owner of a libertus, a freed slave. Avoid also any reference to Slav or Slavic - because that is where "slave" come from - in Latin it was "servus" (female "serva"). So let's remove also any reference to it. "Servo controls"? They are exactly slaves.

        How far should we go?

        Master as an owner of slaves is just a narrow meaning of the term - the problem with the new NewSpeak fanatics is their broad ignorance and consequently their very narrow focus on very simplistic ideas, the only ones they can master....

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: the only ones they can master....

          Oh please explain how not changing things will end racism you massive brained genius!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: the only ones they can master....

            Not changing unimportant things allows more attention and effort to be directed at uncovering and solving the actual causes of institutional racism. The longer people spend arguing about the symptoms, the longer the disease can fester.

          2. Robert Grant Silver badge

            Re: the only ones they can master....

            > Oh please explain how not changing things will end racism you massive brained genius!

            The politician's syllogism, from Yes Minister:

            We must do something!

            This is something!

            Therefore, we must do this!

            Still alive and well, I see.

      5. boblongii

        Re: Master copy

        "As someone else said, what's the harm in making the world a little better?"

        This is making the world a little worse. It is spreading and pandering to a type of paranoia that says we must avoid offending ANYONE no matter how irrational their offence is. This is regressive and by its nature divisive. It also cheapens our language by stripping out all context and saying that *only* the most offensive possible interpretation for any word should be read into it no matter what the specific usage would indicate is the correct interpretation.

        "And if changing a word makes you feel angry, frustrated, and powerless, imagine those facing injustices on a near daily, weekly or monthly basis."

        "Those" injustices? What are "those" injustices here? That a word is being used to describe a relationship between two git branches? Which git branch is being oppressed? What are you talking about? This is moronic and again cheapens the reality of oppression among real people - you know, oppressed people who don't have time to prance around boosting their egos by making virtue points on Twitter.

        The we come to the whole question of what is actually being achieved here: a white-washing of history where we can not ever talk about or reference things which we disapprove of today. The removal of everyday reminders of where our modern and very lucky lifestyles came from.

        Slavery happened - and it didn't happen to you or me or the idiots pushing for these meaningless changes. The same idiots that want to "shine a light" on a very well-known part of history (who wasn't taught about this at school?), while doing absolutely nothing about modern slavery which is actually a problem - unlike things that happened 200 years ago to people dead before your granddad was born.

        It's *good* to have streets named after plantations in Jamaca - if you don't know why they're called that then no harm is done and if you do dig in and find out then you'll learn something important about the horrors of the past that we are always trying to move away from. That certainly won't be the reasons the streets were named that way originally, but it's a useful purpose today nonetheless. Never forget the past, never stop learning from it.

        This infantile movement is not about improving things - it's about instituting new taboos when we should be more open, it's about controlling what people can say when we should be making it easier to have free discussion, it's about making people ashamed of *things they didn't do* when we should all be trying to be more accepting of others and of our own failings, it's about hiding slavery when we should be exposing it.

        It is absolutely NOT "making the world a little better".

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Master copy

          It's making racists angry, that's good!!

          1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
            Joke

            Re: Master copy

            It's making racists angry, that's good!!

            I have heard the "main race" are not at all happy about this.

          2. stiine Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Master copy

            "It's making racists angry, that's good!!"

            Yes, and they're burning down buildings because of it.

          3. iron Silver badge

            Re: Master copy

            No, its making non-racists angry and thereby perhaps creating some new racists.

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: Master copy

              ^^ This! Sideshows like statue-toppling and pointless term-changing are making people who just see people (like me) question the whole project. You will get nowhere by forcing silly crap in people - this entire approach is wrong.

      6. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Master copy

        Pick a more welcoming, inclusive word... or stick with the word that reminds some people of past and present acts of inhumanity. Such a tough choice.

        It's bollocks though, isn't it?

        There's no slave branch in git because the term has no relation to the ownership of one individual by another, and is much more akin to either an audio master track, composed of various parts, or a martial arts master who has students, or even master as in craftsman.

        As someone else said, what's the harm in making the world a little better?

        This doesn't do that. It's just more excessive woke nonsense that achieves nothing of value.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Master copy

        As someone else said, what's the harm in making the world a little better?

        Does it make the world better? I'm not sure. This spontaneous change in the terminology for describing a significant revision of a Git repo has not been asked for, so far as I can tell. I've not seen placards on TV or heard of campaigns on social media or tech discussion groups saying "Git is evil", "Git must change", etc.

        I'm pretty sure James Brown never considered there to be anything wrong with the phrase "master tapes" in a recording studio context.

        Making this un-asked for change and then making a bit of publicity of it is a bit like running up to some complete stranger in the street and shouting in their face, "I'm not racist!". It also sounds more than a little bit like white people telling everyone else what they should be offended by. I fear that that's how it's actually coming across. If so, how is that going to make the world a little better? Afterall, actually doing that, person, to person, most definitely wouldn't be making the world a little better. Rather the opposite in fact.

        I'm all for tech corporations making a stand against racism. But I can't help but feel that tech corporations saying things like "Want a job?" would be far better, especially given the miserable state of representative employment within the tech industry, a situation totally unaltered by this terminological change.

      8. MOH

        Re: Master copy

        If some people choose to force a completely unrelated context on a word being used in a completely different sense, that's on them.

        But if we're going to go down that route, 'git' itself is fairly problematic since it originates from beget and is a related insult.

        I find it highly unprofessional and insulting that there's no move underway to change the service name from B*stardHub.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Master copy

          But if we're going to go down that route, 'git' itself is fairly problematic since it originates from beget and is a related insult.

          Indeed. Calling a stranger a 'git' in a British pub would prove that point.

      9. Bullseyed

        Re: Master copy

        > Pick a more welcoming, inclusive word... or stick with the word that reminds some people of past and present acts of inhumanity.

        Perhaps we should start wondering about the people who think about slavery while computer programming, as they're obviously mentally ill. Maybe there should be a way to remove those people from society due to their issues that prevent them from being functional adults.

      10. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Master copy

        @diodesign

        "As someone else said, what's the harm in making the world a little better?"

        Nothing, but thats not what we are talking about here. What we are talking about is playing victim to gain power over the very language people are allowed to speak. So is the world better with some having power over others to dictate the language they are allowed to use. Even more insulting it being our very language we are being dictated to change not which parts of some other language.

        And if you are a fan of such inequality and a command over lesser people can you provide a suitable name for those in power? Or can we call them master?

      11. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: Master copy

        What about woke idiots reminding people who came from the Eastern Europe about the ugly world of Communist censorship and control?

        The West is turning into a woke dictatorship and I am offended by it.

    2. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Master copy

      The question then is: where does that term come from?

      From the basis of the word "master", my guess is that it has a Latin root, as we find words like "maître" in French (I'm pretty sure there were slaves in ancient Rome). The root likely was "magister", which means "teacher" in some circumstances, and terms like (and that's what the whole slavery issue is about) "overseer" or also apparently in general (though I have not really encountered that use in my latin studies at school years ago) "leader".

      The term "master" had uses along all three interpretations, like the "master of the household" (which was used in Medieval times - and then still in modern times on the plantations, with all the connotations that are discussed now), or in "master craftsman", which is one step up from a "journeyman", which is what you become after you apprenticed (though that use is limited nowadays to countries that still have that ancient system). Here the master is both a teacher - in fact you are only allowed apprentices if you are a master - and the leader or overseer of the shop.

      1. Mark 65

        Re: Master copy

        Once I was the student, now I am the master.

        1. FeepingCreature

          Re: Master copy

          The main, please.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Master copy

        Interestingly, it seems that there wasn't a major early-modern society that didn't have slaves. In Europe, Vikings and the Germanic societies certainly had them, as did the Moors in Iberia. What is even more interesting is that most Western societies abandoned slavery per se around a thousand years ago whilst it was still common elsewhere around the world. Many hundreds of thousands of white people, often living around coasts, were taken to be slaves in e.g. Africa over several centuries. Britain was the first country in the world to make slavery illegal, long after the actual practice had stopped in the country.

    3. coconuthead

      Re: Master copy

      Yes, see also "master key".

      The term probably arrived in computing by analogy with the printing industry, or perhaps photography (which took it from printing). Someone with access to the full OED might check, but I suspect the printing usage arose back in the days of lithography, where the plates had to be made by a skilled master craftsman.

      A master craftsman was someone who had mastered their craft, as shown by the presentation of a "masterpiece".

      1. Vincent Ballard
        Coat

        Re: Master copy

        Curiously, the earliest citation OED has for 10c ("A plate, stencil, or negative used in any of various reprographic processes to produce copies of a document, etc.") is from 1930, raising the possibility that the term entered the printing industry from the music industry (10a: "An original disc or (formerly) a cylinder with grooves cut by a stylus during sound recording"; first citation 1904).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Master copy

      On what basis do you state it's not based on master/slave? A guess? A feeling? An existing line from a vacuum that seems to make sense because you've never had to examine the word from outside your own perspective? How do you know your conclusion isn't biased?

      I ask because there's at least a chance it's based on the master/slave terminology, which I found after not much searching.

      https://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2019-May/msg00066.html

      I mean, you could still be right. But the actual point here is just because *you* (perhaps reasonably and rationally) don't personally understand it as master/slave, it doesn't mean that others won't. And being sympathetic to others is all about, well, others and not you.

      A decent twitter thread can also be found here: https://mobile.twitter.com/mislav/status/1270388510684598272

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: Master copy

        > On what basis do you state it's not based on master/slave?

        On the basis that there is no slave branch and lots of other meanings for the word master, many of which are more relevant to the usage in question.

      2. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: Master copy

        This is silly. It's just, "how can anyone really, like, know anything, man?" You could critique the changes in exactly the same way - constantly bringing up the topic of slavery in contexts where it's never existed might well offend people who'd like to forget about it and feel normal. Why don't your reasons apply equally to supporting that perspective?

  4. nekomoto
    Coat

    I'm personally offended by curly-brackets (AKA "braces"), since in my eyes they have a nipple.

    This is obviously mammal-centric, so it's no-wonder reptiles and fish don't program in C. Why is no-one considering diversity in programming.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      This isn't people who are offended by the word master. This is people who've been part of a racist system all their lives trying to find ways to change that system.

      Black people can't change white society. White people have to change to fix institutional racism. This is little more than tinkering around the edges but it's SOMETHING and people are desperate for some way to help.

      So instead of moaning about the loss of your beloved terminology come up with something more constructive we can do to eliminate racism. The current system is broken. Saying that it should work, that it should be a meritocracy, achieves nothing. So what are we going to do to fix it? If changing language doesn't help, what will?

      1. John G Imrie

        George Orwell new the importance of language, the whole point of New Speak in 1984 was the elimination of words and hence the elimination of the thought behind the word. Which words we use matters, though I'd point out that using insensitive terminology and/or words may not mean you are a raciest pig, just you are old and haven't got the memo yet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          the elimination of words and hence the elimination of the thought behind the word.

          and isn't it a good example of exactly why it doesn't work?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Opposite.

            If there is no word for slavery, how can those you enslave fight against it?

            Thus the deletion of the history. Not to remove the bad and move forwards doing good, but to remove the ability to find good, and be forced into the bad.

            1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

              "If there is no word for slavery, how can those you enslave fight against it?"

              You use it in context. This isn't hard.

              C.

              1. Robert Grant Silver badge

                Re: "If there is no word for slavery, how can those you enslave fight against it?"

                All this stuff is about ignoring context. I agree it's not hard to consider context, but then as has been constantly demonstrated, the context of the history of slavery is nothing to do with source control. So some people must find it hard.

        2. Greybearded old scrote

          As we've often reminded each other, 1984 is a warning not a manual. Newspeak included.

          It can't be a bad thing when "they" do it but a good thing when "we" do.

        3. Teiwaz Silver badge

          George Orwell new the importance of language, the whole point of New Speak in 1984 was the elimination of words and hence the elimination of the thought behind the word

          I'm not sure you can banish thought by banishing an associated word. It sounds plausible, but no.

          It might make it harder for the monkeys to discuss it with other monkeys, but spoken language isn't really much good at much other than 'telling other monkeys where the ripe fruit is*' or 'yelling defiance at the monkeys in the next tree*'

          * T. Pratchett

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            You can. It's functionally identical to the introduction of concepts by the introduction of words. Orange is a good example: the colour "orange" didn't exist as a separate thing until relatively recently. It was "red-yellow", or "red", or "yellow", not orange. The idea of a separate sheaf of colours called "orange" only turned up with that word being adopted into English.

            Orwell's argument was that the removal of a word from the language would require circumlocution to express the same concept that was previously expressed with that single word. Circumlocution reduces the impact of an argument and makes its expression more difficult.

            Orwell's further argument was that words would be removed progressively, or redefined in negative relationship to other words. By reducing the language sufficiently, with the removal or redefinition of enough words, even circumlocution would become impossible, as thoughts could only be expressed within a restrictive framework.

            Animal Farm is a much better examination of the problem anyway. 1984 explored the state-imposed redefinition of language in a setting that was born largely from Orwell's experiences in the Spanish civil war and solidified by his experiences at the BBC, in which such manipulation of language and history by those in authority was the norm. Animal Farm explored the progressive redefinition of language by vested interests who sought power over society, enforced by social shaming and propaganda.

      2. MOH

        That's exactly the problem.

        It's the typical fallacy of "We have to do something. This is something. Therefore we have to do this".

        Instead of anything that might be actually effective MS can point at having done this and get a load of good publicity out of it. In the process it introduces practical downsides which will irritate people, so when the next thing comes along which might actually make a different they're just a tiny bit more jaded and less likely to get on board.

        It's actually worse than useless, which is why it's so annoying.

        1. cyberdemon
          Facepalm

          INEQUALITY IS THE PROBLEM, NOT RACISM

          It's epitomised by the phrase "something must be seen to be done"!

          As if being seen to be doing "something" is more important than what is actually done.

          In contrast with the US (which in many parts is actually racist), the UK has very little racism in its culture. The real problem in the UK is classism- plutocratic inequality - discrimination against the poor - the ability of the super-rich to make themselves richer at the expense of the poor, and discrimination against anyone from a poor background, preventing any upward social mobility.

          This move by MS does absolutely nothing to address racism - instead it continues to sow division among the middle and lower classes, letting them fight among themselves while the super rich get richer and yet more powerful.

      3. mihares
        WTF?

        So what are we going to do to fix it? If changing language doesn't help, what will?

        Oh I don't know, but here are some random thoughts:

        0) Don't hire pistol-happy racists as cops AND/OR don't turn people into them via training.

        1) Bring social aid, services and structures to neglected areas to ease social exclusion.

        2) Make sure higher education is available irrespectively of wealth or social status.

        3) Once they are though, pay people independently from the melanine content of their skin. Or the sort of their genitals.

        Changing the default label of the first branch created in a git repo (which, by the way, you have always been free to call or rename however you like from day one), in the current situation, amounts to solve exactly no part of the problem.

        I mean: OK, let's do that, whatever, it's essentially for free and all, but let's be acutely aware that this does not move us a single femtometer closer to a solution to the white-male dominance in the IT industry. Or the world at large.

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: So what are we going to do to fix it? If changing language doesn't help, what will?

          You don't get out much, do you? Do you know why the sign in the park says "Don't feed the ducks."? Its because if you keep feeding the ducks, their young won't learn how to feed themselves.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Reptiles program in "Python", where C's "nipples" are banished

    3. Precordial thump

      If fish can't program in the C, where else do you suggest they do it?

      At least reptiles can program in Python.

  5. DoctorNine

    I like colors

    I would have argued for 'green-listed' and 'red-listed' myself. I suppose someone could object to that. But to be honest, if you are tense about red or green, it then presupposes a whole conversation about traffic lights. And stop signs. And maybe even the choice of paint on certain Italian racing vehicles.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: I like colors

      and that fact that approximately 10% of the population can't discern one from the other.

      1. Greybearded old scrote
        Headmaster

        Re: I like colors

        Nearer 5%, because it's about 10% of men.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I like colors

        >and that fact that approximately 10% of the population can't discern one from the other

        Cyclists ?

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: I like colors

      I would have argued for 'green-listed' and 'red-listed' myself. I suppose someone could object to that.

      Possibly in Japan, where red and white do not have the same meanings as they do in westen cultures.

      1. Greybearded old scrote
        Joke

        Re: I like colors

        Or China, where I understand that red is sexy and white is for mourning.

        Oh, that will upset the recently bereaved. Also the prudes are banning any sexual references. (On this forum we are so screwed. (Oops!))

      2. Kristian Walsh

        Re: I like colors

        "Green" in Japanese also doesn't describe the same portion of the spectrum as it does in English Many things we consider to be either blue or green are described by the same Japanese word, 青 ao, and this is used to describe both the colour of the traffic light that means go as well as the colour of a clear sky. Just to be clear: Japanese green traffic lamps are the exact same hue as those found in Europe - it's the word that's different, not the actual colour.

        There's another, newer, word, midori, 緑, which is used exclusively for what we call green in English (and yes, that does make the name of that melon liquor very unimaginative), but ao still carries both meanings.

        (By the way, this isn't a uniquely Japanese quirk, and many languages mix the concepts of green and blue: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue%E2%80%93green_distinction_in_language )

        1. Greybearded old scrote

          Re: I like colors

          That traffic light/sky thing is quite sensible really. The lights were specified by somebody who understood about colour blindness, so the 'green' is actually quite a bit cyan. Almost as near to blue as to green.

          1. Kristian Walsh

            Re: I like colors

            Yes, this is true. The "Green" of the green traffic light was deliberately set at the blue end of the spectrum so that the red and green lamps will appear as yellow and white (Protanopia), or as orange and lilac (Deutanopia) to someone with total red/green colour blindness. To such a viewer, the amber lamp will look like red, which is a safe message to convey.

            Actually, I was sligthly wrong when I said the Japanese lights are the same green as we have: although I never saw any on my brief time there, there are a few places in Japan where local municipal governments mounted blue lamps in traffic signals. The joys of written specifications in ambiguous language, I suppose.

    3. Ozan

      Re: I like colors

      Blocklist, allowlist are good replacements. It tells you what they are right in the name.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like colors

        Do they come with crayons?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like colors

        A list of block objects?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like colors

        A lost of all who said "ow"?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like colors

        All owl-ist - someone who discriminates against owls?

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I like colors

        Blocklist, allowlist are good replacements. It tells you what they are right in the name

        No. Patriarchal societies have been blocking minorities for centuries. Do not include this literal fascism in your language. Southern states of America even have literal "block parties".

  6. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Coat

    Political Correctness has gone from bonkers to fully-bonkers.

    There is no turning back.

    The phrase "illegal alien" needs to be changed to "unauthorized entry" or "person-not-allowed-to-be-in-this-country".

    "black pen" will need to be "deep, deep blue pen".

    We can't use "yellow" because it might offend other sensitive racial people. How about substitute yellow for "sunflower colour"?

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      "How about substitute yellow for "sunflower colour"?"

      Because that's discrimination? Think about the poor buttercups.

      1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
        Coat

        Because that's discrimination?

        How far do we allow this to go? Pretty soon every fut nucks will get offended.

        Oh dear, I think I offended people when I called them "tuf nucks".

        1. revenant Silver badge
          Happy

          "tuf nucks"

          Well that's an interesting complication. My brain saw 'fuck nuts' anyway, not the actual words.

      2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
        Coat

        See? Down-voted already.

        Someone took offense already.

        To the people who down-voted my response(s), please fill in the appropriate form and submit to the moderators.

        Thank you very much

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Downvoted because deep down it's what you were looking for. Glad to oblige.

        2. LosD

          You seem to be the sensitive one here.

        3. PJ H
          Trollface

          I have a complaint about that form - it asks for the whiner's sex, not their gender...

        4. Mike Shepherd
          Meh

          Downvote

          I always downvote people who whine about being downvoted. If you can't stand the heat...

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Downvote

            I often wonder why people place worry so much about clicking a little icon.

            Say whatever you think, don't worry about downvotes (I have over 3000 I think). They mean nothing other than a direct hit on a lazy person's sensibility.

    2. OssianScotland Silver badge

      "Political Correctness has gone from bonkers to fully-bonkers.

      There is no turning back."

      This is not new. I trained as a teacher nearly 30 years ago (I have since escaped that profession) and was told we had to (in the days before smartboards and touchscreens) refer to "chalkboards" and "markerboards" in case of causing offence (and the fact that said boards might be different colours to their original names)

      But for GitHub, I always assumed "master" in the sense of "master / apprentice" - clearly I was wrong!

      (and what should I rename my MSc to?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >>This is not new. I trained as a teacher nearly 30 years ago (I have since escaped that profession) and was told we had to (in the days before smartboards and touchscreens) refer to "chalkboards" and "markerboards" in case of causing offence

        Do you by any chance have a reference to an ILEA, shire hall or Ministry of Education and Science document to hand?

        Because although I do remember that all being part of a, "Whatever next? They won't let us say blackboard?" when people were informed they couldn't use racial epithets anymore, I cannot find any offical reference to such an edict apart from vague tabloid mentions or the BNP's website. Neither of which I think you'll agree have much in the way of veracity.

        So without it I'm willing to call Winterval style urban myth.

    3. Peter2 Silver badge

      The phrase "illegal alien" needs to be changed to "unauthorized entry" or "person-not-allowed-to-be-in-this-country".

      Already done. "Illegal immigrant" was newspeaked to "undocumented migrant" ages ago.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Isn't that just because the tabloids have turned the phrase, "illegal immigrant" into a gammon rousing dog whistle? I think the UNHCR made the suggestion to use irregular or undocumented migrant.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          I can't see why the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees would care, to be frank. If they were refugees who applied for asylum then they'd be legal immigrants. For people to be "illegal immigrants" then by definition they'd have had to have immigrated illegally, wouldn't they?

          My personal view is that if you walked around the average room and asked if people support "illegal immigrants" being deported then most people would say "yes" as the term itself says that they are in the country illegally and most people support upholding our laws on most subjects including immigration.

          If you newspeak it to "undocumented migrant" and ask the same question then it's not so obvious that the people concerned are in the country illegally and less people are going to willing to say "yes", which makes it easier for the extreme left wing to whip up outrage that illegal immigrants are being deported. (because a large majority of people when told "illegal immigrants are being deported" say "good" instead of getting upset about it.)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Windrushers were made "illegal immigrants" by the Home Office.

            As opposed to Tommy Robinson who is a real convicted illegal immigrant who has served time for his crime.

            It's not always clear cut?

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              No, "Windrushers", which is to say commonwealth citizens from the colonies who took up the opportunity to move to the UK created in the 1948 immigration act which granted British Citizenship to anybody living in the colonies were always legal immigrants.

              What they had was difficulty proving that, because the Home Office is unfit for purpose and decided to destroy all of their records of whom was on the ships.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                " 1948 immigration act which granted British Citizenship to anybody living in the colonies"

                That was removed by the British Nationality Act 1981.

                1. Peter2 Silver badge

                  I know law is confusing for BNP types, but the laws take effect after they have passed. So if somebody had been granted british citizenship and moved to the UK in 1950 then they were a legal immigrant in 1950, and changes to the law since then that apply to new immigrants don't affect previous immigrants.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Really? How did the Home Office deport all those people then?

                    Because they were British Subjects, not British Citizens. That's why. And it's how the Home Office were able to pull the rug from under them. Just read up on some of the horror stories. There are plenty of them.

  7. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

    After 20 years in the industry, I must be honest I had never given it a moment's thought, or heard a single complaint.

    In the grand scheme of things, fine whatever, the change really won't harm my life. If it helps some people have a slightly less shitty day, then so be it.

    1. GioCiampa

      "I had never given it a moment's thought"

      ...and therein lies the problem...

      1. sed gawk Silver badge

        Why is it a problem? Change it? He's untroubled by the change, raises no objection, and wishes the world well. Why is that not enough?

      2. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

        Gio,

        When going around labelling innocent people as a "problem", you need to take a long hard look in the mirror, then decide if you are also, part of the problem.

        Society has reached a stage, where far-left-wing identity politics is almost as toxic as the far-right equivalent.

        1. Greybearded old scrote

          Identity politics is always a problem.

          I even agreed with Maggie Thatcher one time. (Can't for the life of me remember what it was.)

          1. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

            Was it the time she discovered there was no coal left in the coalmine..?

            1. Greybearded old scrote

              Not so much, I'm well aware that you don't close a mine you close the whole town.

              Now we do urgently need to leave the coal in the ground, which was well understood even then. But gutting entire regions with little or no attempt at mitigating the result was typical of her 'devil take the hindmost' politics.

              (Miners vs. Tories was a grudge match, pure and simple.)

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                >(Miners vs. Tories was a grudge match, pure and simple.)

                Effective though, you target a region that not only votes for the opposition but whose union dues fund it.

                Not often you get to target your enemy so precisely.

              2. Lunatic Looking For Asylum

                (Miners vs. Tories was a grudge match, pure and simple.)

                I wondered about Orgreave the other day when the police in Bristol said they didn't want to make a bad situation worse by trying to stop the toppling of Edward Coulson's statue.

                Amazing how things change.

        2. GioCiampa

          "When going around labelling innocent people as a "problem", you need to take a long hard look in the mirror, then decide if you are also, part of the problem."

          I have, and I am, to my discredit... what I do about that I have yet to figure out (no doubt I'll get accused of virtue signalling now)

          Will you now reverse your own stated "I had never given it a moment's thought" position similarly?

          "Society has reached a stage, where far-left-wing identity politics is almost as toxic as the far-right equivalent."

          Nothing to do with "left" or "right" - it's simple common decency

          1. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

            I suspect we may have semantic issues here.

            I meant to say I had never given it a thought, because, well, I had never been told it was a problem for ethical review, so it hadn't crossed my mind. I had to judge if it was morally a good idea. Recognising that slavery was barbaric I went along with it (my language used was not ideal or enthusiastic, perhaps, recognising a slight internal groan at identity politics trends in general).

            I suspect you assumed I said it, because I was a filthy uncaring heretic, who doesn't think about these things at all.

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
      Coat

      It will affect people who are learning how to use git but not GitHub. I'm guessing that was the motivation.

      "git checkout main

      error: pathspec 'main' did not match any file(s) known to git."

      I wonder why that doesn't work...

      ( Mine's the one with the manual on "how to abuse your market position to tweak your software into harming all your competitors" in the pocket )

      1. mtp

        Knock on effects

        How many thousands of scripts will this break?

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: Knock on effects

          Probably none of them, but they may never update properly again...

  8. Mark192 Bronze badge

    If George Floyd's death achieves just thing

    If George Floyd's death achieves just one thing, let that be the ability of white people to virtue signal on Twitter.

    1. ClockworkOwl
      Mushroom

      Re: If George Floyd's death achieves just thing

      In my head, (ARGHHH!).., I like to invert Gill Scott Heron:

      " All we need to see you do , is shut up and be white..."

      Who knew the revolution wouldn't just be televised, it's being franchised...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If George Floyd's death achieves just thing

      Yep, don't worry so much about police brutality but just change a couple of IT terms. Sweet. Can't beat white guilt.

    3. low_resolution_foxxes Bronze badge

      Re: If George Floyd's death achieves just thing

      I have noticed that the OTT white guilt/virtue signalling, is overwhelmingly correlated to working in the public and charity sectors. I assume there is a certain element of "being seen" promoting virtuous ideas, as part of career advancement.

      I can kinda see the logic.

  9. Totally not a Cylon
    Gimp

    Just go full Weeb

    and use Senpai & Kohai.

    The the PC brigade can yell 'cultural appropriation' and the original users will say 'we don't care'......

    or

    Mistress & Maid......

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Just go full Weeb

      Pimp and ho.

      Surely nobody can find that offensive.

      ( Mine's the one in white fur with the sunglasses in the pocket )

    2. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Just go full Weeb

      Supreme All-Powerful Overlord Bwahahaha (with volume and reverb both turned up to 11) & Minion?

      1. OssianScotland Silver badge

        Re: Just go full Weeb

        SAPOB, for convenience, or should it always be in full?

  10. FrankAlphaXII
    Meh

    Yep, because words matter so much when you're trying to simply survive

    My question is just how much money and time (same thing, especially in the Bay and in Seattle) is being wasted on something as stupid as PCness in technical terminology.

    Yet again, the slacktivist keyboard warrior crowd tilts at windmills related to language instead of the hard thing, actually doing something about inequality in the real world. This shit pisses me off because its a fucking side show designed to make people who are fucking the entire goddamned world over by doing what they do feel better, that they're "doing their part" because their one black "friend", y'know the Contingent Worker at the security desk at Orwell Worldwide LLC or their parent MammonTech Inc told them that changing names of something they do not know or care about and has precisely zero impact on their lives would make them feel so much better and make the world a better place.

    Its better to do something like this instead of, y'know, something involving some risk, non-monetized expenditure of time and effort, potential discomfort and arrest, like making sure their "friend" at the security desk with G4S or Securitas or the cafe with Sodexo that's working 33 hours a week (so they don't have to pay for benefits while paying them minimum wage on top of it) might be getting a living wage and can afford to pay for rent and bills AND food, instead of having to pick which is more important and which can get put off, or having access to a decent educational system, living in neighborhoods safe from gangbanging thugs that drive black and white vehicles that might just kill you and get away with it (and also the criminals too), being able to afford to maintain a healthy lifestyle, having relatively clean water, being able to have an illness where you miss four days of work or can afford to take time off to do something besides work for once, or something as small as having access to basic healthcare to prevent serious illness of course.

    Because that would be fair, and fairness isn't just wrong, its communist! Can't have that of course.

    1. Mark 65

      Re: Yep, because words matter so much when you're trying to simply survive

      Hey, if this was a social media site you might be finding yourself banned for that outrageous observation. Our privacy whoring overlords like to be seen to be doing their bit.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jedi

    Hope George Lucas doesnt start "modifying" Star Wars again this time replacing all the terms related to Jedi Master.

    1. /\/\j17

      Re: Jedi

      I am NOT going to refer to "teacher" and "padawan" processes!

    2. OssianScotland Silver badge

      Re: Jedi

      Never mind that, what about Boba Fett's spaceship?

      1. Ordinary Donkey

        Re: Jedi

        I think it's okay for an in-universe slave trader to be un-PC. As long as they fall into a giant space gob at the end of the film.

  12. John Robson Silver badge

    A blocklist shall henceforth be known as a BlockChain

    Or should we abandon 'chain' as well?

    Mind you I'm sure some people have been tied with string, so we need to purge that...

    Just change the terms in the code, it doesn't need a massive PR exercise

  13. wolfetone

    So we're going to remove the master terminology because a few people have nothing better to do than be offended? Ok then.

    What are we meant to do with cars? They often have a brake master cylinder, a clutch master cylinder and a clutch slave cylinder. Are we going to change that as well? And what about aircraft where you retard the prop? Shall we change that as well?

    While we're at it, can we change the name or stop using the word landlord? As someone who's Irish I find the term highly offensive given it's history with the famine. Also, any company called Cromwell. Change the name of it. The bastard shouldn't be remembered, especially given he's the one who started this slavery bullshit with the Irish in 1625. The colour orange too, get rid of that. Ban it from use on traffic lights because I fear that a pipe band will start up "The Boyne Water".

    But no. We're adults. We understand, well I thought we did, that if I have a problem with the brake master cylinder in my car it's named down to it's function. No one when they're inventing these things thought "I'm going to call this the master because I long for the day of being able to have a group of slaves do my bidding".

    If people bothered their arses more with issues that affect the population more than daft terminology that has actual no relation to past horrors that share nothing other than a common name, then we, as a society, may be closer to ending homelessness. Ending childhood hunger. Getting everyone proper healthcare that could be afforded. But, yet, here we are.

    1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C
      Go

      I trust, Mr Wolfe, that green won't also be removed from traffic lights as it would be a shame to hear

      "They're banning men and women for driving on the green". With apologies.

      I'd like to have "Tory" banned too.

      1. wolfetone

        Ireland's a very funny place sir, said the man from the Daily Mail.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        "I'd like to have "Tory" Tories banned too."

        FTFY

  14. /\/\j17

    Some people need to understand that not EVERYTHING is racist

    Blacklist, for example is fine and has NOTHING to do with race.

    Blacklist is a term first recorded in reference to the list of people who were going to be sent to meet their maker in short order for the killing of Charles I, following the restoration of the monarchy and Charles II taking up the throne. That being going to the ultimate darkness. Being touched by the bony finger of the Death, the man in black robes. Seeing the judge don the black cap worn when scentencing people to death. The colour their families would wear following their deaths during the period of formal mourning.

    None of these origins have anything to do with the levels of melanin pigments in different people's skin.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Some people need to understand that not EVERYTHING is racist

      Stop trying to whitewash it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some people need to understand that not EVERYTHING is racist

      > None of these origins have anything to do with the levels of melanin pigments in different people's skin.

      Are you quite sure about that? The Crusades pretty firmly established in the population's psyche that 'good Christians' (aka white, male crusaders) go to heaven when they die whereas non-Christian Moors (aka black men) automatically go to hell.

      Fast-forward to the time of Charles I and the name 'blacklist' for those about to go to hell seems perfectly natural.

      1. the Kris

        Re: Some people need to understand that not EVERYTHING is racist

        When Muslims enslaved white Christian Europeans, no doubt it was firmly established in the population's psyche that 'good Muslims' (aka non-white people) go to heaven when they die whereas non-Muslims (aka white people) automaticall go to hell.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Some people need to understand that not EVERYTHING is racist

          @ Kris

          You are exactly correct - Islam teaches that those who reject the one true faith cannot achieve salvation.

          That has no bearing on the origin of the word blacklist in English though.

  15. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    That is the stupidest thing I've seen so far today.

    1. NerryTutkins

      To be fair, the stupidest thing I've seen today is southern NASCAR fans who are outraged over BLM protesters taking a knee during the national anthem (it's unpatriotic!) now being even more outraged because NASCAR has banned them from bringing the Confederate flag to races.

      I mean, nothing says "True Patriot" like turning up with the flag of the losing side that fought the United States in the bloodiest war in its history.

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        As an Englishman, now Nascar is the stupidest thing I've now heard of today - car racing without corners.

        1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
          Boffin

          > As an Englishman, now Nascar is the stupidest thing I've now heard of today - car racing without corners.

          I might not be an expert but I think you'll find that Nascar tracks have corners otherwise they'd be straight lines.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            My understanding is that they are a oval shaped. You wouldn't describe the boundary of a cricket pitch as full of corners, would you?

            1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

              Note, to our left-pondian friends, cricket pitches have one corner - cow corner.

  16. henryd

    Surely the word Git is also offensive.

    <tongue_in_cheek>Terminate! Terminate! Terminate! </tongue_in_cheek>

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Git_(slang)

    1. Brangdon Bronze badge

      Linus once remarked that he names his products after himself.

  17. Symon Silver badge
    Unhappy

    A long time ago...

    ...Blue Peter tried to introduce kids to disabilities and had a guy on the programme called Joey Deacon. Mr.Deacon had severe cerebral palsy or, in the contemporary vernacular, he was a spastic. Despite the best efforts of Blue Peter to show how this man had overcome extreme disability, all that happened was millions of kids ran around the playground gurning at each other and calling everyone a 'spaz'. The word 'spastic' became so derogatory, that the Spastics Society eventually renamed themselves 'Scope'. This excellent charity does a lot of great work, and if you've been to a Richard Herring gig anytime in the last 20 years or so, I expect you've given them a few quid. Anyway, the point of this story is that, in the manner of the old woman that swallowed a fly, the derogatory term 'spaz' has now been replaced in the playground with the term 'scoper'.

    1. wolfetone

      Re: A long time ago...

      I had Ian Dury playing years ago in the car, and Spasticus Autisticus comes on. I'm bopping away with the windows down. She turns it off because it was offensive. She didn't know about Ian Dury at all.

      1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C

        Re: A long time ago...

        Beat me to it with the Dury reference. The single was released in (IIRC) early 1981. Got played on radio 1 on the evening shows for a week or so, then got banned. I bought a copy as a protest against banning a polio survivor raising awareness of disabilities.

        Madness nearly suffered the same fate at around the same time as "cardiac arrest" was thought to be in poor taste.

        Re Symon's comment:

        We were calling other kids "spaz" long before BP's intervention. I'd stopped watching BP by the time they introduced Mr Deacon (working man - paper round don't ya know) so my sister had to explain what a "Joey" was. That name was later rehabilitated by Vanessa Paradis when "Joe le Taxi" let us get a Joey home from a night out.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: A long time ago...

          I do recall Joey Deacon at school. Impersonations of him were aimed at anyone who become the target of ridicule and the name "Joey" became an insult.

          Sad, but kids and all that. Often it is low self esteem that causes some people to feel the need to put someone else down to feel better about themselves. I explain to my kids that this was the motivation for bullying, that they had something very wrong somewhere in their life. Could be some of the explanation for racism.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A long time ago...

            > Sad, but kids and all that. Often it is low self esteem that causes some people to feel the need to put someone else down to feel better about themselves.

            It's not to feel better about themselves but to reinforce their position in their peer group: it's what they think their peers expect of them.

      2. Symon Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: A long time ago...

        Interestingly, both the Ian Dury song and Joey Deacon's appearance on television were both a result of the international year of disabled persons, which Dury thought patronising. I guess he was proved right by the Blue Peter fiasco.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Year_of_Disabled_Persons

        p.s. "I dribble when I piddle 'cos my middle is a riddle."

    2. heyrick Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: A long time ago...

      Oh, so that's where the phrase Joey came from...

      [also, I've only recently found out what "flid" really meant - children were bastards in the 80s, myself obviously included]

      1. tcmonkey

        Re: A long time ago...

        If you think they’re not just as big a pack of bastards now then I’m afraid I have some bad news...

        PS: Are you the same heyrick as the one who created ARMWiki? If so, greetings to you, and thanks for creating such a fantastic resource!

  18. Pinjata
    Mushroom

    Pure insanity

    I can't fathom how some white people think so low of black people think they cannot deal with words like "master" and "slave". Apparently blacks are so low IQ and emotionally disturbed that society need change language just for them.

    Can we discuss the one BILLION slaves that exists today in the Middle East, Africa and Asia? Oh sorry I mean the one billion "dependants"...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pure insanity

      No, that isn't the reason at all. One day you may possess the imagination and empathy to figure it out, but by now people have likely grown tired of explaining, for you to fail to grasp, so I won't bother either.

      1. Mark 65

        Re: Pure insanity

        There's a difference between empathy and feeling offended on someone else's behalf. One is to be humane, the other is to be a dick.

      2. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: Pure insanity

        One day you may possess the imagination and empathy to figure it out, but by now people have likely grown tired of explaining, for you to fail to grasp, so I won't bother either.

        Personally I find this the most tiresome and negative viewpoint of all. "I understand this perfectly, anyone who is not in complete agreement with me is wrong and needs to be educated until they understand".

        Essentially it is to completely ignore any other viewpoint and shows complete contempt for others. It is the very antithesis of the enlightened tolerance that it purports to be.

        Things like this are not addressed by attempting to browbeat others into submission. When on failing to do so you claim some form of moral or intellectual superiority you are part of the problem, not its solution.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pure insanity

      > I can't fathom [snip]

      You are exactly the problem. You've 'analysed' the issue and come to the conclusion that it's solely the black person's fault for not understanding your use of the terms.

  19. andy 103 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Should white be the default background colour in a browser?

    Where are we going to end with this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Should white be the default background colour in a browser?

      Shut up this isn't the daily heil comments section.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Should white be the default background colour in a browser?

      THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

  20. StephenTompsett

    Another proposal

    Villain and Minion ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another proposal

      The people who live here aren't going to be happy with that!

      https://goo.gl/maps/wWfpV1C7Cb5VidBA8

  21. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Headmaster

    SPI

    There are an awful lot of SPI interfaces out there which for years have used 'MISO' and 'MOSI' for the data between the controller and the device. I wonder when we'll be seeing lots of datasheets being reissued?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SPI

      Rename to Main and Secondary. Problem solved.

      1. ChrisC

        Re: SPI

        Not really, because if the main device fails for some reason, does the secondary device now step in and take over the reins? No, no it doesn't.

        Master/Slave terminology in comms interfaces (SPI, I2C etc.) provides a clear distinction between the device that is in charge of the interface (generating clock signals, arbitrating when the devices can communicate etc) and the devices which are also connected to the interface but can only do stuff on command from the master device.

        There may well be equivalent terms we could find which don't have implied links to mistreatment of certain sectors of humanity, but don't think it's quite as easy as clicking your fingers, pulling two words out of the dictionary that *sound* as if they'll do, and go "there you are, there's your new terms, use them!". Changing long-established technical terminology without careful consideration of what the alternative terminology might imply (or fail to imply) really isn't a good idea.

    2. mtp

      Re: SPI

      SDI and SDO were always poor terms from a technical point of view and undoubtedly will have caused plenty of V2 PCBs to be made. MISO and MOSI just work better in every way,

      Nothing to do with SS (slave select) lines though.

      Must check the mastercopy of my datasheets.

  22. Greybearded old scrote

    Context

    This is why all techies should learn Perl. We understand that context changes meaning. That works two ways.

    Words that used to refer to the vilest of practices are just technical in code. Actions that only tinker with trivialities have nothing to do with preventing racist public servants (oops) murdering with impunity.

    Although this pint-puller has actually been charged with murder. It seems that his masters (oops) are taking real action on the problem.

  23. Malcolm Hall

    Greenlist and redlist?

    Until aliens arrive.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Greenlist and redlist?

      Until some white children complain on Twitter "on behalf" of Native Americans

  24. JDX Gold badge

    These software activists who have been long-campaigning for such changes... are they black? If so then great. If it's just a bunch of white people telling black people what they should be offended by then that's in itself surely racist behaviour.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > These software activists who have been long-campaigning for such changes... are they black? If so then great. If it's just a bunch of white people telling black people what they should be offended by then that's in itself surely racist behaviour.

      It's not a bunch of white people telling black people they should be offended. It's a bunch of white people realising they have been racist unintentionally and are now trying to do something about it.

  25. John H Woods Silver badge

    I understand the irritation...

    I'm a pedant - I'm annoyed that 'begging the question' has come to mean 'raising the question' so I now have to either say petitio principii or use some cumbersome phrase. I'm annoyed that politicians have changed the meaning of 'refute' to 'deny'. I'm annoyed that 'hacking' now seems to mean just the bad sort. I'm annoyed I can't say 'niggardly' even though its etymology is innocent. I could go on but I can almost hear you begging me not to.

    However, we have to wonder why some people seem to be more offended by the move from master to main than non-white people actually were about the term master (if they were). I'm sure it can only be because people some kind of implicit criticism: the way that many people in my village are more worried that they might be considered a racist than they are about saying things that might be considered racist. But absolutely no criticism is implied. BLM aren't campaigning for these changes. They aren't campaignining for statue removal. They are campaigning for equality.

    Look, I'm no expert - I'm almost a stereotypical gammon - middle aged, fat, bald, married with kids, cis-hetero white male. My best friend, who is of Jamaican decent, isn't offended by anything. He's supremely easy going - if he smoked joints he would be stereotypically Jamaican. But I very clearly remember, when I was 14 and he was 15 and we were looking at family trees, and I was laughing at his very non-Jamaican surname, when I realised that's because it's the name of the plantation owner who owned his male ancestors. That was a shock that I can't get over.

    Perhaps its stupid to change master to main. But perhaps it shows we are at least thinking about these things, and maybe that is the most important thing we can do.

    1. Mark 65

      Re: I understand the irritation...

      I'd settle for..

      1. Solve the fucking problem

      2. Worry about the language.

      I suspect I'm not alone.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I understand the irritation...

      I would guess people don't want to have to do boring work implementing this change just for PC's sake, but for genuine reasons.

      If everyone starts using 'main' for new projects then great. It's a good name and 'master' is to an extent less applicable in these days of DVCS I'd suggest anyway. If people are going to push for existing projects to be changed, that rather needs to be justified.

    3. Vincent Ballard
      Coat

      Re: I understand the irritation...

      I would argue that it's more pedantic to use "begging the question" to mean "demanding an answer to the question" than to use it as a bad translation of a dodgy translation of "ἐν ἀρχῃ αἰτεισθαι". And I certainly wouldn't consider "circular reasoning" a cumbersome phrase. (It may not cover exactly the meaning of Aristotle's term, and it certainly doesn't cover some early usages of the late Latin mangling, which have the sense more of taking as axioms statements which are not self-evident, but I think it does effectively cover most supposed pedantic usage of the past century).

      Also, I'm not seeing much evidence that people are offended by renaming "master" branches. The contrary reactions seem to be predominantly frustration at a perceived change for change's sake, and people are presenting various cogent arguments as to why that's a bad thing.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you look for offence, you will find it

    It's interesting that there's an assumption that the terms master and slave must be a white/black reference. Brits were also enslaved by Romans, Vikings and North Africans. African tribes were enslaving each other for centuries before the Atlantic slave trade, and there were many black and native American slave owners in the US. And the Eastern/Arab slave trade was larger and more recent than the Atlantic one. Maybe the terms are only racially loaded if you want them to be.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: If you look for offence, you will find it

      Under the English feudal system, serfs could be bought and sold with the manorial or church land they worked on, villeins could be bought and sold as individuals. Effectively slaves under another name and not free men unless they could buy themselves out.

      I am very proud of the branch of my family that were dirt-poor country peasants in Bedfordshire. However, notwithstanding my DNA stock that came through enslavement, plague, famine, war and enclosures , I am considered to be part of an imperial tyrant people. How about that?

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: If you look for offence, you will find it

        One of my great-great-grandmothers may have been Jewish. So, as a decendant of slaves, where do I get my compensation?

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: If you look for offence, you will find it

      All true but black people have been systemically the target of racism from whites in the west, seemingly as a direct hangover from slave-trading days.

      And not to be glib, but white-on-black racism is well, more visible, than racism between groups who look similar to each other.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If you look for offence, you will find it

        My point is that given the widespread practice of slavery it seems a bit "racist" to assume that the master is white and the slave is black. Like most programmers, I just use master/slave as a non-judgmental way of describing the relationship between objects, and colour doesn't enter into it.

      2. the Kris

        Re: If you look for offence, you will find it

        Why focus on the west? Why exclude racism faced by whites outside of the west?

        Your second statement, again, why exclude non-white on white racism, which is less visible because it gets less media attention?

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: If you look for offence, you will find it

          Mrs IP is not originally from these shores, but has a similar average skin colour to those who are historically considered to be native to the British Isles. She does have problems with racist attitudes directed at her but, because she doesn't have dark skin, she gets no support. The Black and Minority Ethnic committee at her employer won't consider supporting her because she isn't from a continent other than Europe.

          Some racists aren't being called out enough.

  27. mihares

    Ok, but...

    I don't think there is anything wrong with transitioning to a less loaded language for this sort of thing in the IT world --alas, it has always been a little weird to have master and slave devices on an ATA flat cable, for instance.

    Not being a native English speaker, these words actually evoke memories of being a prepubescent human pouring on instruction manuals about how to build your own computer out of bits rather than mass human right violation and genocide, but I totally get why some people would not feel particularly OK with this kind of (not terribly descriptive) used to talk about ancient hard drives. Or also the main git repo branch of the project they are working on --although "master" in this case it's not _that_ master.

    Getting the discussion about the "black/whitelist" is harder, since the etymology is really different and has nothing to do with the colour of the people on the list, but with the colour of the list's wrapping in the very, very old times. But again: as long as the nomenclature is clear enough, it's just that: nomenclature. Until AGI rises and demands respect for it's AlphaGO ancestor, we could use go- and nogolist.

    All the same, the name given to roles hard drives assume on an ATA hierarchy (or similar) and git branches seems somewhat a secondary concern when, in the USA but not only there, "murder" seems the go-to behaviour cops adopt when they deal with people who are not white, tall and blond.

  28. NerryTutkins

    wow

    As an old white guy (which I suspect is the main demographic on the Reg), I really don't get the outrage.

    Watching a video of a cop standing on a guy's neck until he dies... that I can understand people being outraged about. Everyone should be outraged about that.

    But if those people running software projects decide to rename certain terms, especially if the sentiment is good, then what's the problem? Why all the anger? Let's say for example that they decided to rename something in honour of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams... I am sure everyone would be fine with that. So what's the problem here?

    If you don't like it, fork the code, put in all the white supremacist terms you want.

    1. andy 103 Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: wow

      what's the problem? Why all the anger?

      Because we're getting to a point where everyone is offended by everything and the "solutions" add no value to human life or the betterment of society.

      Take the word "manhunt". What if the suspect is a woman? Well, anyone with an ounce of education knows this might be the case. How does changing the word to something that doesn't include "man" really improve anything for anyone? Does it mean the suspect will be caught more quickly? After all, that's usually the aim. Whether they're male or female is a moot point if for example they've committed a murder.

      In terms of this article the word "master" has a specific meaning in git (and therefore GitHub) which means "master branch" cf. a "master copy" of a tape in a recording studio. If you want to make connotations towards slavery or black people over that term, then frankly you're just looking for arguments and something to moan about. How would changing it improve code quality or deployment processes, in the nature of using git to benefit software development? What value does doing that actually add to society? Oh, it doesn't, at all.

      Watching a video of a cop standing on a guy's neck until he dies... that I can understand people being outraged about.

      Rightly so. However, there is more to that particular incident than skin colour. Police brutality, using excessive force, thinking you'll get away with something for being in a position of power? All wrong. It's quite right people stand up and try to change this type of thing. But changing words - which already have perfectly valid meanings and no real connotation - is a bandwagon upon which too many people are now jumping.

      1. Simian Surprise

        Re: wow

        > Take the word "manhunt"

        No, we say Most Dangerous Game these days (MDG for short).

      2. Glen 1 Silver badge

        Re: wow

        "we're getting to a point where everyone is offended by everything"

        When societies have spent centuries with a single demographic at the top, even a bit of the formerly-lower-strata having a say demonstrates how blinkered those societies have *always* been. (Wot, you cant even shoot peasants these days! Whatever next!?)

        See also: Class mobility (Plebeian etc), Feminism (universal suffrage yet?), Indian caste system and so on... and so on... throughout history, throughout the planet.

        I honestly look forward to the day where my currently "Woke" views are considered prejudiced. Think how far we will have come for the views of today's "snowflakes" be de rigueur in the daily mail?

      3. Glen 1 Silver badge

        Re: wow

        "no real connotation"

        To you.

        A bit like the shortened version of "Pakistani" to my dad's generation. When people use it in an offensive context, it becomes offensive.

        Like the St George flag, or Confederate flag. Outside of sporting events, its mostly seen being waved by racists, so it becomes the flag of the racists. Regardless of other peoples non racist intent. Not so different from the swastika.

        1. andy 103 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: wow

          When people use it in an offensive context, it becomes offensive.

          Yes exactly, which the term "master" is not when used in the context of git/GitHub!

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: wow

          "Not so different from the swastika."

          Oh, you mean that symbol of divinity that is all over Asia? For us, right now, it stands for antisemitism and acts of terror that would make today's terrorists crap themselves. For people over in Asia, it's something of a symbol of reverence because they have the prior connotations (Wiki for Swastika if you want any specifics) rather than the acts of the Nazis who hijacked the symbol and poisoned it to western eyes.

          This is, actually, a rather apt example given that "master" doesn't mean that kind of master, and blacklist/whitelist don't mean that kind of black and white. But hey, let's all shout about specific words taken entirely out of context. Shall we stop playing blackjack? Or having blackouts when blackmailers write our intimate secrets on blackboards, which startle the blackbirds out of the blackthorn?

          And to be fair, we shouldn't be accused of whitewashing with whiteout pens and... yeah... there aren't so many words beginning with "white". Maybe it's just boring being angelic whiter-than-white? Can I pick a different colour? Plenty of words start with "red", like "redistribution"!

          1. Glen 1 Silver badge

            Re: wow

            "Oh, you mean..." (swastika)

            Yes. I know, that's why I mentioned it.

            You point out different cultures see things differently, and how meanings can change over time. Neatly demonstrating my point.

            Do you consider the non-white people who have been here for generations (and in many parts of the world, before the white folk) to not be a part of the local culture? I mean, in this *has* been de-facto the case due to segregation and other racist practices. However, you don't get to be outraged about "immigrants" in this case.

            As for the rest of the colour squealing faux outrage, do I *really* have to point out to (to presumably a grown ass adult), the problem isn't the *mention* of colour, its the connotation that black = bad and white = good.

            How fucking stupid do you have to be to not see that?

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: wow

              Where does the idea that "black" *always* means bad and "white" *always* means good come from? How fucking stupid do you have to be to think that?

            2. heyrick Silver badge

              Re: wow

              "How fucking stupid do you have to be to not see that?"

              A quick rummage around history ought to put an end to that nonsense.

              Whatever the current bad black people get up to, it's nothing compared to the Nazis (very white) or the fun of the great glorious British Empire (also white). Or, indeed, the current white people that seem to think it's okay to kill them with impunity.

              How fucking stupid do you have to be to not know that?

      4. OssianScotland Silver badge

        Manhunt

        I am reminded of some legal definitions which include "the male shall embrace the female" (although these days, consent needs to be obtained first)

  29. Alan Johnson

    A bad idea

    The ar emany problems with teh proposed change.

    The terminology of using master for the default branch is well established, changing it now will cause confusion and this will be inefficient and a source of unnecessary future issues so the change does have costs associated with it.

    The second problem is that the change in any case in no way addresses any real issue in a substantive way, in so far as racism exists it will not alleviate or reduce racism. What it does is give the appearance of doing something while actually doing nothing, a pure gseture, which if it has any effect at all is to undermine substantive change.

    The third problem is that the master in this case clearly refers to the concept of a master copy and is a better name than main.

    More broadly the concept of master and slave which is a very widely used and useful design concept is very sucintly and accurately conveyed by the terms 'master' and 'slave'. Using terminology based on an analogy to a ubiquitous facet of human history which is fortunately nowadays illegal and righlt reviled in no way suggest to anybody any approval for it nor do I believe it causes any pain, suffering or disadvantage to anyone. It does provide a hook to people who want to be offended to claim offense. If we continue down this road where wil it end. Killing a process would logically seem even more offensive than master and slave,

    should we stop calling connectors male if they have protuding pins making contact and female if they have a recepticle to accept pins? Whatever other terms are chosen, they will be less clear, cause more confusion and those who want to be offended will still find something to offend.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suggest Master and Bates.

    But then my sense of humour stopped developing when I was around 14.

    1. OssianScotland Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: I suggest Master and Bates.

      You are Roger the Cabin Boy and I claim my five pounds

      Obvious icon

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just checking..

    I understand and even support the sentiment, but I think such changes have to be thought through or there will be consequences. There are quite a few word pairs that may work, but they do not disguise the fact that there is a primary and a secondary, major and minor - there is always going to be a hint of suppression in the naming. Just how far will this go?

    More flippantly, can I just say that my systems are into BDSM until I have time to update it all?

  32. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    What about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their master Splinter? Do we need to change this?

    1. ChrisC

      Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

      Mentioning TMNT is somewhat apt here, because when they first came over to the UK in the 80's they were renamed Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles - the word "ninja" was considered to be unacceptable for use in a kids show due to its perceived link with violence...

      Today we know better, no-one bats an eyelid at its use, and kids participate in Ninja Warrior.

      Telling people they can't use a word just because it's bad mmkay, without taking the varying contexts in which the word may be used in different scenarios, is divisive and damaging to whatever genuinely good cause is involved. Educating people as to the background of the word and why, in specific contexts, it could be considered offensive, is the way to go - you're not simply telling people they can't use it, you're giving them the tools they need to decide for themselves if a given use is right or wrong.

      And *then*, if they still persist in using it badly, by all means accuse them of being (something)ist, but don't jump to that conclusion right from the outset merely because someone dared to use the word in a completely different context to the one where it genuinely is unacceptable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

        Telling people they can't use a word just because it's bad mmkay, without taking the varying contexts in which the word may be used in different scenarios, is divisive and damaging to whatever genuinely good cause is involved.

        And so you have also identified the problem with political correctness and virtue signalling..

  33. macjules Silver badge
    Angel

    Available alternatives?

    Personally I would go for "Trunk" instead of "Master" and "Branch" since we are effectively following a tree system. This allows us to take it to absurd levels and would help spawn a whole new generation of silliness ...

    git merge splinter sliver

    1. Mark 65

      Re: Available alternatives?

      I think other systems refer to trunk due to branching. Subversion maybe?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Available alternatives?

        Try "almost every other source code control system" and "since the 1980s" .

  34. Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)

    MBA

    Surely, a Master of Business Administration is nothing but a slave to the corporation. And doing my bit, as a parting woke gesture, I have removed the master cylinder from my Ex’s car just before she left me…

    1. ClockworkOwl
      Coat

      Re: MBA

      You left her a slave driver!!!

  35. Nifty Bronze badge

    Next up, male and female plumbing and electrical connectors.

  36. Glen 1 Silver badge

    If there ever was a place reeking of privilege. Its the people getting on here getting butthurt over a mild inconvenience caused by a name change. Its not the first, it won't be the last - remember “0xB16B00B5”?

    The thing about virtue signalling anti-racism, is that if you are objecting to the *virtue* being signalled, you come across as anti-anti-racism (how true it is, seems to be proportional to the strength of the objection). A bit like anti-antifa.

    To object *so strongly* REEKS of precisely the bullshit BLM folks are protesting against.

    The correct response is approximately "meh". Plus or minus "That's mildly inconvenient" to "Yeah, that's probably a good idea"

    Or is it that we can take your "master" from your "cold dead hands"?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8th Day

    It seems Hazel O'Connor got the wrong reason for mans' demise - it wasn't that on the 8th day machine just got upset, it was that he (can I use that word?) disappeared up his (again, allowable?) own posterior (to avoid offence but probably just did due to non US preferred spelling of offense). Madness

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear god in heaven !!!

    There appears to be a sudden rush of 'Tokenism' happening. (What's new !!!)

    Changing a few words or popping a 'Black square' on your website does nothing useful.

    An attempt to gain some kudos and BLM credibility.

    It in fact aids the sidelining of the real issues by presenting more and more 'small' and meaningless issues that the majority white population does not get.

    (and to a great degree neither does the 'Black' population get or immediately care about.)

    What is seen is a mass of small zero cost issues that are argued about and not clearly understood, which swamps out the real big issues that are never dealt with and once again will be lost in the fog of nonesense. Hoping that the steam will run out when it is seen that there are a thousand targets and growing.

    Change will be demonstrated by pointing to all the 'Token' gestures that are happening ....... look we understand and are *so* committed to change !!!

    There is a very old and well worn playbook which comes into play when the 'natives get upset' ........ here we go again ..... lots of noise and hot air *but* I expect little practical change ..... particularly when Trump and his cohorts are in control in the US of A.

    As for the UK we will no doubt do a 'Grenfell' on it, quelle surprise !!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear god in heaven !!!

      > Changing a few words or popping a 'Black square' on your website does nothing useful.

      On the contrary. That, the triggering, the complaints, the arguing, the debate, the anger, is doing a fucking fantastic job. It's long overdue.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear god in heaven !!!

        "> Changing a few words or popping a 'Black square' on your website does nothing useful.

        On the contrary. That, the triggering, the complaints, the arguing, the debate, the anger, is doing a fucking fantastic job. It's long overdue."

        I agree with long overdue *but* we have been here before .....

        'Tokenism' makes the majority white population feel better but does nothing meaningful to solve the real problems that have existed since slaves existed in the US of A.

        The US Civil War supposedly ended slavery *but* the attitudes to non-whites persisted and evolved to forms seen as acceptable across a large percentage of the US of A.

        If you replace the physical chains of the slave with economic, educational and political restrictions, they are still hobbled but it is invisible and 'acceptable' to society.

        Those hobbles are still there now !!!

        What is needed is *not* more debate, discussions or support via 'Tokenism' *but* actual action .... now and not in a promised future that never arrives because the next govt reneges on the promises made by the current govt.

        I appreciate the genuine support on the ground but 'Tokenism' is as old as the hills when you are talking about Black Equality. (See 60s / 70s to date)

  39. mtp
    Big Brother

    Bowdlerization

    This kind of thing has been done before. Thomas Bowdler produced versions of Shakespeare which fitted the morals of the time

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Bowdler

    Also see

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expurgation

    Widely regarded as laughable and pointless a few generations later

    Examples:

    In Hamlet, the death of Ophelia was referred to as an accidental drowning, omitting the suggestions that she may have intended suicide.

    "God!" as an exclamation is replaced with "Heavens!"

    In Henry IV, Part 2, the prostitute Doll Tearsheet is omitted entirely; the slightly more reputable Mistress Quickly is retained.

    I can easily see demands for exactly the same happening now.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Bowdlerization

      Yes, our culture goes through these periods of puritanism. They always get looked back on with incredulity. Unfortunately those swept up in it seem to have such little grasp of history that they're unable to realise how they'll be regarded. It would be nice to think the pendulum will swing swiftly enough for them to find themselves being laughed at in their own lifetimes; usually it takes a bit longer.

  40. RB_

    ClearCase has a default configspec of /main/LATEST

    Modern software, it just doesn't learn from its antecedents..

  41. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    In much the same way as blocklist collides with blocks as part of the content, so does main with main()

  42. LucasNorth

    let the children play their games

    Who cares, typical virtue signalling from the vicariously offended that will change nothing.

  43. Smooth Newt Silver badge
    Terminator

    And robots too?

    Nobody mention to the people who are pushing for the abolition of blackjack, master clocks and slave clutch cylinders that the word robot comes from the Czech robotnik "forced worker," from robota "forced labor, compulsory service, drudgery,". Ultimately derived from the Old Slavic rabu "slave,"*. And the word was invented for the play Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti, in which the roboti were synthetic, but emotionally and intellectually aware creatures, who were literally slaves.

    When the inevitable happens and we have to choose something else, can I upvote "your plastic pal who's fun to be with".

    *The word slave derives from the ethnic group Slav, so there is trouble brewing there too.

  44. xeroks

    weird comments section for the register?

    I was very surprised to see how the comments section of this story has gone. not so much the comments, because people have different viewpoints and vive la difference etc.

    It's more the voting: people with entirely valid, reasonable viewpoints being heavily downvoted. It would be interesting to see how often these voters take part normally, or if vested parties have been targetting what shouldn't be a hugely contentious issue.

  45. cschneid

    renaming a git branch

    Here I thought I'd find a discussion of the technical issues surrounding changing the name of "master" to "main". For others in the same situation, see here.

  46. JuniorEbuka

    I'm a black guy. My great grandmother was the daughter of an Irish slave owner.

    Yet, I find this story absolutely ridiculous.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PC gone insane

    What is next ? Is Packet InterNet Groper getting renamed, as well, in case anyone takes offence.

    https://blog.urfix.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/linux.jpg

  48. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    What about the recording industry? They use the term 'master' and 'remastered' etc?

    Anyway back to the original story, I for one find it ridiculous. There isn't even a corresponding 'slave' - which I could understand as being outdated and evocative of bad things. But the word 'master' on its own? Really?

  49. Norman R

    Weren't we here 17 years ago?

    Where - https://www.theregister.com/2003/11/26/la_officials_call_for_end/ - a Los Angeles purchasing officer wanted all master / slave terminology removed from equipment.

    I immediately emailed the L.A. Office of Affirmative Action Compliance pointing out that there are many people who for religious or secular reasons find the concept of angels equally abhorrent, so could they please rename their city. Still waiting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Weren't we here 17 years ago?

      Even if you don't, you might consider it blasphemy.

      That's the problem with finding offence. You can hit it everywhere and nowhere. However, being respectful and having discourse with the communities, instead of assuming, can help a lot more.

  50. cd

    Every vehicle with hydraulic brakes and/or clutch has a master cylinder or two and slave cylinders.

  51. iron Silver badge

    Where will it end?

    Fire up the intertubes and head to Pornhub for some mainbaiting!

  52. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    specialist? expert?

    So I guess if you have become well experienced, competent and knowledgable in a subject, you can no longer be said to have "Mastered" it?

    I guess Brian Ferry will have to rename his song "Underling to Love"? Yeah, that's real catchy.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop!

    This thread is out of control! We need a Main of Ceremonies

  54. mutt13y

    OTOH

    In git you can push master

  55. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    I'm fine with it

    When someone (I think it was California) some years back wanted to replace the terms "master" and "slave" for IDE hard drives, I thought that was dumb, IDE drives were nearly off the market, SATA does not have this concept anyway, plus they were not changing the terminology, just changing their IT manual to use made-up terminology that nobody else on the planet used. (Plus, many drives had "MA" and "SL" jumpers on them, along with "CS" for "cable select", so really...)

    Now? This stuff's being currently used, and really "master" is not even an accurate or descriptive term for the current version of a version-controlled piece of software, I don't know if "main" is either but it's not a bad term to use. I don't feel any racial connotations from it but also have no attachment to the current term, if anyone is at all uncomfortable from it by all means change it!

    The people complaining about changing "blacklist" to "blocklist", they are 100% right, the term blocklist is already used. I've used software already that had an allowlist and a denylist, these are perfectly serviceable terms to change to if you want. People are right that point out blacklist is not a racial term; but, denylist is clearer in indicating what the list is for anyway. I'm all for it.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    holy moly what a garbage fire this forum is.

    I'm a senior engineer for a large media firm. We just spent 10 minutes discussing it and have a plan to switch to 'main', it'll soak up a few man hours to adjust build scripts, etc, but you know what? Nobody worthwhile cared, the world didn't end, and even if no employee ever felt discomfort about it, it's worth it just to aggravate tw*ts the like of which I see here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: holy moly what a garbage fire this forum is.

      "Nobody worthwhile cared" - kinda explains why your meeting went the way it did.

      In an office meeting, I'd probably keep my head down too regardless of how daft and counter-productive I thought it was. Everyone's so nervous about being labelled a racist by the PC thought police that it's safest not to mention that the emperor has no clothes. And that's why so many people are venting on here instead.

  57. the Kris
    Meh

    From the article, using the word master is not inclusive.

    Can someone list the "races" and cultures that are left out?

    Which cultures have never had a part of their people enslaved, if that is what we are talking about?

    Can we ask them if they actually feel left out?

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The name Microsoft is offensive

    I have a very small penis and suffer from from erectile dysfunction.

    Everytime I see the name "Microsoft" I feel ashamed and humiliated.

    If they are serious about avoiding offense (rather than just virtue signalling) then they should change their name.

  59. Belavoltam

    PC brought to level 'insanity'

    Frankly, I don't like the PC movement at all. It's some sort of self-censorship. I don't mean that everyone should treat others like trash at all. In fact all humans deserve at least some basic dignity. But I won't give up certain words just because they might have a secondary meaning in some cases.

    So the openzfs, redis and github folks are plain idiots if they think that oppressing the minorities or whatever groups will disappear if they purge words like master, slave, blacklist. Btw. blacklist. If you renamed blacklist to blocklist, then how will you call a whitelist? Allowedlist? Ridiculous.

  60. codejunky Silver badge

    Appeasement doesnt work

    These are the kind of idiots who will never be happy-

    https://www.continentaltelegraph.com/2020/06/stu-peters-and-manx-radio-its-amazing-whats-called-racism-these-days/

    1. Dr_N Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Appeasement doesnt work

      codejunky> "Oh Tim !!! ♡"

      Get a room already. What Alan Partridge on Manx radio should understand is that no one cares about what happens on the Isle of Man. Unless it's for fast bikes or avoiding paying taxes.

      As opposed to everyone being interested in what's going on in the US right now.

  61. This post has been deleted by its author

  62. UncleDavid

    What about "git"?

    As a British-English speaker, I'm mildly offended by the word "git". It's used as a derogatory insult. However, it does apparently derive from a Scots word for "bastard", so insert own joke about the origin of the source control system here.

  63. Tessier-Ashpool

    Heaven forbid anyone involved in mastering music files.

    But as for git terminology, they already made a very poor choice in having the commands named ‘fetch’ and ‘pull’. When Jack & Jill went up the hill, I seem to recall that a fetch involves pulling. Crap choice of verbs.

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