back to article Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now

Linux overlord overseer principal developer Linus Torvalds has signed off on a new policy to adopt inclusive language across the project. A Git commit adopted changes recommended by kernel developer Dan Williams, with the result that Linux will no longer refer to masters, slaves or blacklists. In their place coders will be …

  1. autisticatheist
    Facepalm

    Icon

    says it all.

    1. cyberdemon
      Devil

      Argh

      The world has gone mad.

      O wait, not allowed to say 'gone mad' anymore.

      As many have pointed out, this destruction of language is straight out of 1984. I wonder who has really started this and what their vested interests were. It's certainly not going to be good for the stability of Linux, both as a codebase and as a community.

      And does absolutely bugger all to help the downtrodden of society, which is its supposed pretense.

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Argh

        The world has gone mad.

        Indeed ...

        And just what will happen to my father's favourite scotch?

        O.

        1. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Argh

          And they had best not translate some of the Gaelic dram names either.

          On Sundays our local community centre becomes an African pentecostal church and lots of African people turn up neatly dressed all in White. The Woke should perhaps have a word though I doubt there would be much mutual comprehension. Telling folk from West Africa they and their children & grandchildren will be forever victims will not go down well. I know and have known folk from West Africa and victims they certainly are not. Post Independence they took their fate into their own hands and there will be no going back.

          White saviour angst complexes from America are not universally applicable. If they ever collide I fear for Woke sanity (more than I do already).

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Argh

            What is that Woke sanity you speak of? Woke is a very disturbing form of insanity and a clear example of people being afraid to call a spade a spade.

            1. DutchBasterd

              Re: Argh

              I find that extremely offensive towards David Spade!

              1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                Re: Argh

                It is, from the Woke idiots.

                If a hypermelanistic individual, who needs extra illumination to be visible at midnight, feels offended when I use the word "black" in whatever context, I will seriously try to accommodate him once he makes this known to me. If some sjw Woke idiot feels the need to be offended on behalf of the aforementioned hypermelanistic individual without that individual being around, aware or offended, I find it an insult to common sense and feel extremely offended.

              2. Robert Moore
                Coat

                Re: Argh

                > I find that extremely offensive towards David Spade!

                Don't worry, he will be required to change his name.

            2. Mike the FlyingRat
              Boffin

              Re: Argh

              Actually there is a racist connotation to the expression of calling a spade a spade.

              (Why don't you just call it a shovel?) ;-P [KIDDING!]

              So while I joke there is some history to this. You can google it.

              Essentially the comment goes back a couple of hundred of years (~500)

              "To call a spade a spade" entered the English language when Nicholas Udall translated Erasmus in 1542. Famous authors who have used it in their works include Charles Dickens and W. Somerset Maugham, among others.

              - This is from an NPR article on the subject. 'Is it Racist to call a spade a spade' (circa 2013)

              However since the 1920's post WWI, the term spade became code for a black person.

              And that's the thing... you can pretty much claim anything to be code for something else.

              Take the eggplant emoji. Or a pointing finger followed by a doughnut. I wonder what is meant when people sent those texts? ;-P And I somehow doubt someone is talking about what they want from the store.

              And that's the point.

              At what point do you say "Time to grow up and get a thicker skin" .

              Sometimes when a person says something and you think its a micro-aggression, its really not.

              1. Someone Else Silver badge

                Re: Argh

                Sometimes when a person says something and you think its a micro-aggression, its really not.

                And other times....

              2. jake Silver badge

                Re: Argh

                "Actually there is a racist connotation to the expression of calling a spade a spade."

                Correction. There is a racist connotation to calling a black man a spade.

                There is not any racist connotation in calling a spade a spade, unless the speaker makes it obviously racist due to context ,,, which is kind of the point of this whole kerfuffle.

              3. MarkSitkowski

                Re: Argh

                Umm... a spade is used for digging, while a shovel is used for.. well.. shovelling - like a rather large scoop.

                The two are not synonymous

    2. Ramis101
      WTF?

      Re: Icon

      Yep, I'm probably going to get killed on the next Zebra Crossing the way this is going

      1. Jurassic Hermit

        Re: Icon

        Zebra crossing? No, it's a Rainbow Crossing now. And if you are colour blind you will miss it, and get run over perhaps! At least your sacrifice to the Cultural Marxist idiots was worth it...???

      2. Ochib

        Re: Icon

        Only if you can prove that black is white

    3. Mike the FlyingRat
      Headmaster

      Re: Icon

      But that Icon isn't a person of color and thus is racist.

      If I said I wanted to slave those drones to the primary craft in the swarm, would that be racist?

      Note the Pedantic Grammar Nazi icon...

      I used slave as a verb. Not a noun or did I say enslave.

      To say that the technical terms 'master'/'slave' is racist shows the lack of any technical understanding.

      Somehow we need to say enough is enough.

      Next you'll be saying we need to rewrite our history books because the 'black death' is racist.

    4. Adair Silver badge

      Re: Icon

      Poor petal

    5. Jurassic Hermit
      WTF?

      Re: Icon

      The word "slaves" derives from Slavs. Why? The Slavs were stolen, especially the blonde women, by invading Turkish, other Arab and Hun armies over the centuries. They were kept busy in the harems.

      I am a Slav. My ancestors were slaves. I am in no way offended by modern IT using the terms Master and Slave. Please carry on Linus. Ignore the faux outrage, the faux offence, the Cultural Marxist claptrap.

      I approve, on behalf of the original slaves. I and we know your usage is not in any way meant to be offensive.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Angel

    Reply to Linus Torvalds

    Yes, Master.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

      So “whites” get a “pass” and “blacks” are “denied”?

      Are you sure that is what you wanted, Dan?

      Also, once this is done, will we have rooted out systemic racism from Linux?

      Seriously, this is no different from the spin which renamed all the “daemons“ to “angels.”

      Oh dear, did I mention “roots”?

      1. hmv Silver badge

        Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

        Shrug. If certain phrases offends some people it is worth considering changing it.

        And in the case of "allow lists" and "deny lists" the 'improved' phrase is more descriptive of how they're usually used.

        Having said that, the "black" in blacklists has a longer history of being used to mean "bad" than used to refer to people with built-in suntans. The OED has references in that context going back to the Old English era including some confusion relating to the switch from the word "swart" (meaning black (meaning swart)). Although "black" has been used in reference to people for as long, it was principally descriptive - even used for people with dark hair - and it wasn't until the 1960s that it was popularised as an identity.

        1. G Olson

          Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

          Sure, the new terminology provides a better concept of the function of the lists.

          But if you change technical terminology just because some mis-educated yatz feels offended, you have given up society to the howler monkeys.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

          Its not only about "offence" and "PC gone mad". There is an actual body count associated with this whole issue. If some el Reg snowflakes have their feelings hurt, then so be it. The least we can do for our fellow human beings is to listen and act if they are saying that something is negatively affecting their lives. Changing some terminology is trivial. I hope they go much further and address the underlying issues which have cost them so much suffering and death. Either you just don't believe the black community or you are an indifferent rsehole. Which one is it?

          1. MOH

            Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

            No, there isn't. There is absolutely zero body count related to the terminology used in the Linux kernel. Or to people failing to comprehend words like blacklist and ascribing some non-existent racist connotation. Suggesting otherwise is the kind of idiotic nonsense that is rapidly propelling me along the road towards becoming an indifferent arsehole.

            1. AlbertH

              Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

              That's a comment that makes me wish I could give a hundred upticks!

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. jake Silver badge

            Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

            "Changing some terminology is trivial."

            Oh! So you're the one who has volunteered to do that in the kernel. Make absolutely certain you don't introduce any new bugs as you go, mkay? When can we expect you to be done? Inquiring minds & all that.

            Funny how many ACs have all the answers, isn't it.

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

          If certain phrases offends some people it is worth considering changing it.

          And it's also worth telling overly-sensitive people that make demands upon others (to do work, change, whatever) where to go and "how far" etc. because *BEING* *BULLIED* *BY* *THEM* and then *CAVING* is actually *WORSE* since they *NEVER* *STOP* and *JUST* *DEMAND* *MORE*.

          Now the article doesn't say, but if those "offended" people actually DID ALL OF THE WORK, then it's like "sure, whatever" and no harm just adopting the edits. They're just names for things.

          And I suspect it _WAS_ this... and moving forward, it's nauseating, but I *SUPPOSE* 'new terms' could be used instead in the future. Whatever. At least there's no pile of extra WORK to do just to please people who are (in their own way) INTOLERANT.

          DOWN side: I suspect that this is ONLY the beginning. *THEY* never *STOP*. *THEY* are never *APPEASED*. It *WILL* happen. Again. and Again. and AGAIN.

          We shall see.

          (so, WAS it the case that those who CARE about changing terms to be more 'inclusive' or whatever did the actual EDITING? I hope so)

        4. tekHedd

          Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

          > Shrug.

          Exactly. I feel the same way about all those Confederate memorials. If they were "great works of art" or something maybe I'd suggest moving them to a museum, but I grew up surrounded by them and, well, ugly. It's not even worth having a discussion, just throw them out and move on to important issues. By an large this situation is similar: lose the names and get on with work.

          In spite of this, it is *not* ridiculous to discuss it: this is an issue worthy of discussion, largely because of the long tradition of using these names and their clear meaning in the context. Naming is easily the single most difficult task of programming[*]. Fortunately, "exclusion lists" and "dom/sub" are definitely more accurate descriptions of the concepts involved, so in the long term this is a clear win across the board. In other sad cases where they've chosen opaque, non-obvious replacement terminology, it's not a win.

          * - the two most difficult problems in programming being, of course: naming, cache invalidation, and off-by-one errors

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

            So destroying statues is OK? How about books? Shall we start burning them, too?

            1. Ochib

              Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

              Need to put back up that statue of a certain cigar smoking, marathon runner, jewelry wearing, TV host who did a lot for charity

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

              what are you on about? books !== statues

            3. aqk
              Headmaster

              Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

              Well, no! Of course not! Just burn the statues

              But try not to let the embers or cinders become "black"! This would be a grave offense to 10% of the US population.

      2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

        Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

        As has been pointed out by others (like jgarbo), the phrase "blacklist" comes from the 1600's of having folks of ill repute getting their names in a book with a black leather cover. Conflating the word "blacklist" with racism is as stupid as conflating the old accounting practice of filling out ledgers using black ink for positive sums and red ink for negative sums (in addition to having a "-" sign) for "clarity at a glance" as having something to do with Africans and Native Americans.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

          I'm waiting for the BLM clowns to clock the Black Country are and start mooing about it being racist, not realising it comes from the huge quantities of coal that used to be mined there. But then you can accuse BLM and its hangers on of many things but knowledge of history is not one of them.

          1. aqk
            Big Brother

            Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

            I'm sorry but each one of these lumps of coal must be painted in a non-threatening rainbow shade.

            And only WHITE coal may now be mined.

        2. aqk
          Pirate

          Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

          Too late! The word "black" in the English language has now been appropriated by a minority (around 10%) of the US population. It is theirs, and THEIRS ALONE to decide how it be used. Understand?

          The rest of the Planet's English-speaking nations must now obey their directives.

          Or you will be judged as a RACIST and forfiet your life to ajob, income,family, etc!

      3. DutchBasterd

        Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

        Well, I guess Linux itself is racist because it's created by mostly white people. So it must be destroyed, right?

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

      You mean, "Yeth Mathter" .. need to work on your Igor lisp.

    3. theDeathOfRats

      Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

      I hereby propothe Marthter and Igor.

      And where'th that Thur PTerry icon when thou need it?

    4. Quentintheflorid

      Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

      We all need a sedagive to be able to cope with all this pointless crap. Am I allowed to say crap, is it 'inclusive'?

      1. John G Imrie
        Unhappy

        Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

        I think crap is inclusive, as we are all in it.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

          At least neck deep (and the vertically challenged a bit more).

      2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

        Crap is inclusive as everyone does it.

        Only mine doesn't stink.

  3. HildyJ Silver badge
    Angel

    Wishy washy

    The replacements for master and slave don't seem to capture "do what I say or die" spirit of the original.

    How about dictator and minion?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wishy washy

      Boss and Peon?

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Wishy washy

        I see it as my goal in life now to slip "dictator and minion" and/or "boss and peon" into some official technical documentation at work now.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Wishy washy

          People with work needing to be done & People with enforced unpaid employment.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wishy washy

        I think the correct, everything-neutral term on this side of the pond is "plebs". Don't know about an equivalent term for those running the show though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wishy washy

          (k)nobs ?

      3. Daniel von Asmuth

        Re: Wishy washy

        Candidate and Voter!

    2. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Wishy washy

      Or go all Star Wars and have Master and Apprentice..

      1. CommanderGalaxian

        Re: Wishy washy

        Except that doesn't capture the essence of the relationship - since it is the Slave (/Apprentice) where the bulk of the work is done - the Master is dependent on the abilities and knowledge of the Slave to do its job properly.

    3. Solviva

      Re: Wishy washy

      BOFH and PFY?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Wishy washy

        BOFH and PFY?

        More like BOFH and PHB. heh. (It's much clearer over here by the window...)(ok who parked that car there?)

        now about all of that 'white space' in the documentation. I think we should start calling it 'shite space'.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Wishy washy

          More to the point, we'll have to ban all languages that utilize syntactical whitespace. Sorry, Pythonistas, all y'all are outlaws now.

          And we'll also have to completely fill all allocated radio frequencies.

          IBM will no longer be able to publish pages marked "This Page Intentionally Left Blank". This last one makes me cry.

          1. Solviva

            Re: Wishy washy

            I found a document recently with the "This page is intentionally left blank". Worryingly the page opposite really was blank but seemingly not intentionally left blank. What were they trying to hide?

    4. saxicola

      Re: Wishy washy

      Or Trump and Boris?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wishy washy

        That should be Putin and Trump, shirley?

    5. Scotty 3

      Re: Wishy washy

      Is suppose. I can remember when I started using 'shadow' instead of slave. I was teaching an internal session in the States for the Bank *something SSL I think* and as it turns out those chosen were all older black women some very close to retirement.

      This was almost 20 yeas ago, so quick math said that a good half of my class had been denied the right to vote based on their colour. Born in the 1940s that meant their grandparents likely were not slaves, but their great grandparents...? No one asked not to use the word, I just couldn't say it in front of them.

      1. tfb Silver badge

        Re: Wishy washy

        And it's more recent than that. My grandfather was born in 1887. If he was black and born in the US (he was neither) his parents would likely have been born as slaves and his grandparents certainly would. I am in my late 50s. So people who have not retired today can have great-grandparents who were slaves, and grandparents and parents who experienced the most horrible systematic racism, supported by the government of their country.

        This is not ancient history.

        1. Scotty 3

          Re: Wishy washy

          Sorry- that is what I was trying to represent. Many of these people were not even allowed to vote when they became of voting age. I can't know the age of their grandparents but they like knew someone who was a slave.

          'Shadow' directory or database seems clear enough.

    6. Greybearded old scrote
      Gimp

      Re: Wishy washy

      Next time I do some work where master/slave would have been used I'm claiming dom/sub.

      "Thank you mistress, may I have another?"

      1. tekHedd

        Re: Wishy washy

        > ...I'm claiming dom/sub

        or top/bottom/switch for more complex systems.

      2. PC Master Race

        Re: Wishy washy

        Now, were talking, we could use a little more of that language here..

        We just need to findout the perfect safeword to install in all kernels.

        Also the logo for The Reg is red, so lets start to eradicate that racist native american communism colour.

    7. maffski

      Re: Wishy washy

      Lord and Serf?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Wishy washy

        I find that offensive....British Lives Matter*.

        *Irrespective of melanin levels.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Wishy washy

          ALL Lives Matter!

          And for the fucking clueless, that is about as inclusive as you can get, as it incorporates every set of humans. If you argue against it you are, by definition, a racist.

          Besides, BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management, the agency within the United States Department of the Interior responsible for mismanaging public lands these last 70+ years. Yes, folks, the BLM are the much hated government department who are responsible for the tinder-like underbrush which has directly lead to the United States wildfire problems these last several years. Most of Rural America hates those three letters on sight, out of reflex. Way to pick a devisive acronym, guys. One would almost think it was on purpose.

          1. maffski

            Re: Wishy washy

            'ALL Lives Matter!'

            What, exactly, do you have against zombies?

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Wishy washy

          "*Irrespective of melanin levels."

          The British have melanin? When did that happen?

  4. jgarbo
    Headmaster

    Proudly ignorant

    Would these SJWs please take Etymology 101 before banning every other word in English. Blacklist has nothing to do with ethnicity or BLM or IOU or WTF, etc. Stop the nonsense. A few changed words will not covert bigots to saints. It takes more..such as intelligent thought.. Yeah, I know, too hard.

    FYI:

    blacklist (n.)

    also black-list, "list of persons who have incurred suspicion, earned punishment, or are for any reason deemed objectionable by the makers and users of the list," 1610s, from black (adj.), here indicative of disgrace, censure, punishment (a sense attested from 1590s, in black book) + list (n.1). Specifically of employers' list of workers considered troublesome (usually for union activity) is from 1884. As a verb, from 1718. Related: Blacklisted; blacklisting.

    1. brain_flakes
      Headmaster

      Re: Proudly ignorant

      "Block-list" / "allow-list" is more explicit of its function, so is therefore objectively better anyway.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Proudly ignorant

        Unless you actually have to speak the words.

        Do these people really think they can remove all negative associations with darkness and black and all positive associations with light and white in the English language? That is the aim, right?

        I guess we can erase vast swathes of poetry and literature. Perhaps we can persuade criminals to rob during the day for 50% of the time.

        Or maybe this is just about wielding power for its own sake.

      2. Solviva

        Re: Proudly ignorant

        But file systems have block lists, so now will all file systems deny access?

        1. chroot

          Re: Proudly ignorant

          That will have to be denylist, not blocklist.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Proudly ignorant

            "That will have to be denylist, not blocklist."

            Can't use "Deny", sorry. The implications are shameful in Indonesia.

            See new poster Muhwyndham's rather excellent comment here.

      3. Addanc

        Re: Proudly ignorant

        Block-list is an ambiguous.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Proudly ignorant

          Block lists matter.

      4. LDS Silver badge

        ""Block-list" / "allow-list" is more explicit of its function"

        Blacklist doesn't imply "block". Nor a whitelist does imply the function of "pass". Items in a blacklist may be used to activate warnings or other kind of processing, still without being blocked or denied. Whitelisted addressed in my email server don't undergo spam processing, for example, and are never flagged as spam and moved to the spam folder.

        Let's see what happens next to red-black trees... although the colors here are from playing cards.

        Anyway, I'm happy I'm no longer involved in any open source project. I will also stop releasing any of my code under an open source license, I do not really want someone could become upset because of my naming conventions - as long as they don't complain about assembly opcodes and even bit sequences....

        Or maybe I will create a new open source license - if you object to the naming convention you are barred from using the code.

        Anyway, can't wait to see Linus heavily insulting someone because they didn't care about the new rules....

        1. tfb Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: ""Block-list" / "allow-list" is more explicit of its function"

          Blacklist doesn't imply "block". Nor a whitelist does imply the function of "pass". Items in a blacklist may be used to activate warnings or other kind of processing, still without being blocked or denied. Whitelisted addressed in my email server don't undergo spam processing, for example, and are never flagged as spam and moved to the spam folder.

          Which is why 'blacklist' is a terrible term: it doesn't tell you what the list means. It's like calling all your variables 'x' or 'y' or something. Use variable names which tell you what the list is for, how hard can it be. Sometimes those names will be long, but we all have editors which complete names now and we're not programming on a PDP-11 any more where things like the size of the symbol table were a problem (and I guess most of you never did).

          I mean, I'm a physicist, I spend my life having to deal with single-character names for things because of hundreds of years of tradition ('This R is the Riemann tensor, this one is the Ricci tensor, this one is the Ricci scalar, this one is the radius', OK the first three are actually easy to distinguish by indices ... unless you're not using indices) and it's a real pain. I have no idea why computing people, who had the wonderful opportunity to start over, inflicted the same stupidity on themselves.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: ""Block-list" / "allow-list" is more explicit of its function"

            "Which is why 'blacklist' is a terrible term: it doesn't tell you what the list means."

            That's terrible spin. The words flavo(u)r and colo(u)r don't tell you what they mean, either. But as a physicist you know what I mean when I type them, and can get to the bottom of my meaning.

            Top o' t' mornin' to ye.

      5. boblongii

        Re: Proudly ignorant

        Neither of your phrases is "objectively" better than the established, and clear, terminology.

        You need context to understand that what the "block" is and that the list is not a list of blocks. "Allow list" is pretty unclear all around.

        "Blacklist" on the other hand is less ambiguous as there is really only one meaning.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Proudly ignorant

      It’s more complex than simply quoting the dictionary definition. Sure, an important thing is to expunge language that the majority of ordinary folk from a particular section of society find objectionable. However, if it’s done for any other reason, it’s either insulting their intelligence, which would be a racist thing in itself, or trivialising racism, both of which actually make matters worse.

      Given the general dearth of protests aimed specifically at Linux (current protests seem to be more concerned with vital topics such as police brutality, etc), I’m fairly sure that the choice of language inside Linux source code is not a high priority matter of concern for anyone other than the kernel dev management.

      What people ought to stop and consider is how such a change in source code terminology comes across when someone asks, “Does that mean I can have a well paid job in the tech industry?”. In that context, employment, the current fashion for terminological adjustment is extremely inadequate.

      The tech industry has a terrible track record when it comes to well balanced employment ratios, and this sudden rush to change wordings in source code seems to be eclipsing more substantive corrective measures (if they exist at all) in the PR machines’ outputs.

      So, what could be done? Linux doesn’t employ anyone as such, so it’s hard to see what they could practically do there. However, the tech industry has a few rotten apples, eg Facebook and Twitter that profit from the racist behaviour of their users. Facebook in particular is effectively an unrepentant cesspit of a company when it comes to stamping out racism in society. A more pertinent point for the Linux kernel management to consider is, does Facebook use Linux and is the Linux kernel management happy with that? Are they going to actively stop Facebook doing so? Or would they find some reasons why their hands are tied? Saying “we’re not responsible for how our kernel is used” would amount to condoning companies like Facebook, which many would argue would be far worse than having words like blacklist in one’s source code tree.

      1. Updraft102

        Re: Proudly ignorant

        The tech industry has a terrible track record when it comes to well balanced employment ratios

        There's nothing terrible about it. People have different interests. Equality of opportunity is a good thing, but we cannot possibly expect equality of outcome. Life does not work like that.

      2. Mark Wallace

        Re: Proudly ignorant

        an important thing is to expunge language that the majority of ordinary folk from a particular section of society find objectionable

        Nonsense.

        If people have no use for a word, they don't use it, and it drops out of use (we have hundreds of such words, in English).

        The very idea that words can or should be expunged from a language is straight out of George Orwell. The society he wrote about that controls language that way comprised a handful of masters and everyone else was a slave.

        Only a regime that repressive would consider expunging words from a language because the regime's masters don't like them.

        The purpose of language is to communicate; it is entirely neutral in all matters human. If people use it to communicate hatred, it's not the language's fault.

        Look up sayings about bathwater and babies.

        1. Phil NZ

          Re: Proudly ignorant

          This is not Orwellian but a pragmatic measure taken by a private (non-state) group as a significant gesture recognising terms like “master” and “slave” as offensive.

          It’s your right to think it’s an overreaction, it’s also the right of the rest of us to embrace this as a positive step and mute your whining arses.

          1. MrBanana

            Re: Proudly ignorant

            Exactly as you say - "gesture", nothing will really change because of this.

          2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

            Re: Proudly ignorant

            But "slave" is descriptive. Being forced to be a slave is offensive.

            By the way, the world hasn't "gone mad" on this issue. It's just a bit silly and misguided.

            What's really mad are stupid things like Trump, Brexit, etc.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Proudly ignorant

      My understanding is that the phrase originates (and is still used) in London clubs where members voting on a new joiner could select a white ball to allow or a black ball to reject. Hence the phrase "blackballed". Clubs shared a list of those blackballed members and so you get the phrase "blacklist": nothing whatsoever to do with slavery.

      1. Julian Bradfield

        Re: Proudly ignorant

        Your understanding is wrong. "Blacklist" long predates London clubs.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Proudly ignorant

        Voting by white & black balls goes back to classical Greece, I believe.

        And don't even TRY to assert that they were "white".

    4. tfb Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Proudly ignorant

      Perhaps they should also study some linguistics, where they will learn that the connotations of a term have absolutely nothing to do with its ancient history in the form of its etymology. No-one worries when they're talking about 'avocado' that it comes from a word in Nahuatl which also means 'testicle', because the etymology of the term just does not matter to people speaking modern English: what matters is what the term means and what its connotations are in the language spoken today.

    5. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Proudly ignorant

      "Stop the nonsense. A few changed words will not covert bigots to saints"

      Indeed. In fact what it does do is lend credence to the bigot's argument along the lines of "there, told you so, anti racist campaigners are ignorant fools who are trying to tell you what to think so nothing they say is worth listening to". Unfortunately the kids shouting and screaming for these changes don't have a good enough understanding of human nature to realise this.

  5. jake Silver badge

    Lovely.

    The Temper Tantrum Generation have won this particular battle.

    Hopefully sanity will win the overall war.

    It ain't the words, people. It's the intent behind them. Period.

    During the meanwhile, now with this utterly meaningless feel-good change, people for whom English is a second language are now at a competitive disadvantage for the duration of time that it takes to stabilize out the new meaning of meaning within the kernel. But that's OK, eh Linus? None of them are American. Or was that FinnishSwedish?

    1. brain_flakes
      Headmaster

      Re: Lovely.

      These changes are objectively better than the original phrasing; "primary" and "secondary" let you define a proper tree hierarchy ("tertiary" etc.) and block-list / allow-list is more explicit of its function and therefore is easier to understand (especially for non-native English speakers).

      1. Mark Wallace

        Re: Lovely.

        All very rational, except...

        "Primary" and "secondary" are only useful if there IS a hierarchy. Most master-slave relationships are one demands and the other supplies -- that's not an hierarchical relationship.

        "Blacklist" and "whitelist" have been in the language for centuries, but not quite as long as the words "black" and "white", and not used nearly as much, though.

        So, since "black" and "white" are obviously more frequent and longer-term offenders, and therefore much more offensive, they should be "cancelled" from the language first.

        Never forget that there's a grey area between [cancelled] and [cancelled].

        1. Def Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Lovely.

          In Old English, 'black' was mainly used to describe someone with dark skin, while 'sweart' was more commonly used for the colour.

        2. Joe Montana

          Re: Lovely.

          The term "blocklist" might refer to "a list of things to be blocked", or it might refer to "a list of blocks" for instance in a filesystem.

          And how do we specify a list of blocks that are to be blocked?

          1. Gerhard Mack

            Re: Lovely.

            Denylist would be better

            1. G Olson

              Re: Lovely.

              I can hear the rant already "You CAN'T deny me the list. I have a right to this list, that list, and every other list you could compile. "

        3. MrBanana

          Re: Lovely.

          "Never forget that there's a grey area between [cancelled] and [cancelled]."

          My current interpretation, of the way this is playing out, is that there is "a grey area between [cancelled] and white". Which is somewhat worse for all concerned.

      2. Addanc

        Re: Lovely.

        For a native English speaker Block-List is still ambiguous, consequently poor.

        1. schermer

          Re: Lovely.

          Do not worry! For me (a non-native not primary English speaker) it is just as confusing.

          Who had thougt that the "battle" of the pigment-rich versus the pigment-poor, would lead to this kind of obscurities?

        2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Lovely.

          Indeed. One might have a buffer that always handles whole blocks of data. This is likely to be a list of, err, blocks.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lovely.

        "...and block-list / allow-list is more explicit of its function..."

        is that block-list a list of breeze blocks, or is it a list of cinder blocks, or a list of file system blocks?

        If it was to define more explicitly, and its use was to not to allow things to occur and to be consistent with its counter part, it should be a deny-list and and allow-list.

        But then that's too specific, as a black-list wasn't only about denying something and a white-list was about allowing something. Sometimes they are used to bypass, so now it should be called a passthrough-list and a bypass-list.

        But now we have another problem, lists....

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

      5. acid andy
        Alert

        Re: Lovely.

        That wouldn't work on old IDE devices where Primary and Secondary names the channels each of which can have a Master and Slave disk, so there's a Primary Master, Primary Slave, Secondary Master, Secondary slave.

        I bet the Linux kernel has code to talk to IDE, so I wonder what will happen there!

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Lovely.

          "I bet the Linux kernel has code to talk to IDE, so I wonder what will happen there!"

          To quote this ElReg article: "The proposal has allowed for exceptions when maintaining a userspace API or when updating a code for a specification that mandates those terms."

          In other words, this has all just been meaningless handwaving. The so-called offensive words will still be in there, despite all the kerfuffle claiming otherwise. It's all smoke and mirrors, don't pay any attention to that man behind the curtain ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lovely.

      Please don't lecture us Jake. This news is stupid enough without bigots claiming an entity generation has the same personality

      I'd hate to find I was of the same generation as you. Though I'm not absolutely obsessed with IR35 so we seem different enough :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lovely.

        Why would Jake be obsessed with IR35? The UK tax man doesn't reach as far as California!

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Lovely.

          "Why would Jake be obsessed with IR35?"

          I've tried asking it that very question. It doesn't seem to have an answer, which pretty much says it all.

    3. Julz Silver badge

      Re: Lovely.

      I fell across Mr Pie recently, here's his take on 'offensive' langue:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOc7ezwcJjI&list=RDe5TVLEaqqdI&index=5

      You might want to use headphones if you are in a public space...

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Lovely.

        Absolutely priceless. I can't upvote this enough! George Carlin would be proud.

      2. Marcelo Rodrigues
        Happy

        Re: Lovely.

        I can't say how much hard I laughed at it. Truly excellent!

  6. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    When I push the next driver change I have, I will raise an eyebrow or two when the maintainers say they are busy; despite the commit log being sparse - except for all those censoring commits.

  7. John Doe 12
    Facepalm

    Swedish-Finn / American

    Two nationalities that shouldn't be allowed to mix ha ha!! Hope Linus doesn't miss out on his lobster parties this year due to Covid-19 :-D

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    #BlackListsMatter

    See title...

  9. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Joke

    And what about ...

    Mastercard -- Just sayin'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And what about ...

      What about the TV show Blacklist, should change its name, damn it, I'm sure everyone of the people on that list must be black, and its about criminals, Jesus man, how racist is that show. Oh wait, its not, most the people are white on that list, damn racists only having white people on that list, and calling it a damn black lists.

      Should be called "arrest or kill those f*cking criminal scum list".

      1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: And what about ...

        What about the TV show Blacklist

        Don't forget the White House and the "black" limousine.

  10. Sanctimonious Prick
    Pirate

    Hackers, Schmackers

    I wonder what the hacker community will do ... ?

    Soft Hat Hacker. (good)

    Hard Hat Hacker. (bad)

    Nahh... Doesn't sound right...

    Green Hat Hacker. (good)

    Red Hat Hacker. (bad)

    Oh, shit, that won't work.

    Hacker 1. (good)

    Hacker 2. (bad)

    Oh Frig It! The world has gone mad!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Hackers, Schmackers

      Real hackers are just hackers. Black hat, white hat and grey hat are journalistic attempts to pigeonhole the unpigeonholeable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hackers, Schmackers

        Er, no Jake. Do you argue things incorrectly for a laugh, or is it a genuine fuckup on your part?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Hackers, Schmackers

          Just telling it like I see it. I'm a hacker, plain and simple. There is no black, white or grey, just stuff that I feel a need to figure out what makes it tick ... or how to make it work better .... or how to make it work here, instead of there. Etc.

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: Hackers, Schmackers

            @Jake

            "It ain't the words, people. It's the intent behind them. Period."

            Surely the difference between Black Hat Hacker and White Hat Hacker is the intent as you yourself mentioned above.

            For the majority here, we understand immediately from Black Hat Hacker that the intention was quite different from White Hat Hacker . Whereas simply stating "hacker" creates an ambiguous role..

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Hackers, Schmackers

              Nah, a hacker is a hacker.

              Likewise, a criminal is a criminal.

              When you combine the two, you get a criminal hacker.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Hackers, Schmackers

                Bah, not all Black Hat's are criminal, some do it just for the lulz....

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Hackers, Schmackers

      Told you already... Team colours.

      Blue hat good. Red hat bad.

      What's that, Fedora? You disagree?

      1. Addanc

        Re: Hackers, Schmackers

        As a Smurf, I object to the use of blue!

        1. Sanctimonious Prick

          Re: Hackers, Schmackers

          Yet, you look like a .... whoops.

        2. lhp

          Re: Hackers, Schmackers

          As a smurf, you have the SOLUTION to the whole mess. We just smurf the smurf-list into smurf the smurf-library of the smurf-OS and everything will be just smurf. Noone can be offended by smurf. I mean, noone can be smurfed by smurf. OH, no! I mean: Smurf smurf smurf smurf smurf!!

    3. Sanctimonious Prick
      Unhappy

      Re: Hackers, Schmackers

      Well I clearly forgot that odd numbers are evil and even numbers are good.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Hackers, Schmackers

        It's the irrational numbers that are a problem here.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Hackers, Schmackers

          But I'm a MAN, not a number!

  11. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

    1984, Newspeak.

    1. BenDwire Silver badge
      Headmaster

      1984

      Back in the days of corporal punishment, we were taught that book at school. It should be made mandatory for today's generation as a warning, but knowing the state of the teaching profession it will be seen as an instruction manual.

    2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      1984 and Animal Farm must be declared mandatory reading for everybody.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Be careful what you wish for, both might be are already seen as instruction manuals.

      2. TimMaher Bronze badge
        Big Brother

        May I add “Brave New World” to the list?

        I have always wanted to visit the bottom of the Charing T under-tower.

  12. Mark Wallace

    Looks like someone really wants a trickcyc list

    (Legally and peacefully) petitioning for the removal of statues of @rseholes is highly commendable.

    "Cancelling" words from a language is arrogant stupidity at its most crass.

    ... And the flocker isn't even a native-English speaker!

    Let's start making amendments to the Finnish language! (We can start by "cancelling" about a dozen noun cases!)

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Updraft102

    There's this thing about language

    It's called context.

    It matters.

    That's why there's such a thing as "taking things out of context."

    No one thinks of black people when they are talking about blacklists, any more than they are thinking of the black plague or black cats or blacktop or blackout curtains or blackheads or anything else that starts with black. No one is thinking of slavery when they replace the master cylinder in their car's braking system, or when they refer to the biggest bedroom in the house, or when they get a degree above bachelor but below PhD.

    These are established terms that have meaning that is understood, and to change them because of a misunderstanding that no one has ever had is just a lame attempt at virtue signaling. It can't possibly be anything else, because no one is actually dumb enough to think things that have nothing to do with one another are related because they use the same words in vastly different contexts.

    The things that are bad about history are bad because they were bad. They were not bad because of the words we used to describe them. Changing the words for established terms doesn't do anything except make things that used to be clear less so.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: There's this thing about language

      "Changing the words for established terms doesn't do anything except make things that used to be clear less so."

      This is exactly the point of the exercise, they want to create confusion, they want you to be in a permanent state of doubt.. It's straight from Orwell "four legs good two legs bad"

    2. MrBanana

      Re: There's this thing about language

      This ^^^ A thousand times this.

  15. sabroni Silver badge

    So Linus is just a SJW then?

    Lots of angry comments about how unjust this is. Funny how none of the bile is heading his way....

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: So Linus is just a SJW then?

      Nobody has said anything about how this is unjust, Sabroni. What people are saying is that it is a totally pointless, feel-good bit of nonsense that will cause lots of problems while fixing none.

      And frankly, I see very little bile. What I see is people voicing well thought-out opinions.

      And no, I don't think Linus us a SJW. I think he's taking the easy way out just to stop the unnecessary noise surrounding the issue. In other words, he's rewarded a temper tantrum ... which anyone who knows anything about training kids (or animals) is never a good idea.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So Linus is just a SJW then?

        You yourself said Linus is in the "tantrum generation"

        Having a go at an entire generation counts as bile to me, you utter, despicable hypocrite. Your lack of self awareness is unreal. You HAVE to be trolling with that comment?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: So Linus is just a SJW then?

          "You yourself said Linus is in the "tantrum generation""

          No, I did not. I said the Temper Tantrum Generation has won this battle. That is not bile, that is an observation. Likewise, I did not say that Linus was a part of that generation.

          Logic is still not one of your strong suits, is it Sabroni?

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: Logic is still not one of your strong suits, is it Sabroni?

            I post AC when replying to ACs. I reply to you as Sabroni when you post as jake. I'm not the person posting AC in this thread.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Logic is still not one of your strong suits, is it Sabroni?

              I'm not the person posting AC in this thread.

              Neither am I.

              Oh,. wait....

            2. jake Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Logic is still not one of your strong suits, is it Sabroni?

              Apologies, Sabroni. Have one on me.

          2. Handy Plough

            Re: So Linus is just a SJW then?

            OK boomer...

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: So Linus is just a SJW then?

              Ever notice that people who think "OK boomer" is a meaningful reply to anything at all are whiners?

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: So Linus is just a SJW then?

        What people are saying is that it is a totally pointless, feel-good bit of nonsense that will cause lots of problems while fixing none.

        Whilst I agree with the pointless stupidity of the whole thing... there is one potential benefit...

        To actually expurge all 'offensive' references, Linus's slaves/apprentices/minions/acolytes etc. will actually have to read (and to some extent understand) the code! Good luck finding all those abbreviated references where for example Master/Slave have been abbreviated to simply xyz_M and xyz_S - which should not be confused with abc_M(ono) and abc_(S)tereo...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: pointless, feel-good bit of nonsense that will cause lots of problems while fixing none

        I've got this horrible feeling this is a default solution to most problems :(

    2. Turbo Beholder

      Re: So Linus is just a SJW then?

      Almost like everyone interested in what goes on in Linus Foundation knows Linus "stepped down" almost two years ago? And blackmail was about as obvious a guess as "bear droppings usually are encountered in the woods"?

  16. revenant

    "'master / slave' (or 'slave' independent of 'master')'"

    From this I assume that they had the good sense to not preclude "Master" for all of its other uses which do not imply slavery.

    Or is this just round 1?

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: "'master / slave' (or 'slave' independent of 'master')'"

      I'm hoping the rise in attention deficit disorders will allow this virtue signalling to fizzle out. If it doesn't they're making their future lives very Orwellian.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: is this just round 1?

      Probably.

      There is no end as to what snowflakes can be offended by.

      I would genuinely like to know what a black person thinks about the term "blacklist", if he/she knows what it applies to and if he/she feels anything when the term is used.

      Personally, I think of blacklist when I use my mail and do not want to receive any more mail from a given address. I have never, ever associated that with any human being whatsoever.

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

        Re: is this just round 1?

        My black colleagues doesn't bat an eyelid at the use of "blacklist" and "whitelist". We all will get a good laugh out of this stupidity.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: is this just round 1?

          i'm the only black guy in the office. If i was asked what i thought, i can lie and say its nonsense or i can tell the truth and say it should be changed and face the awkwardness of what follows.

          people in minorities don't always feel they can tell the truth when herded upon and asked awkward questions when the questioner implies a required answer.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: is this just round 1?

          I know a guy who is sixth generation Haitian. His surname is Blackmon. He is white; his multiple-greats grandfather was from Scotland. The name has generated much mirth in the community for well over a hundred years. He says it's better to laugh because of our differences than at them ...

  17. Hstubbe

    male/female

    When will the electronics community finally catch on, and change the hetero-normative and sex-oriented classification of connectors as male and female. For one, it is offensive that only male/female mating is considered acceptable. In addition, the term mating itself refers to the act of having sex in order to reproduce. Won't somebody think of the children? Finally, the male/female distinction excludes a whole spectrum of sexual identification in between. Take the venerable din connecter. What is commonly referred to as the male din plug has properties of both masculanity as well as femininity.

    1. Elledan Bronze badge

      Re: male/female

      I vote for only hermaphroditic connectors to be allowed from now on.

      1. Glen 1 Silver badge

        Re: male/female

        Where is the implication that male or female connectors are good or bad? With black/white master/slave it's implications are pretty clear.

        See also: idiots who think gay marriage affects men+women getting married.

      2. Sanctimonious Prick
        Devil

        Re: male/female

        Can we just get it over and done with and call them all 'women?' We know they'll complain, but that's the point, right?

        :D

    2. BenDwire Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: male/female

      My tongue-in-cheek detector has been alerted, but in the interest of clarity, the male/female designation always refers to the contact. The 'gender' of the shroud is of no consequence.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: male/female

      Plug/socket. And The One With the Pin is the Plug.

      As seen on sign in Physics Lab stores c.1995.

      1. MrBanana

        Re: male/female

        No, plug/socket is more associated with lead/component. You can have both male (got pins) and female (receptor) based sockets - depends on which way the power, or signal, is flowing. It's much easier to short across "male" pins than accidentally poke wires into a "female" so you arrange things accordingly. Your component may be supplying power, so it is a female socket to accept a male plug - EG some Christmas light adapters. Otherwise it could be a component accepting power with a male socket and a female plug - EG a kettle.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: male/female

          Nope! My kettle has a chassis-mounted plug, and the cord has a cable-mounted socket on the end.

          (I.e. the exposed pins are in the kettle, in a recess. The receptacles are in the moulded part mounted on the cable.) Male and female don't apply.

          If it has pins, it's the plug. Once I got my head round this, it made booking the right thing out of the stores a lot easier. I also appreciate that this terminology is NOT universally accepted, so we may just have to agree to differ!

          1. Boothy Silver badge

            Re: male/female

            Quote: "My kettle has a chassis-mounted plug, and the cord has a cable-mounted socket on the end."

            No it doesn't, at least not unless there is something seriously odd with your kettle!

            A plug by definition is portable/movable, i.e if you can pick it up and push it into something, it's a plug, pin layout is irrelevant.

            Whereas a socket is typically fixed in place. i.e. If it's mounted on the wall, or on the side of something like a PC case, TV, kettle etc, then it is a socket, again irrespective of any pin layout. [*]

            Quote : "Male and female don't apply."

            Yes it does, generally (although not always), if it has pins, it's male, if it has receptacles for those pins, it's female.

            Therefore the kettle has a male socket, and the cord has a female plug.

            If you don't believe me go lookup 'C16 male socket' on Amazon or somewhere. (C16 is the IEC standard code for the kettle type socket, i.e. the bit that goes on the kettle).

            * There are exceptions to this, such as with mains extension leads, but even there, the 'socket' is usually still mounted on something, such as a cable drum, or a small box.

    4. Steve Medway

      Re: male/female

      It's O.K. no need for the SJ warriors to get into a tizzy about male/female connectors.

      We already have have 'gender changers' so it's inclusive language already ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: male/female

        You sound like a bigot, talking like that. I'm sure you're not, but .. word to the wise...!

      2. Michele.x

        Re: male/female

        https://sep.yimg.com/ay/cablesonline/8-ibm-data-to-data-connector-token-ring-cable-2.gif

        Token ring connectors, aka ieee 802.5 With the infamous hermaphrodite connector.

  18. Elledan Bronze badge

    Say it with Love

    "In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined with all subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten."

    'block' is so harsh and unneeded. Why use it when 'allow' already exists and is more friendly? It even contains its opposite meaning right in the word, with 'unallow'.

    Unallowlist is doubleplusungood.

    Allowlist is doubleplusgood.

    Henceforth, no such vulgar term like 'slave' shall be used, but instead the opposite of 'master', with 'unmaster'. The term 'master' in the sense of 'learning' is to be extinguished, to be replaced with 'goodlearned'.

    Tom goodlearned Newspeak. Tom is a doubleplusgood boy.

    Here is to a world free of thoughtcrime by 2050.

    1. Glen 1 Silver badge

      Re: Say it with Love

      No.

      Nice quote, but new words are either made up, or older words take on new meanings.

      How long before BAME is used as a slur?

      See also: TERF

      1. Elledan Bronze badge
        Devil

        Re: Say it with Love

        That is of course the part where in Nineteen Eighty-Four 'cancel culture' comes into play. Anyone who does not follow the rules gets 're-educated' until they accept the rules.

        No need to complicate matters with intellectual discussions if one can just shun and ostracise people into compliance.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Say it with Love

        Many have considered BAME a slur since it was conceived as a term.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Say it with Love

      Basic mistake : removing the words does not remove the crime.

      It is not because you cannot express your hatred that you cannot hate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: because you cannot express your hatred that you cannot hate

        I hate in silence.

        Oops.

  19. John70
    Joke

    Aristocrats

    What about Sir Bates son, Master Bates?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    blocklist?

    If anything, it should be "blocking list"

    1. dajames Silver badge

      Re: blocklist?

      If anything, it should be "blocking list"

      No, that suggests a list of things that are "blocking", and methinks you mean to suggest that it is a list of things that are "to be blocked".

      ... but that's not right, either, because -- as another poster upthread has already pointed out -- the action taken on encountering an item on a list list formerly referred to as a "blacklist" might be to issue a warning or perform some other special processing not necessarily to block it.

  21. Anon

    Changing the wrong words

    Why don't they change the words for master and slave in the slavery sense? Then we can keep master and slave for all the other meanings.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have drones now...

    Pilot-controller and drone?

    The drone does exactly what it's told by the pilot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We have drones now...

      OK for the downvoter: The drone does exactly what it's told by the pilot unless it crashes, when the wind definitely caught it, of course I know what I'm doing, yes I've done this loads of times before, I'm sure it will be fine, those parts are cheap and easy to replace, I'll order them this evening, a bit of glue and it will be good as new.

      Sheesh. Tough crowd.

      1. JassMan
        Trollface

        Re: We have drones now...

        I think that in a discussion about precision of language being diluted, when that discussion is about binary naming, introducing an ambiguous analogy is unhelpful.

        Pilot-controller wrt drones can mean either controller of pilots (ATC/ drone control room comander), or controller of the drone. The drones themselves maybe directly controlled or semi-autonymous, so drone controll may be a chain of command thing not just a binary choice.

        In case you are wondering I didn't vote either way, but I am surprised you garnered any upvotes.

        Pilot-controller, pilot, drone-controller, drone. This analogy could be even worse because sometimes drones have co-pilots who standin while the pilot is otherwise engaged.

  23. codejunky Silver badge

    Damn

    Sjw snowflake stupidity rises again to cause no good.

  24. sqrbrkt

    It's not about you

    I support this decision 100%. I'm a 49 year old white male IT professional, and so presumably part of the demographic that seems to find this so onerous.

    But this change is not about me.

    If you could make a simple change that potentially makes our industry more inclusive then why wouldn't you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not about you

      it's about Jake

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: It's not about you

        Only in your tiny little mind, AC.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      "makes our industry more inclusive then why wouldn't you?"

      Does it? The US Constitution has an Amendment abolishing slavery, and despite that segregation was enforced for a century, and still there is racism. There are more form of racism than colours. Just look at what happens in the world outside US.

      No simple change makes anything more inclusive - it requires deep and voluntary changes in people's minds - and anyway what's less inclusive than trying to blame more and more terms used without any bad meaning? Anytime I see new Savonarolas I'm terrified - because usually what they achieve is more divisions, more sectarianism and more violence.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not about you

      >If you could make a simple change that potentially makes our industry more inclusive then why wouldn't you?

      Don't see how this will make the industry (in general) more inclusive (and yes, I've attended diversity indoctrination courses as well as living with a cognitive phycologist who has studied unconcious-bias) and so the sheer pointlessness of the exercise makes it onerous.

      In all the discussions, I've not seen anyone saying how the use f these terms have actually caused them harm and what benefits changing them would bring about.

      The fun and games start with defining the new terms:

      Minion: Defn: See Slave. A word used instead of slave so as to not upset the snowflakes.

      And so you institutionalise racism...

    4. dajames Silver badge

      Re: It's not about you

      If you could make a simple change that potentially makes our industry more inclusive then why wouldn't you?

      I would, but this is not such a change.

      To increase inclusivity you have to change the way people think, not just the way they speak.

      There is even a danger that by changing the words you convince racists that they are no longer racist because they are no longer using recognized racist terms, so it's OK for them to carry on with the same old thoughts and actions ... and you make it harder for others to recognize racism in their speech because they no longer use the recognized tell-tale phrases.

      If you want to promote inclusivity in society you should start with inclusivity in language.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you could make a simple change that potentially makes our industry more inclusive

      ah yes, simple changes to complex problems, who can argue against! :D

    6. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

      Re: It's not about you

      Linus has commented that it is getting harder to find kernel maintainers. If the current crop is busy doing real work and needs more help, what good does this do Linux?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not about you

      If you could make a simple change that potentially makes our industry more inclusive then why wouldn't you?

      But it doesn't make the industry more inclusive, it's just virtue signalling by woke twats.

    8. jake Silver badge

      Re: It's not about you

      "a simple change that potentially makes our industry more inclusive"

      As you say, "potentially". Which isn't a certainty, not even if you squint.

      "then why wouldn't you?"

      Because this change is obviously divisive and causing strife, and you don't even have to squint to see it?

    9. sqrbrkt
      Coat

      How's my virtue signalling?

      You most likely won't hear from me again because I'm not cut out for moshing in the comment pit. But I got involved this time because I was astonished that so many seem viscerally threatened by this story and see it as part of a larger personal attack or disturbing change in society.

      The pull request asks for developers to "avoid introducing new usage of 'master / slave' (or 'slave' independent of 'master') and 'blacklist / +whitelist'". I can't comment on the technical aspect of implementing this as I'm not involved in Linux kernel development, but if you're somebody that is and you feel this is going to make your life more difficult then that's unfortunate.

      But most responses here aren't anything to do with the impact on Linux kernel development.

      There is bile, dismay, whataboutism, retro "political correctness gone mad" arguments I've been hearing for decades (or the modern equivalents of "woke twats" & "SJWs") and downright hysteria.

      This change is a gesture yes, but one made by an organisation with a broad reach in an industry that clearly has a problem with inclusion. None of us know if this will "make things better" but I don't think anybody is expecting this alone to solve the problem.

      I just can't understand why anyone would be opposed to it. Yes we are living in an Orwellian dystopia, but not because of this and not because of "wokeness". That isn't driven by the state, it's driven by a society that is re-examining the last few hundred years of history, an unbroken thread of events that continues up to this moment.

      If you're reading this website then you probably work in IT, in which case you're probably 68% likely to be white European, which means your ancestors most likely benefitted from colonialism & slave trading.

      The pull request doesn't suggest banning words or eradicating them from all existing code, but maybe when you're writing new code you'll be occasionally reminded of this history. That's raising awareness, which is one of the main goals I would think.

      Why is your instinctive reaction to efforts like this to want to shut them down, to belittle them, dismiss them as either pointless virtue signalling or an attack on western democracies? Are you really opposed to this for the reasons that your kneejerk reaction says you are, or would you rather not have to think too deeply about it because it's not your problem?

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: How's my virtue signalling?

        @sqrbrkt

        "If you're reading this website then you probably work in IT, in which case you're probably 68% likely to be white European, which means your ancestors most likely benefitted from colonialism & slave trading."

        Where did the white man buy his black slave? From the black slave trader who enslaved others to sell. The slave practice which has been (and still is in some places) applied around the world.

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: How's my virtue signalling?

          codejunky> "Where did the white man buy his black slave? From the black slave trader who enslaved others to sell. The slave practice which has been (and still is in some places) applied around the world."

          WOW. Do you really hold to that?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: How's my virtue signalling?

            @Dr_N

            "WOW. Do you really hold to that?"

            Go on which bit are you struggling with?

            1. Dr_N Silver badge

              Re: How's my virtue signalling?

              That's a, "Yes." then?

              I know you hold some "edgy" ideas but I honestly didn't think they went that far. How wrong was I.

              Or are you just parroting something from your guru, Tim? Again.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                So, Dr_N ... you actually deny that black folks enslaved other black folks in Africa? And that Europeans bought those enslaved black folks from the black slavers for the Atlantic Slave Trade?

                And further, you deny that even today black people are still enslaving other black people in Africa, and then selling them on?

                1. Dr_N Silver badge

                  Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                  It's a misdirect, isn't it? Some whataboutery.

                  Centuries of abuse, exclusion and baked-in discrimination shrugged off with some spurious and disingenious arguments such as, "Ah well, they brought it on themselves!" and "It's a Black-on-Black thing!"

                  I guess as long as one isn't on the recieving end this kind of sophistry and handwashing is appealing. Fill your boots.

                  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

                    Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                    shrugged off with some spurious and disingenious arguments such as, "Ah well, they brought it on themselves!" and "It's a Black-on-Black thing!"

                    You're the only one doing the whataboutery and disingenious arguments. No-one has suggested that this is a "Black-on-Black thing", they have only related the facts that the slave traders (note the word, trader, one who buys and sells) bought slaves from Africans, shipped them across the world, and sold them. Look up the "Triangular Trade", or perhaps pay a visit to the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool. People of all races and nationalities profited from slavery.

                    It would appear that people are already forgetting the past story of this, which is all the more reason to reject these cosmetic language changes designed to make people forget about the history.

                    1. Dr_N Silver badge

                      Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                      Phil O'Sophical>No-one has suggested that this is a "Black-on-Black thing"

                      It's all about building up the narrative to excuse slavary, segregation and also the current situation/status quo, isn't it ?

                      And down-playing or misdirecting by taking cues from current alt.right/supremacist tropes makes me question their use.

                      1. codejunky Silver badge

                        Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                        @Dr_N

                        "It's all about building up the narrative to excuse slavary, segregation and also the current situation/status quo, isn't it ?"

                        That has to be one of your top most stupid comments. How is acknowledging and actually recognising actual slavery excusing it? These people have tried to educate you in an area you are obviously in deficit and then you accuse them of excusing it?

                        Your attempt to trivialise it so you can troll shows very poor character.

                        1. Dr_N Silver badge

                          Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                          I'll bow out at where I came in, being incredulous at what you posted:

                          "Where did the white man buy his black slave? From the black slave trader who enslaved others to sell. The slave practice which has been (and still is in some places) applied around the world."

                          If you are ok posting that as a response to someone trying to have a little empathy and understanding about a generational, painful and complex story then as I said above to jake, fill your boots. And be thankful we'll never find ourselves on the wrong end of any of it.

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                            And be thankful we'll never find ourselves on the wrong end of any of it.

                            Really? I'm from a celtic background. My people were enslaved by the Romans.

                            1. Anonymous Coward
                              Anonymous Coward

                              Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                              "My people were enslaved by the Romans"

                              Dublin had a big slave market at one point. Up until the 11th Century. That wasn't the Romans, was it?

                              1. Anonymous Coward
                                Anonymous Coward

                                Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                                Dublin had a big slave market at one point. Up until the 11th Century. That wasn't the Romans, was it?

                                Vikings, AFAIK.

                              2. jake Silver badge

                                Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                                "Dublin had a big slave market at one point. Up until the 11th Century. That wasn't the Romans, was it?"

                                No, that wasn't the Romans. They didn't have a foothold in Ireland, and besides they pulled out of the British Isles in the early 5th century ... it would seem they were having issues with the Visigoths a trifle closer to home and didn't feel the need to hold a nondescript little island in the far western reaches of the Empire.

                                1. Anonymous Coward
                                  Anonymous Coward

                                  Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                                  I believe the phrase is, "Tinpot little country on the arse-end of Europe."

                                  1. jake Silver badge

                                    Re: How's my virtue signalling?

                                    I was channeling Honorius and translating his vernacular in a way that wouldn't have got me a clip 'round th' ear 'ole when I was at school ... But with the exception of "Europe" (which wouldn't have been used in that way at that time), you are absolutely correct.

        2. sqrbrkt

          Re: How's my virtue signalling?

          The fact that black people were/are complicit in the slave industry is nothing to do with this. Remember what your primary school teacher said about two wrongs not making a right. And read the Wikipedia entry for whataboutism.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: How's my virtue signalling?

            It's not whataboutism. It's correcting revisionist history.

          2. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: How's my virtue signalling?

            @sqrbrkt

            "The fact that black people were/are complicit in the slave industry is nothing to do with this."

            You need to read what I was replying to. I didnt bring skin colour into this conversation but the person I responded to tried to claim this was a racial issue and I have corrected his big mistake. This is what I responded to:

            If you're reading this website then you probably work in IT, in which case you're probably 68% likely to be white European, which means your ancestors most likely benefitted from colonialism & slave trading.

            The severely uneducated make the massive mistake of believing slavery was a white man - black man issue. Unfortunately there are people who truly believe this (see my troll Dr_N digging a hole above). Real actual slavery is still going on in the world and I dont mean working for a low wage but actual slavery of various skin colours and races by various skin colours and races.

            It is the same lack of understanding and education which makes virtue signalling like changing standard words because the uneducated think its bad.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: How's my virtue signalling?

        "I can't comment on the technical aspect of implementing this as I'm not involved in Linux kernel development"

        And yet here you are, telling those of us who are what to do.

      3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: How's my virtue signalling?

        I just can't understand why anyone would be opposed to it.

        Because it's like wallpapering over subsistence cracks in your house. It does nothing to fix the problem, and just hides the real issue while allowing people to say "Look, I did something, aren't I good".

        in which case you're probably 68% likely to be white European, which means your ancestors most likely benefitted from colonialism & slave trading.

        The slaves that were taken to America from Africa weren't created by white traders. Those traders bought the slaves from (black) Africans, they were often prisoners taken during tribal conflicts. It wasn't just the white traders that benefitted from the trade, it was all those involved, all along the line. Painting this purely as white colonial abuse is itself a racial slur.

        Why is your instinctive reaction to efforts like this to want to shut them down, to belittle them, dismiss them as either pointless virtue signalling or an attack on western democracies?

        Because it prevents people from discussing and solving the real underlying problem. You don't fix history by rewriting it to hide the abuses of the past, that just hides it so it can happen again.

        Are you really opposed to this for the reasons that your kneejerk reaction says you are

        Yes

        or would you rather not have to think too deeply about it because it's not your problem?

        The historical issue isn't my problem, because it happened generations before I was born. My problem will be preventing it from happening again, which I do by helping to educate the next generation about why it's a problem. Hiding the words used to describe it does not help with that.

  25. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    But, but.. Blacklists and being blackballed and blackboards etc have nothing to do with race, surely?

    And slaves come in all forms. I even felt like one at times.

  26. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    For master/slave may I suggest "arsehole boss"/"suppressed worker"?

  27. thondwe

    It's not the word black that is the issue it's "BLACK LIVES" - a bit of search/replace doesn't do anything for improving the lives of real people?

    Anyway, good luck removing master/slave from the language of the average garage mechanic?

    1. LDS Silver badge

      For example, in "vacuum servo", servo means "slave". I think we should also remove any concept of "ownership" in programming, no object/process/etc. should be allowed to "own" another and decide about its lifetime.

  28. Citizen99

    A bit Off Topic, but today's Dilbert 'takes a poke at the wasp's nest'

    1. General Purpose

      "If Biden is elected, there’s a good chance you will be dead within the year."

      "Police will stand down."

      "Republicans will be hunted."

      - Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) on Twitter, 01 July 2020

      1. jake Silver badge

        Scott Adams is off his chum.

  29. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    In motor engineering terms, you have a Master Brake Cylinder, and a Slave Brake Cylinder.

    What'll they be called now?

    Push-a Cylinder and Pull-a Cylinder?

    I want to get off this planet.

  30. Turbo Beholder
    Coffee/keyboard

    Now that's some thimble-rigging.

    First they blackmailed Torvalds out of his own project. Now they blame him for their own clowning?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next...

    ...we sort out Mongo DB.

    It should be called Penelope.

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rich white men virtue signal..

    Yeah, sure...renaming those technical terms sure will stop those 90% plus blacks who murder other blacks from killing in the future.

    Fatuous sh*te.

    I note that Linus lives in the most affluent suburb of the whitest big city in the US. Portland. This is not a random accident. The more "progressive" a big city the more likely the black population (as a percentage) has diminished over the last 30 to 40 years. San Francisco by two / thirds. Berkeley by half. And in these cities the whitest areas vote most "progressive". Very true in SF.

    In fact the part of Portland where Linus lives is 0.7% black. Portland metro is 6% black. Bet you Linus has never stepped foot in the projects in his life. Or known anyone who lived in one. Sure looks like just another rich white "gentry left" hypocrite who lives in a very very white ghetto.

  34. Tom 7 Silver badge

    The word Commit will have to go.

    It seems to upset some people I know!

  35. MarkET

    Word play

    I'm not sure that we can allow the word "principal" as it may imply some form of structure to the flat earth community.

  36. CynicalOptimist

    fml why did I invest 10 minutes of my life reading these comments.

  37. Flywheel Silver badge
    Facepalm

    All this is leading to a return to meaningful data names

    LET X=1

    LET Y=2

    etc

  38. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Stupid choice of alternatives

    ISTM that if the problem is the inadvertant association of certain words, then instead of making up alternatives for every term in which those words exist, the easiest would be to substitute something innocent for the banned words. You could then simply execute a global search & replace (even on object code) and "fix" existing code in seconds. Have the substitutes contain the same number of letters and change the minimum amount of letters in the words they relaplace, and it won't even mess up the formatting.

    Not sure how many words are involved, but it can't be that many. "Black", White", "Master" and "Slave" are the obvious. Change those to "Brick","Whine", "Matter" and "Shave" for example.

  39. GrumpyWorld

    Only a white person could think this would help

    Yeh, lets do something trivial and unhelpful instead of trying to sort out the real problem.

    1. John Doe 12

      Re: Only a white person could think this would help

      This sums it all up so well in my opinion.

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Only a white person could think this would help

      And what exactly is the "real problem"? Because quite honestly I have no idea what it is apart from some people taking a label completely out of context and claiming that it means something completely different to what was intended.

      And why would changing "whitelist" to "whinelist" not achieve exactly the same as changing it to "allow list" or "anything else?

      But if that's still offensive, then search & replace "white" with "allow" (same number of letters).

      But perhaps the real problem is that it is not acceptable to block anything because it is wrong to discriminate so all connections must be treated equally, and there should not be anything that serves the function of allowing some connections but not others.

      And how about the TCP/IP flag "Time to Live"??? Surely all packets' lives matter?

      Or is that too ridiculous for even the sensibilities of the PC brigade?

      1. autisticatheist

        Re: Only a white person could think this would help

        "And what is the real problem?"

        Duh, there isn't one.

        1. John Doe 12

          Re: Only a white person could think this would help

          "Duh, there isn't one."

          Spoken like a white supremacist!!! You mean things like the police targeting and killing black people isn't a problem for YOU...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no wonder nothing gets changed

    So much effort to complain by so many about the small change of using better more descriptive words. You complain that it won't make much difference & refer to the original meanings of the words etc, yet if you just went with it it would make little to no difference to your lives yet be much more inclusive to many.

    I'm fully with Linus & the Linux movement for being brave enough to stand up and make a difference.

    Anon because i'll just be downvoted on this post and other simply because of my views on making a small change to be more inclusive to others and help end racism in all ways however small.

    TO BE CLEAR: i'm not saying that the use of the terms being discussed is racist, just that the continued use of this type of language, especially when better terms are available, fosters discrimination and puts candidates off of pursuing a career in something that uses language that can be viewed as demeaning.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    inclusive language across the project

    and the world has become a much better place. I say again

    A MUCH BETTER PLACE

    hasn't it?

    ...

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what about the arcane art of black magic?

    I feel discriminated against! I don't need no wussy "alternative-think-positive-satan-loves-you" labels. I practice BLACK MAGIC and I'm proud of it :(

    1. TheProf Silver badge

      Re: what about the arcane art of black magic?

      Where do you practice? The Dark Continent perhaps? Or maybe the Dark side of the Moon?

    2. SuperGeek

      Re: what about the arcane art of black magic?

      No, he sits there eating boxes of chocolates! Black Magic = Brand of chocolate. Guess that will have to change name too.

  43. james7byrne

    who cares

    Nobody ever really looks at the kernel. Most of the coding is done on applications that make calls to the kernel. In my applications, I will call my lists anything I like. If I want to call my controlling list "El Jefe" that is what i'll do!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: who cares

      I care!

      "Nobody ever really looks at the kernel."

      Speak for yourself.

  44. Michele.x

    Vive la France!

    Je suis pour la promotion d'un vocabulaire français pour l'informatique ed anche magari usare un vocamolario italiano. Basta con la Perfida Albione!

  45. tekHedd

    Keyboard, oh Lord...

    Mom's a piano teacher. Last week she had a student say "...on the black keys... oh.. sorry... I didn't mean 'black'."

    #facepalm

  46. bussdriver3

    makes sense, not a big deal

    Plenty of real things to beat the SJW into sanity and this is not one of them. Like when they begin to object to using dark or black as night, etc.

    The black/white/gray list thing is super old but cultural not racial; makes sense to replace with a more universal clear phrase without cultural metaphors.

    master/slave is universal but not as accurate as primary / secondary as a description. MORE CLEAR communication should be the goal; but also bullying over minor word choices needs to stop. Grammar Nazis are not as bad as SJW..

  47. Flashfox

    Really?

    So are we now also banning "master" and "slave" from all dictionaries and our vocabulary? These two terms clearly explained the relationship between two devices when one was subservient to the other. Oh wait, will "subservient" also be banned?

    I support BLM and the changes that are staring to occur, BUT this is getting ridiculous.

    "Master" and "Slave" are not bad words when used appropriately. I never used them for people but for systems where one is the master controlling the other. I'll adapt (no choice) but I still find this going overboard. I can think of dozens of other common words which could be banned because some consider them offensive.

    How far will this go? We ban those two words but swear words like d*mn (etc.) are now accepted on TV, movies and elsewhere. Even our POTUS openly uses them .

  48. paddydunne

    The irony

    Its a bit silly changing these names to more cuddly variations. Now, one thing puzzles me. If Linus wanted to change the terms on account of how 'rascisty' they are then why follow this pattern:

    white list shall be “primary” and blacklist “secondary”. Oh, whitelist could also be “leaders” and blacklists now “followers”. Oh, one more... whitelist can now be “directors” and blacklist “performers”. Uh oh, there's more.... Whitelists will become “allowlists” or “passlists” and Blacklists are to become “denylists” or “blocklists”.

    Hmm...... I'm getting a vibe here that I wasn't getting before.... Where can one draw the line?

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So sad

    So sad so many comments on this story mainly in disagreement.

    Looks like many on this forum are out of touch with the real world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So sad

      Nope, we are the REAL world.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: So sad

      I rather suspect that what you view as "the real world" is the thing that is out of touch with reality.

      Consider that there are a LOT of people here on ElReg who completely disagree with each other about lots of things, and are willing to argue the meaning of meaning at the drop of a hat ... and yet we seem to agree far more than not that banning words will not do any good, and in fact may well do harm.

  50. dovla091

    And if you Google Dan Williams you will find a black dude. Why I am not surprised? But what I did not expect, is Linus to turn woke and the rest of the guys/girls... Truly this world is getting nuts every day. BTW now that you have changed that term which was BTW used for the past 30 years, congratulations on solving a racism problem. Who would figure that changing those words would solve a thousand years old problem... Well done, simply well done.

  51. chrobry

    Stupidity on stils that helps create Racism.

    There are 0 connotation between Black/White list to racism, and neither Master/Slave unless someone makes it so.

    Black/White comes from the fact that things in light are visible and things in darkness are harder to see... So if you want to use that as racist, I suppose night/day is racist to you.

    Master simply means "main" however in this case it's better than main as main has other meaning by itself.

    None of these terms are racist, unless you do what Linux/Linus have done and make them so. Now we divided world more and created more power for SJW who are doing nothing better than creating more grievances and more victims.

    So congratulation, you just gave idiots more ammunition to make further idiotic demands and help split us even more. Great job.

  52. razorfishsl Silver badge

    He should never of allowed this.......

    Once the Marxists get into an area , getting them out is very difficult.

    Won't be long before they start pushing for other things, like if the Linux user is a white male.. throwing bugs & exceptions...

    1. revenant

      "Once the Marxists get into an area, getting them out is very difficult"

      A sort of Political Bindweed?

  53. Dr.Flay
    Headmaster

    Use of a dictionary would stop this nonsense

    The word Master comes from the ability to achieve or overcome, as in to master a subject or become the best at something.

    https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=master

  54. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Black Ashamed

    "Black ashamed" is a once common, though increasingly rare, phrase in working class Scotland that means mortified. It's not racist, it comes from coal miners who hadn't washed, but I wouldn't use it in front of my South African neighbours for fear of causing unnecessary offence. Mortified works.

    I recently upbraided my friends wife for describing black people as "n*g n*gs". She replied, "I'm not racist, I had a black friend at school and she never complained when I called her a n*g n*g."

    "Aye, because you are an ignorant bully."

    So called 'Political Correctness' is really just thoughtfulness, politeness and respect. That works in both directions though, so if someone has used language you find offensive then discuss it, don't demonise. Racism is so irrational and mostly unintentional that it rarely survives discussion.

  55. BPontius

    Entitled

    In this entitled society we can't use deny or block, there will be tantrums everywhere.

  56. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Big Brother

    2020 Sucks - Seems Prudent To Make It Year Zero, Erase History & Invoke The Perfect Order.

    From a 70's Failed Pilot - The Stranger*, about a astronaut left stranded on a second Earth like planet in our Solar System (Doppleganger\Journey To the Far Side Of The Sun type of place).

    The twin planet, which is on the far side of the sun and unknown to Earth, is known to its inhabitants as Terra. It has a system of government and citizen comradeship that is alien to Stryker - The Perfect Order. The enforcement of the order is facilitated by a hierarchy of officials who scrutinize their subordinates extremely closely, and by inspirational messages, "pep" talks to remind citizens of the great family they're part of, and electronic monitoring through technology including telephones, televisions and car radios.

    The Perfect Order has only been around for about 35 to 40 years, after a terrible war. The order was instituted to foster a sense of family among every person on Terra, to help each other and think of each other and the good of the whole. People with incompatible ideas are removed and reconditioned, and if resistant, executed. Culture has been heavily excised (no concerts in the park), religion outlawed, and alcoholic drinks are viewed as a future target to eliminate. Among its accomplishments, the Perfect Order has eliminated suffering and poverty, and has a vibrant space program.

    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stranger_(1973_film

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lots of things need to change

    Using a few different words will make a huge difference, it’s odd that so many here are against this.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cultural Marxism Linus?

    What an idiot our Linus is to fall for this claptrap.

    All this nonsense is about undermining western democracies and nothing at all to do with attacking racism.

    Now every opportunity I get to influence an operating system choice I will not be pushing Linux as hard as I have done because now numpty-in-chief Linus has decided that facts, truth and history are up for grabs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cultural Marxism Linus?

      The pull request:

      "For symbol names and documentation, avoid introducing

      new usage of 'master / slave' (or 'slave' independent of

      'master') and 'blacklist / whitelist' "

      Your reaction:

      "Linus has decided that facts, truth and history are up for grabs"

      You probably need to calm down

  59. tempemeaty
    Big Brother

    Time to Fork planet earth.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If we finally manage to get to Mars..

    .. I suspect "green lighting" will have to be renamed to to avoid offending Martians. Heck, red lights may offend the toothless denizens of America's Soutehrn provinces, wat are we going to do there? Remember, the buggers are armed.

    Sigh. I understand the idea to a degree, but at some point it just becomes stupid. Are we going to redesign male and female connectors now too because it's sexist? Just asking so I'm prepared.

  61. Dave Henderson 1

    I must admit the 'master / slave' terminology was a bit odd and makes me wonder who on earth first came up with that for computer use.

    Otoh, the 'blacklist / whitelist' pairing is a perfectly acceptable use and nothing racial in its origin or content, as far as I know.

    That's just a piece of over-sensitive manufactured offence and a load of bullshit.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      "I must admit the 'master / slave' terminology was a bit odd and makes me wonder who on earth first came up with that for computer use."

      The technological terminology, based on easy to understand concepts, was around long before computers were around.

      1. Dave Henderson 1

        I know. It was used in machinery long before.

        I find it odd that a new technology would employ such casually racist terminology.

        Mind you, my ancestors were guilty of slavery, I've no doubt. More than likely some of them were enslaved also. It went on a lot in the Old World. Raids here, raids there, tit-for-tat.

        When I think of the casual racism that was expressed in my family when I was a young'un I think we've moved on a lot from that unthinking blindness.

        1. jake Silver badge

          "I find it odd that a new technology would employ such casually racist terminology."

          I would find it extremely strange if Engineers didn't use the words associated with common technological concepts on new technology.

          Besides, since when did "slave" (for example) only apply to one particular race? Last time I checked, members of every single race on the planet have been enslaved by members of pretty much every other race on the planet. The word "slave" is a generic word denoting a relationship. To suggest it is a racist term, targeting one specific race out of all the races which have been enslaved, is very demeaning to the memory of all those other slaves, who not being the right colo(u)r, are in your mind apparently insignificant and forgettable. How dare you!

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