back to article GitLab latest to ditch 'master' as default initial branch name: It's now simply called 'main'

One-stop DevOps shop GitLab has joined the movement to change the default name for an initial branch in a Git repository in favour of something less historically problematic. The default branch name for new projects for GitLab.com and self-managed users is to be updated from master to main. GitHub announced it would be doing …

  1. Kraggy

    The inanity of this type of thing is stunning.

    Yes, I comprehend the 'master/slave' thing but MASTER has many meanings and only one pertains to slavery .. something clearly corporate identity politicians are ignorant of it see.

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Historically, "Master" in the 12th century was the person who was educated to the highest level at a "university", generally taught those seeking knowledge (before anything such as Professor existed) and often ran the establishment. It is still used in such contexts as "school master" and "Master of all he surveys" neither of which are related to later use.

      I do think this affair is taking the literal meaning of words too far ... and by affair I didn't mean the person suggesting this change was sleeping with his mistress ... although of course he did actually sleep there wouldn't be an issue ... no, not that type of issue ... oh this is (non-mathematically) complex :-)

      1. UCAP Silver badge

        I wonder if universities are going to change the name of Master's degrees (e.g. MSc), and if so what to?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Well, Mistress degrees, of course! And kill two birds with one stone.... errr... grow soja and lentils in the same pot!

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            The Mistress of all she surveys -->

            1. Mark 65

              That has political mean. Profumo etc.

        2. geekguy

          the main degree ofc :) devaluing all "single" degrees at bachelors degrees will become known.

        3. Rich 2 Silver badge

          Funny you should ask that!

          I remember hearing a news story on the radio back in late 90's / early 2000's - a woman had gained a degree in "Feminine Studies" (or something like that) and was going to sue the university because her degree was a "masters". No idea what came of it, but I remember thinking "they walked into that one, didn't they?" :-)

      2. sorry, what?

        In me yoof...

        It was the case that any young male was called Master, like young females were called Mistress or Miss.

        I really do agree that this feels like a complete over-reaction and "taking insult on other people's behalf", especially since master really does have so many different meanings. IMHO it's only when directly paired with "slave" that the meaning could be construed, by some sensitive souls, as offensive.

        #sigh#

        1. Sitaram Chamarty

          Re: In me yoof...

          I believe "taking insult on other people's behalf" is more commonly called "virtue signalling" :-)

    2. Snake Silver badge

      RE: Master / slave

      OK, I will agree initially with the premise that it seems a bit inane in regards to this topic, but exactly who was responsible for the initial choice? Since when did "Master / slave" become a more acceptable default programming choice over "Main / sub"?? It's called "subroutine", not "slaveroutine", after all; "branch" is a more classic programming description than "slave" ever was.

      The "master / slave" terminology was certainly injected into programming way, way later than any main / sub / branch terminology, as "master" or "slave" only referred to hardware configurations and never software (e.g., pre-IDE HDD interfaces) when I was being schooled.

      1. Ordinary Donkey

        Re: RE: Master / slave

        It comes from the radial engine and probably the windmill before that.

        In truth 'main' is probably going to win out in the end just for saving two characters. So how about we settle the differences and call it the top branch?

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: radial engine

          Thank you, but you somewhat reinforced my point: master / slave was previously the purview of hardware, with software classically being "main", "branch", "subroutine", etc.; whilst I was still programming, "master / slave" was never used in a software context.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: radial engine

            But there is no such thing as "software". So-called "software" is merely the current state of the hardware.

            Put another way, hardware is inert. Code wakes up hardware. Software is one ephemeral result.

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: radial engine

            Of course, when there was just one program at a time running on a mainframe, the concept of master/slave and communication among them wasn't born yet.

            But there was the technique of "chaining" programs - which could have a sinister meaning as well, you you think slaves where often chained together while working...

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: radial engine

              Chaining.

              A chain is a set of links.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                Re: radial engine

                I was just pointing out that if you wish to find a sinister meaning you can find it most of the the time. Chains are useful tools for many mechanical apparatuses, the fact you can also use them to chain enslaved people doesn't make them bad by definition.

            2. jake Silver badge

              Re: radial engine

              "Of course, when there was just one program at a time running on a mainframe, the concept of master/slave and communication among them wasn't born yet."

              Master and slave was applied to clock in railway and telegraph communications before the turn of the last century. I own a tall-case Master Clock from a hospital. It was made in the 1930s, and makes sure that a dozen or so slave clocks dotted around the place stay on time.

              Most large networks today have a Master Clock that every other time keeping device on the network is slaved to. System logs are meaningless if the time doesn't match between them.

              1. LDS Silver badge

                Re: radial engine

                I was just saying the concept was not introduced in software until computer systems became complex enough to allow for concurrent programs and communication among them. When you had system who sometimes didn't even allow subroutines, you had different issues than complaining about names.

          3. Rich 2 Silver badge

            Re: radial engine

            "..."master / slave" was never used in a software context"

            Master/Slave is used all the time in a software context; any distributed system, for example

        2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: RE: Master / slave

          call it the top branch

          I wish to register my protest on behalf of all the branches that struggle to survive in the shadow of the few at the top

        3. Mark 65

          Re: RE: Master / slave

          I recall some version control systems having the concept of trunk and branch.

      2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: RE: Master / slave

        It's ironic that a similar slavery related (or extremely obscene) tagline appears lower down the El Reg headlines page ... "Nitty gritty" is far worse in my mind than master/slave yet it appears acceptable to use it in common parlance ...

        1. Paul Kinsler Silver badge

          Re: nitty gritty

          Well, this link

          https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/nitty-gritty.html

          disagrees with the slavery angle you suggest, but then it's just a thing thrown up by a quick search. Have you any more information?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: nitty gritty

            Information?

            Once the offence-taking industry gets hold of it they don't need information. If they say it's bad then it's bad by definition.

            I wouldn't normally be in favour of an Academie Français approach to language definition but it really seems that we need one to stop English from being stolen. Although if there was one I can guess the sorts of people who'd consider themselves entitled to run it.

            1. Paul Kinsler Silver badge

              Re: Information?

              Well, rather than just trying to slap the poster down with the mighty force of my righteous wrath -- based solely on a single webpage I happened to find after probably less than a minute of looking -- I thought I might just ask whether they had a good reason for their belief.

              This means I can remain polite whilst still directly questioning the reason for their belief, give them a chance to answer and provide whatever reasons they might have in a non-confrontational context, and (even better) not look like a knee-jerk reactionary if it so happens that they *do* have an excellent basis for their assertion. A win all-round, IMO ... but YMMV.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Information?

                Yes, I read your page. It indeed says that the slave-related meaning is false. But that won't make any impression on those who are stealing our language.

                1. Paul Kinsler Silver badge

                  Re: But that won't make any impression

                  What I find often doesn't make an impression is turning disagreements into a confrontation, which typically just tends to end up with everyone staying entrenched in their starting position and not really engaging with the other side.

                  I'm curious, though. Why do you say to me "your page", when I tried to be very clear that it was nothing to do with me, but just an alternative pov I happened to find, and I rather deliberately did not even claim to believe it. I'm also not sure why a disagreement about the appropriateness of some words seems to have been amplified into the apparently emotive "stealing our language". I guess we just have different strategies for how we approach these things.

                2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

                  Re: Information?

                  To paraphrase (the apparently single source, multiply repeated argument) "the problem with this whole thing is that the assumption is that "nitty gritty" did not exist before the 1950's as it would bave been written down". However I had direct evidence from someone who was involved with American bases in the UK during the War that the term was used verbally by serving Americans. If correct that would mean the origin was pre 1950 and refute the "it would have been written down" argument.

                  The phrase is banned by the UK Police and I know of at least one person who was repremanded in another company for using the phrase - neither of which is necessarily an accurate indication of it's origins but does reflect my bad feeling about use of the phrase in common parlance.

                  I apologise but I can't go further with this as I don't have access to my etymological resources at present (apparently there's a disease doing the rounds) and, to be honest, following the internet searches mostly end up being circular walk around press clippings rather than etymological evidence.

                  1. Paul Kinsler Silver badge

                    Re: Information?

                    Here's an alternate discussion to the link I found above (or at least it has a wider context), for those interested in such topics...

                    https://sesquiotic.com/2010/04/30/nitty-gritty/

                  2. John PM Chappell
                    Thumb Down

                    Re: Information?

                    Actual etymology completely contradicts you. The word (phrase, really) doesn't appear until the early 20th C, in print, but there are attestations that it was in common use, especially with Jazz musicians, at least a decade, probably a couple, before then.

                    Its roots are in no way related to slavery or racism, and the laughable attempts to link it to them show the difference between actual research, based on data and knowledge of language, and people who think that if a word sounds similar, it is the same thing.

                    I am calling B.S. on your police story, too. Police officers would only be disciplined if being intentionally offensive, and even there, we all know very well it has to be both a big deal, and public enough that they are forced to act. Police do a rough job, and frequently do use rough language, for which they face no repercussions (nor should they, typically). Nitty-gritty is not even remotely in the ballpark for that.

                  3. jake Silver badge

                    Re: Information?

                    Here's a little more on the subject of nitty-gritty (possibly NSFW):

                    https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/18667/etymology-of-reduplicative-compound-nitty-gritty

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: RE: Master / slave

          ""Nitty gritty" is far worse in my mind"

          In your mind? What about the rest of the planet?

          The term was heavily used in the Jazz world of the late '50s and early '60s (where I first heard it as a nipper), and I can assure you that neither the black nor the white musicians using it were using it with any form of racial intent. Here's an example from 1963.

          People are perverting the English Language looking for any excuse to claim racism, sexism, or any other ism that the hand-wringers and namby-pambys can come up with ... apparently even when that particular ism doesn't even exist.

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: RE: Master / slave

            I have noticed that many of the had wringers who are perverting the language, seem to have feck all else to do with their lives, so in lieu of anything useful, they develop what I call AOS (since everything has to have a nifty acronym) Acquired Offence Syndrome.

            Having zero life content of their own they look for anything they can use to be offended on behalf of other people and then shout or bleat about it incessantly until someone takes notice.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: RE: Master / slave

              Beats International covered SOS Band (1983) Just be Good to me in 1990

              David John Baptiste, the boy from the big bad city, added talk of tank fly boss walk jam etc.

      3. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Re: RE: Master / slave

        I don't expect the BDSM crowd to go for any such renaming of Master/Mistress

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: RE: Master / slave

          Nor the mechanic rebuilding the brakes on your car.

          1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            Re: RE: Master / slave

            Offensive! It is now known as the subservient pressure provision cylinder.

            1. GraXXoR

              Re: RE: Master / slave

              But doesn’t subservient’s “service to” have the same etymological root as servant? Which is kind of like slave so should also be verboten....

              How much language do we have to purge before English is all lily-white and squeaky-clean?

              Oh hang on. I’m not implying that lily-white is...

        2. geekguy

          Re: RE: Master / slave

          Thing is, that's a voluntary label they give themselves and their relationship style, so not the same thing really.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: RE: Master / slave

            Not the same thing as people forcing branches to be called certain things? You're aware voluntary/involuntary naming is nothing to do with this change?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Snake - Re: RE: Master / slave

        Master tells slave what to do, when to do it and so on. Slave does what is being told. I've never, ever seen in my long career a situation when a master program or module insults, beats, sells or abuses a slave subroutine or module. Have you or anyone here on this forum heard of such behavior ?

        1. big_D Silver badge

          Re: @Snake - RE: Master / slave

          When there is a slave... In this instance, it uses one of the dozen or so other meanings of the word master, which has no connotations to slavery!

          Master = definitive source/copy.

      5. gratou

        Re: RE: Master / slave

        Then they could change slave to servant and be done. And anyway, as if banning the word banned the practice. And as if having slave computers was unethical. Sigh...

        1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

          Re: RE: Master / slave

          In the companies and on the projects I've been involved with, talk about master/slave relationships have been very few and far between.

          In describing an unequal relationship, its been far more common, in the placed I've worked, to describe it as a client/server relationship, which in fact describes the situation a lot better since the end with multiple links, the server, is much more likely to be responding to requests from its many clients than the other way round.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            Re: RE: Master / slave

            A client/server relationship always had a different meaning than a master/slave one.

            A client asks the server to perform a tasks and gets the results - in the master/slave the master fully controls asks the slaves to perform a task and gets the results.

            Yet, the meaning of server itself imply servitude - from Latin servus, which means exactly, guess it, "slave".

            The problem is the ignorance of the actual generation of programmers if very deep.

      6. big_D Silver badge

        Re: RE: Master / slave

        There was never a master/slave in code repositories. The master here is for primary or source copy, the definitive version from which copies, branches are taken or are the basis for changes.

        This is the same use as in the media industry, especially music, where the master is the definitive copy, from which all reproductions are made.

      7. geekguy

        Re: RE: Master / slave

        Aside no one ever said branches were slaves to the master branch. Its people projecting onto that wording, this is an example of things being taken a bit too far. I totally understand main, it's a good word and describes the branch well, but so did master. Maybe it's me and I'm out of step or a bit older now (46) but I don't see the issue with master at all. However if some people find it wholly offensive and want it changed then perhaps we should welcome the change to main I mean I might go the full hog and just call all my default branches weeble :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rubbish take.

      "Main" better reflects the nature of the first branch in a git project: most development in most small git projects will take place there.

      Whereas "master" only makes sense of being an original thing that everything else is an exact copy of. (See: "gold master" game development snapshots, "master mixes" in the music business, "master key" , etc.)

      Whatever you this.k of the reason behind the change, the effect is that the term now being used is more technically correct, and therefore better.

      1. FeepingCreature

        You develop changes on master?

        edit: I guess it makes sense for small projects that never get PRs.

    4. big_D Silver badge

      In Germany, you still have to be a master in many professions, in order to run your own business. If you haven't achieved your mastery of the profession, you may be able to work in that profession (you usually have to have at least made an apprenticeship or being doing an apprenticeship), but you can't run a business until you have your Master Certificate.

      There have been cases, where the children have inherited the parents business, but, because they didn't train in the profession, they can't work in the business or run it. Often they have to get a Master in to run the business and learn from them and take the relevant exams, before they can take over the business themselves. (Or just sell the business to a qualified master, but you are in a bad bargaining position to sell, because the business is worthless to you, because you can't actually run it).

  2. Ol'Peculier
    Pint

    Nope...

    "But Doctor, I am *dum dum duuummm* the MAIN" just doesn't have the same kind of ring to it.

    ---> Because it's a Thursday...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For those of us in the S&M community I always liked seeing these terms in vanilla situations

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Coat

      Or the Pastry community

      Master baker?

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Or sports

        Winning the Mains doesn't sound as impressive

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aargh...

    Need I say more?

    So: "master craftsman" -> "master crafts person" -> "main crafts person"?

    Doesn't the final change alter the meaning?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Aargh...

      At least we'll have glitter and stickers!

    2. Sitaram Chamarty

      Re: Aargh...

      I like to point out that "person" has "son" in it :-)

      1. Stanislav Bonita

        Re: Aargh...

        I've taken to calling people meatsacks precisely to avoid all this shenanigens, but I'm sure somewhere a master (main!) butcher will take issue.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Aargh...

          That's offensive to vegans and those who self-identify as vegetable-based! Check your privilege!

          (Trollface icon, in case you think for one instant that I am being serious.)

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: Aargh...

            I am offended on behalf of the real trolls, at your use of the Troll icon, it potrays Trolls as irritating and contrarian during interplays on the internet. Most Trolls have never heard of the internet and only interact with humans when they eat them for trespassing on Troll lands!

    3. find users who cut cat tail
      Coat

      Re: Aargh...

      → minecrafts person

      That's what I read on the first pass anyway…

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Unpicking problematic terminology is therefore going to be a lengthy and controversial process

    It's going to be an interminable process, as someone is likely to be found who will object to almost anything (particularly on behalf of someone else they haven't consulted) and there are nigh on half a million words to potentially object to in English alone. Unless of course the holier than thou brigade get bored sooner. But in the meantime a lot of "legacy" code is going to get broken.

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Unpicking problematic terminology is therefore going to be a lengthy and controversial process

      Then nust make those conversations impossible, newspeak style.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "legacy"

      I'm sure there's a good reason why "legacy" should also be given the chop.

      Sorry, "chop" is now considered violent. That should have been:

      I'm sure there's a good reason why "legacy" should also be purged.

      Hmm. Am I allowed to use "purged"?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "legacy"

        "I'm sure there's a good reason why "legacy" should also be purged."

        As everybody knows, "legacy" originally meant "a body of people sent on a mission" ... which obviously must mean a lynch mob! And as we all know, only black people were lynched!

        BAN LEGACY! IT'S CLEARLY RACIST!!!!!1one!!!!!eleven!!11

        "Hmm. Am I allowed to use "purged"?"

        Absolutely not! It means "to get rid of objectionable elements or members", which clearly means everybody except rich, white, middle-aged men. Blahblahblahblah ...

      2. Bbuckley

        Re: "legacy"

        In my last job they stopped referring to the old software as 'legacy' and instead started calling it 'heritage'.

        1. ChrisC Silver badge

          Re: "legacy"

          The problem with that is that "heritage" tends to refer to old stuff that's worth preserving for posterity, whereas "legacy" is more often than not just the old shit that you *have* to keep around and maintained because your employer is happier to just keep paying you to deal with the increasing headaches of doing so than they are to pay you to rewrite it all in a form that stands a reasonable chance of still being useable once you've left the company...

    3. Graham Dawson Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Unpicking problematic terminology is therefore going to be a lengthy and controversial process

      "Main" implies a hierarchy of acceptability, inasmuch as anything that is not "main" is lesser and subservient to "main". To call a particular otherwise co-equal branch of the repository "main" is to other branches that are not mainstream, or in other words, to impose the hierarchical modes of thought inherent to the white supremacist behaviours of contemporary society, that discriminated against black and brown bodies that fall outside of the "main", where they are pushed to the fringes by white conceptualisations of structural oppression and racism.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Unpicking problematic terminology is therefore going to be a lengthy and controversial process

        I upvoted you on the tacit understanding that you are being (very) dryly sarcastic. You are... right?

        Heaven help us all if you actually believe that textual slurry you just vomited from your keyboard. Tell me it ain't so...?

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: Unpicking problematic terminology is therefore going to be a lengthy and controversial process

          Your have to be a masochistic to unironically believe all of that.

  6. AMBxx Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Who knew?

    Who knew it would be so easy to solve all the problems of racism by something so simple?

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: it would be so easy to solve all the problems of racism

      It doesn't solve it, it's all about making it clear who's prepared to help change things for the better and who's fighting to maintain the status quo.

      It's a tiny, insignificant change to the default name of something. If people are prepared to fight to keep that, what chance do we have of making real, substantive improvements to the racist institutions in our society?

      And if you want to shoot this idea down, come up with something better. Staying as we are is not a solution.

      1. nijam Silver badge

        Re: it would be so easy to solve all the problems of racism

        > It doesn't solve it, it's all about making it clear who's prepared to help change things for the better and who's fighting to maintain the status quo.

        But it doesn't do that either.

        > Staying as we are is not a solution.

        That case has definitely not been made, at least for the problems allegedly being addressed.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: it would be so easy to solve all the problems of racism

        "It's a tiny, insignificant change to the default name of something."

        If its all that small a change, are you volunteering to pay for the replacement costs of all git documentation, including training materials, currently in use world-wide?

        "If people are prepared to fight to keep that, what chance do we have of making real, substantive improvements to the racist institutions in our society?"

        What does changing something that clearly is not racist have to do with making real, substansive improvements to the racist institutions in (y)our country? Shirley all that this kind of feel-good nonsense is doing is diluting the scope of what actually is a very real problem?

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    So how do we differentiate the code module that contains the main() function?

    But no matter, lets just have another ambiguous term.

    1. jake Silver badge

      "So how do we differentiate the code module that contains the main() function?"

      How can you be so insensitive as to point out that the rule-makers are clearly not coders? You'll be trying to turn them into second-class citizens next! You should be ashamed of yourself!

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        I do hope you're not a white middle-class male, Jake, because if so you have no right to comment on this, or indeed anything, and should stay silent while those lower (or is it higher?) than you in the Hierarchy Of Oppression tell us Their Truth(™ , may not actually contain objective truth or even facts, recollections may vary)

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          re: a white middle-class male

          That poor, underrepresented minorty.

          I feel your pain brother, I too am a middle class white male who's been allowed to cruise through life successfully without much effort. It makes empathy with the lower classes so difficult.

          I'm joking of course! It's my superb coding skills and tenacious work ethic that's got me where I am today. The UK is a meritocracy!!! Look around, it's obvious there's no need to try and change things!!

          1. Bbuckley

            Re: re: a white middle-class male

            You should join the wimmin() function activists.

        2. jake Silver badge

          I'm white, yes. As the driven snow. But (and it's a big but), I am a minority. I'm not Caucasian, I am what you heathens call a Laplander (we prefer Sámi). Am I allowed to comment now?

          1. aqk
            Joke

            Ah...! A Laplander! Are you one of those guys that gets Eskimo Ingrid to hold the reindeer, while you pile up a big mound of snow behind it, and...

            Oh wait- I'm confused! I was thinking of the crashed aviator and the camel in the Sahara...

            My bad.

    2. Bbuckley

      I heard the C standards committee are proposing to change the main() function to the wimmin() function so as to quadruple the proportion of girls who will be attracted to a STEM career.

  8. MiguelC Silver badge
    Mushroom

    "Git"?

    Doesn't anyone object to that?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: "Git"?

      Quite odd, isn't it? Especially seeing as it's a personal insult, directed at one particular man. But that's OK, he's white.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Git"?

        Nd some of us are old gits. But that's also fine as it's compulsory in the woke world to insult the old.

        1. David 132 Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: "Git"?

          ok boomer...

          (trollface)

        2. jake Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: "Git"?

          Old gits gotta stick together ... who else are we going to argue with? Have a beer.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: "Git"?

        "I name all my projects after myself"

        Aside from that, punching up is comedy, punching down is bullying.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "Git"?

          "Aside from that, punching up is comedy, punching down is bullying."

          Glib, and quite Politically Correct, but obviously not true.

      3. nijam Silver badge

        Re: "Git"?

        > ... directed at one particular man

        ... by himself, as I recall.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "Git"?

          He later claimed to name all his projects after himself. Those of us who were there at the time know otherwise. I'm not telling tales out of class, it was widely reported and is hardly a secret.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We did it anyway...

    We have started creating all new repos with main as the primary branch - it's nothing to do with slavery or wokeness or not much else... (although I do at least understand part of that argument, even if not necessarily agreeing with it).

    I find myself on the git cli quite a bit and typing

    "git checkout main" rather than "git checkout master"

    is just a smidge more convenient.

    I understand change is difficult - but this one can be as gradual as you need it to be and if that has a knock-on benefit of of upsetting a few less people. Why not?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We did it anyway...

      > I find myself on the git cli quite a bit and typing "git checkout main" rather than "git checkout master" is just a smidge more convenient.

      What is far far less convenient, however, is that if one has to deal with a lot of repositories from various eras and sources, one now has to remember what the "main" branch is called for every repository. It could be `master`, it could be `main`, it could be `meister`, `mester`, `hoved`, or perhaps just `m`.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: We did it anyway...

      You type all that? Why? Haven't learned scripting yet?

      Clearly you are someone not to be reckoned with (in the late 13th, early 14th century meaning of the word).

    3. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: We did it anyway...

      Sorry to mention it but "git" is offensive (at least in the school playground). We miust find a new term to replace it!

      "Main" is also suspect as it implies unconditional precedence over all the other functions regardless of merit. We must find an egalitarian alternative for it too.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC - Re: We did it anyway...

      It's OK to admit it has to do with wokeness or slavery. Otherwise why change, just for the sake of change ? Only because it's shorter ? Hint: try Mstr and your frugality will be satisfied.

      It really annoys me when pople hide their allegiance.

    5. gobaskof Silver badge

      Re: We did it anyway...

      git chec[tab] mas[tab]

      takes the same amount of time to type as

      git chec[tab] main

      Anyone who make a branch that starts "mas" is going to have it rejected on principle

      1. codejunky Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: We did it anyway...

        @gobaskof

        "Anyone who make a branch that starts "mas" is going to have it rejected on principle"

        Jeez you had to go and tempt people didnt you. You know some git is gonna do this and his master is gonna allow it at one of the store branches. Would probably make you wish you didnt commit to the job and instead revert to a previous one. Or checkouts.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In answer to GitLab

    Yes, Master! Your wish is my command, Master!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "git" is also a derogatory term and offensive to some (Lilly livered simpletons of dubious discernment)

    1. John Sturdy

      Wasn't that the point of it?

      1. jake Silver badge
  12. Elledan Silver badge

    Too late to change now

    Like it or not, but fifteen years ago Linus Torvalds picked 'master' as the default name for the first branch in any new repository. That's fifteen years of tooling, tutorials, guides, documentation, etc. which relied on what was perceived to be a certainty.

    This is especially problematic in light of the reasoning behind this change being faulty. When one can get their Master's at university, movies and games are remastered, one is free to master new skills and the BDSM community is free to act out their master-slave games, there's no conceivable reason to change the same word elsewhere.

    I have told the git CLI tool to use 'master' by default after it barked at me with an Info spam statement. For me the inconvenience of having to remember which of my repositories have a 'master', 'main', 'trunk' or other main branch is not worth the trouble. As far as I'm concerned, that ship sailed fifteen years ago.

    Maybe after master's degrees, master keys, remastering and mastering, along with all their variants and the naughty games in the BDSM community get renamed to something else we can talk about it again, but I do not expect that to happen within this century.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Too late to change now

      "I do not expect that to happen within this century."

      Or the next. These things are cyclical, this particular wave is already past it's peak.

    2. aqk
      Facepalm

      Re: Too late to change now

      Well then- it's OBVIOUS! Torvalds is a RACIST! He and his Linux creation must be banned! At least in America -

      For those folks of the black persuasion. And hope that they will convince their white "brethen" to also eschew Torvald's Linux! If not? Well then, LAWS must be passed!

      We trust that they will continue to use only Windows (And of course a Macintosh, provided its software is not Linux-derived)

      The rest of the world? Let us merrily continue along with Linus's great creation.

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Too late to change now

      Main(line) actually fits better with how most projects now use git, and how all the UIs display the branch histories as "railtracks".

      Especially with the new fad of "living at head" where the tip of main is deployed immediately - and breaks just as fast, of course.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doublespeak v2.0

    Courtesy of woke culture.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Y'know, the whole French language is going to need rewriting to keep the wokewankers happy.

    Every noun*, that's EVERY. noun is either masculine or feminine. Whereas in English, one would use the definite article "the" (noun) and have done with it, French demands a very gender-specific "la" or "le", depending on the noun, according to some obscure rule I never have been able to discern.

    *And very likely verbs, adjectives, adverbs and bits of words, but I can't recall as it is one hell of a long time since I used any French

    Vive Les bolleaux

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      "the whole French language is going to need rewriting"

      The Germans will have an even worse time as they also have a "neuter" gender, which is probably going to offend someone who doesn't speak German. And we'll have to ban the teaching of Latin for good as it's too late to change it.

      I might be so bold as to suggest that the terms in question are neutral unless they're used to describe people. That's where their use should be eliminated.

      While I absolutely agree that we shouldn't go around casually offending people, if we're going to restrict vocabulary on the basis of its past connotations, how far back will we have to go? We'll have to start teaching etymology again. For example, we'll have to have to ban "politically correct" as it was originally an insult aimed at people who were (surprise?) excessively touchy and finicky about sensitivities in abstract.

    2. Weylin

      It's even more fun for a few nouns such as crêpe and voile which are both masculine and feminine, but with different meanings.

  15. Werner Heisenberg

    Whoever came up with this idea

    must be a prolific mainbater.

  16. 9Rune5 Silver badge
    Go

    "Boss"

    I thought involuntarily imported workers often referred to their foreman as "boss".

    Should we avoid this word in the future too? I sometimes work for people that I'd rather refer to as "jerk-face" or "assnut" and would really like a valid excuse.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Queen's Gambit

    Means we perhaps in a few years will see an increase in the number of female chess Grand Mains.

  18. TeeCee Gold badge
    Meh

    "... less historically problematic."

    You can tell this is all down to the septics.

    It wasn't a problem until some bunch of twativists made it one over the last couple of years. Hardly "historical", unless you come from a country where all of "history" happened over a few hundred years and you'd like to ignore the first half 'cos the important bits involve slavery and genocide.

  19. codejunky Silver badge

    Eh?

    "something less historically problematic"

    I am not sure this is historically problematic. Only in the last few (really not many) years has it become a problem. Just like lots of other words which have suddenly become a problem.

    I do wonder if instead of pandering to the terminally stupid we should consider this as a reflection of education standards and maybe try to rebalance from there. We can try to talk to the current nut-jobs but they did bring to frequent use the term 'cancel culture'.

  20. Bbuckley

    I think that is a great idea - my main man.

  21. nijam Silver badge

    > Unpicking problematic terminology is therefore going to be a lengthy ... process

    Leaving aside any controversy involved, by the time the process is well underway, there will be a whole new set of terminology perceived to be problematic. Obviously.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I’d rather they spent the time renaming Mongo

    It’s a horrible name.

  23. aqk
    Devil

    "Master of Arts"? You're a racist thug!

    And don't you forget it, you writhing weenie American!

    Go ahead- try to "clean up" your RACIST PAST!

    It will never work, even if you DO manage to erase "MASTER" from Webster's dictionary! Sorry, but the OED will ALWAYS carry this forbidden word - dare I say the "M-word" in America? NO!

    Just like the N-word. (I spell it as "enword")

    You enwords may think you have won this round, but this due to its banning, this epithet is now growing stronger than ever! Ask your white neighbour's kids!

    - An Emword aficianado... (now where's my whip?...)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021