Re: Proposal: Replace all references to master/slave in GNOME modules

On Thu, 2019-04-25 at 11:46 +1000, Michael Gratton wrote:
Hi all,

I'd like to formally propose as a GNOME Goal that GNOME modules
references to the terms "master" and "slave". This is a worthwhile 
thing to do for social inclusiveness[0]. Many FOSS and non-FOSS 
projects, including Django[1], Python[2], and Rust[3] and the
have already implemented similar programmes and it would be good for 
GNOME to do so also. The scope would be to replace occurrences of
terms appearing in the user interface, web sites, documentation,
(except as deprecated symbols), and git repositories - essentially 
wherever a person using or developing software for GNOME may
encounter them.

By way of background, I recently did just this for Geary[5] after a 
request via private communication. The work was essentially trivial, 
and it has been a relatively painless transition. A number of people 
have positively commented on the change, and no one has objected to
UI or API changes, however some feedback has been received about 
renaming the mainline branch, broadly falling into essentially three 
categories: 1) It doesn't matter, 2) it's inconvenient, and 3) it 
should be done project-wide, not piecemeal.

To respond to that feedback, which I imagine will also be raised for 
this proposal, I'd suggest that (1) is clearly not the case - yes it 
doesn't matter to many people, but it does matter to some, and
the whole point of making a project more socially inclusive - to
it better for everyone. The issue raised by (2) is not a new problem
we already have to remember project names, branch names, file names, 
symbol names, and so on. To make that easier we have tooling support 
(auto-completion in both GUIs and TUIs, the ability to set things as 
defaults, code symbol lookup, etc.). Further, disruption can be 
minimised by carefully choosing replacement names. I deliberately
"mainline" for Geary's mainline branch name because it has the same 
auto-complete prefix as "master", for example. Want to check out the 
mainline branch? Just type "git co m<TAB>", just like you always
Lastly, if adopted project-wide, then we'd all get used to the new 
names rather quicky. Finally, to respond to (3) I am proposing it 
project-wide now.

To summarise, let's replace the use of these deprecated terms in our 
project as a step towards making GNOME a project that everyone wants
use and develop for. Who's in?

This email was really difficult to read because of the layout of the
proposal, and how the response to feedback was formatted. I had to scan
it 3 times to find what you wanted to rename the main git branches.

+1 on the sysadmins doing the git changes project-wide
+1 on tracking master/slave usage project-wide and removing it

What your proposal doesn't touch on is what to do when the master/slave
usage is out of our control, and legacy, especially when it comes to

I feel that it would be better to not touch those, and come up with a
statement that could be used in documentation to explain their usage.


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