back to article Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms

The open-source Redis database, like the Python programming language, is moving away from using the technical terms "master" and "slave" in its documentation and API – to the extent that's possible without breaking things. For Python, the decision this week to replace the words "master" and "slave", prompted by undisclosed …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is just silly.

    1. ivan5

      Yes, but this is caused by the SJWs virtue signalling to try and show how good they are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Those pesky SJWs virtue signalling

        by not being publicly known..?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Those pesky SJWs virtue signalling

          > Those pesky SJWs virtue signalling

          > by not being publicly known..?

          You can still virtue signal by being openly supportive of the idea, without admitting you were the impetus for the change. Those who "start it" usually get a lot of vitriol directed at them personally, which mere supporters generally avoid the worst of.

    2. Rich 2

      Couldn't agree more - some people just have too much time on their hands

      What next? Change the names of the colours black and white? It's ludicrous

      And on a more general note, how exactly do you become "offended"? It's very in-vogue these days. I don't think I have ever been "offended" by anything? Ever. In fact, I'm not even sure what it means

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This comment section feels like an echo chamber, echo chamber, ...

        Good to see all the people who don't have a reason to be offended by these terms not even attempting to put themselves in the place of those who do. If you think that some words aren't freighted with extra meaning, start using the 'n' word more. It just means black person.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          "If you think that some words aren't freighted with extra meaning"

          That's a red herring, since nobody thinks that.

          If master/slave was being used in a way that was overtly offensive and damaging, that would be one thing. But, it's not. Sure, there are people who are offended by the words, but there is no "right to not be offended".

          Changing language to avoid offending some people is a nice thing to do, but sometimes the costs of such a change are too high to be worth just being a bit nice to a small percentage of people. In which case, the correct thing to do is not make the change, and let some people be offended.

          That said, I don't think (generally) this is a battle worth fighting on either side. The whole thing is just dumb beyond measure.

        2. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

          Context

          "If you think that some words aren't freighted with extra meaning, start using the 'n' word more."

          In software documentation? That would be very silly. The 'offensive' words referred to here are common technical terms. Would you suggest I remove the master and slave brake cylinders from my car in case they offend other road users?

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Headmaster

          "start using the 'n' word more. It just means black person."

          Uh, no. Direct racial epithets aren't the same thing as the use of the term 'master' and/or 'slave' with respect to one another in a technical context.

          [but maybe you made a good point anyway, in a backwards kind of way - 'master' and 'slave' aren't racial epithets unless you WANT them to be, so that you can control other people's speech or something]

        4. billdehaan
          Thumb Down

          Actually, in the 1960s, the word "black" was considered offensive by many, and they demanded to be called niggers, instead. Seriously. And then in the 1970s, the word "nigger" was deemed offensive, and the new term was "African-Canadian" (or -American, as appopriate).

          The reverse also occurs. The terms "gay" and "queer" were historically insults, until the gay community simply decided to start using the terms themselves, and the words lost the ability to insult.

          There's a significant difference between using a word intentionally to insult, and being overly sensitive.

          And then, there are things which go beyond parody. Previously, the exemplar for that was the O.J. Simpson case, where the term nigger was treated like it was a crucifix and the rest of the world was vampires, and to prove it, the news media interviewed a famous musician named Easy E. The problem is that Easy E was in a group called NWA, which stood for "Niggers With Attitude". So, you had someone who created a group with the word "nigger" in the title saying that the word was horrible and shocking and anyone who used it belonged in prison. By that logic, he couldn't even say his own band's name.

          That was pretty much the tipping point for political correctness. Well, here were are, 23 years later, and it looks like the bar may be raised.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        SJW indoctrination

        "And on a more general note, how exactly do you become 'offended'?"

        It has to be CAREFULLY TAUGHT which is why 'the left' pretty much pwns education these days...

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Truly-

      Leftpondian guilt, wrote large.

    4. LeeE Silver badge

      "This is just silly."

      Sadly, I think it's more serious than just silly; it's neurotic, because they're looking for offense where none was intended and because they believe that a word should only mean what they think it should mean - a sort of neurotic pedantry.

      Ultimately, words are just words; it's what people do that may be acceptable or, in the case of slavery, unacceptable.

      What I find worrying about things like this is that decisions are being made on the basis of neurosis instead of rationality.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        >Sadly, I think it's more serious than just silly; it's neurotic

        Not only neurotic, its plain wrong.

        I absolutely do want a master/slave relationship in my code. If my slave code develops a penchant for doing its own thing and runs off to Canada, I'm in big trouble and the code will be... erased.

    5. BillG Silver badge
      Devil

      DS9

      Yes, this is silly.

      Actually, instead of master/slave, I've seen Host/Device (capitalized)

      Of course Host might be offensive to the Trills out there...

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      This is just silly.

      big thumbs up for brevity AND accuracy

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You are way, way too kind.

      It is offensively stupid.

      English vocabulary is packed with words that have more than one meaning.

      Pandering to a few hyper-sensitive snowflakes by giving them exclusive control over the presumed meanings of words is an offence against the rights of the rest of the people who speak this language.

      Time for the nonsense to end.

  2. kuiash

    They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

    I double dare you.

    1. colinb

      Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

      Indeed, and while he is at it the word Pull is quite aggessive, it should be renamed GentlyPluck

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

        Pluck is quite aggressive, at a micro level. Ask any guitar string.

        We should instead use "slide in" and "slide out".

        1. magickmark
          Trollface

          Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

          @Jake

          "We should instead use "slide in" and "slide out"."

          I find the above offensive due to the sexual connotations and the implied inference of male dominance over a female partner!!

          Having said that I'm fucked as to what we would call it but then that's not my problem!!!

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

            "male dominance over a female partner!!"

            yeah and with all of the BDSM references for master/slave LAST time around...

            I still think Tori and Uke would get past the radar. They're Judo terms. Judo. 'Tori' literally means 'bird' and is the person doing the throw (also according to the web page from the verb 'toru' which has a meaning of take or pick up or choose - but if you've ever had a bird steal your food, it makes sense). 'Uke' means 'receiver' more or less and is the person being thrown.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tori_(martial_arts)

            any OTHER connotation, political or sexual, was (*cough*) accidental.

            /me thinks "at least I didn't say 'tops' and 'bottoms' - no, wait..."

      2. PTW
        Unhappy

        Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git. - GentlyPluck

        Won't somebody think of the turkeys, as it's nearly Christmas

    2. tekHedd

      Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

      You "ask", we "demand." This is why you fail.

  3. JohnFen Silver badge

    Wow

    "In the open-source Helm project, "master" by itself has been deemed offensive somehow."

    Which elevates the issue from being just plain stupid to being insanely stupid.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Wow

      > Thus "master chart" has become "umbrella chart" in one instance.

      You'd need to be a real umbrella mind to come up with that synonym.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't they just rename "slave" to "butler" or "maid" and be done with it?

    1. Jim Mitchell

      "manager" and "employee"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > "manager" and "employee"?

        Sony and Prince?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          shareholders and <who cares>?

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Devil

            Or..

            1% and scum.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @AC instead of master/slave try SWAMBO and other-half.

      1. onefang Silver badge

        We are still playing this game over on the recent Python thread. Though now my new suggested replacement is SJW / open source project.

  5. tekHedd

    No masters!

    Even if they rename it, the architecture itself is offensive. I will be boycotting the product until all offensive dominance roles have been removed therefrom.

    1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Re: No masters!

      > Even if they rename it, the architecture itself is offensive. I will be boycotting the product until all offensive dominance roles have been removed therefrom.

      I've been involved in IT training for most of the last 30 years and must admit that I came to find the terms master and slave as distasteful quite a long time ago, but they were the words that were generally used. There are other words commonly bandied about in the industry that perhaps don't sit well these days.

      But when it comes to the actual architecture issue it's very often the slaves processes telling the master what to do. You often see the slaves asleep and the master busy and it's not unusual to find that masters actually do more work waking up the slaves than the slaves do when they've been woken up.

    2. John G Imrie Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: No masters!

      What about consenting Sub/Dom roles?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Yes. Enough with the kink shaming

        Though they definitely should look at introducing a few mistress processes.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No masters!

        > What about consenting Sub/Dom roles?

        The only person I've got to know well into that sort thing, she, the sub, was definitely in charge and it was her masters job to keep her satisfied.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: No masters!

          This. It's a common misconception to people who aren't familiar with the Dom/Sub subculture that the Doms are the ones in control. That's very rarely the case. Almost always, it's the sub that's actually the one in control of what's happening/going to happen.

        2. onefang Silver badge

          Re: No masters!

          "The only person I've got to know well into that sort thing, she, the sub, was definitely in charge and it was her masters job to keep her satisfied."

          The sub has all the power really, coz the sub gives the gift of submission to the Dom, and the sub can take it away again. That's basically what a safe word is for, "Stop doing that nasty thing I previously gave you permission to do, and stop it right now.".

  6. cornetman

    I'm always suspicious of "undisclosed complaints".

    Some years ago, a colleague of mine, who was a golf club member, had a guy come up to him to complain about his attire. Instead of coming out and admitting that he was the one making the complaint, he made up some bullshit about "some of the other members have asked me to talk to you".

    If you have something to say, and you can't stand by your speech on its own merits, perhaps it is better to stay silent.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Alan Mac

      Undisclosed

      I really wish you'd posted that anonymously

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      I'm always suspicious of "undisclosed complaints".

      It's a form of passive-aggressive behavior, to pretend it's "others" then "bring it to your attention" like that...

      'Passive-aggressive' is considered (by some at least) to be a psychological DISORDER. For most of us, it's just A PAIN IN THE ASS.

      Ever had to work with a passive-aggressive who targets you? I have. Several times. No thanks. And getting them punished for it: impossible. All you can do is *QUIT* and say why on the way out the door...

  7. EveryTime Silver badge

    A silly issue, distracting from real work

    I don't think that anyone is directly offended by the words. Actual slavery was abolished in U.S. about 8 generations ago.

    Instead they are being pseudo-offended on behalf of theorized other people.

    Even while rolling my eyes, I wouldn't have a problem with getting rid of the terms if there were equivalent replacements. But in some contexts they are the simplest, clearest terms to use.

    No doubt if we got rid of the terms, the replacements would end up with the same connotations and subsequently need to be replaced viz. the chain of euphemisms for bodily functions, each of which turns into a word not used in polite company a generation or two later.

    1. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

      Unfortunately there is a generation of US students who do get offended. I write 'unfortunately' because unfortunately for them it is highly unlikely I would ever offer them a job.

      1. BillG Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

        Unfortunately there is a generation of US students who do get offended.

        And they need to understand that one can be offended and still be wrong.

      2. Fursty Ferret

        Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

        Unfortunately there is a generation of US students who do get offended. I write 'unfortunately' because unfortunately for them it is highly unlikely I would ever offer them a job.

        I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to feel uncomfortable about terminology, and someone doesn’t have to agree with your point of view to work for you. A refusal to change with the times should be far more of a red flag to these potential employees, and in general you only have to skim the headlines to see how far an antiquated attitude gets you in IT.

        As someone who just turned 30 the whole master/slave terminology was tired years ago, and I don’t think I’ve ever used it in my own architecture, preferring “Primary” and “Secondary”, both of which can be easily abbreviated to single syllable words.

        1. Jaybus

          Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

          "As someone who just turned 30 the whole master/slave terminology was tired years ago, and I don’t think I’ve ever used it in my own architecture, preferring “Primary” and “Secondary”, both of which can be easily abbreviated to single syllable words."

          Those words have completely different meaning. Most English speakers would expect the secondary to have a "backup" or "auxiliary" or "redundant" role. If we are randomly choosing words for replacement, then I choose "fu" and "bar", so instead of a master/slave relationship, we would have a fu/bar relationship.

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

            'I choose "fu" and "bar", so instead of a master/slave relationship, we would have a fu/bar relationship.'

            So one is Fucked Up, and the other is Beyond All Repair. What can possibly go wrong?

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