back to article Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

Python creator Guido van Rossum retired as "benevolent dictator for life" in July, but like Michael Corleone in The Godfather III, he's been pulled back in to resolve a debate about politically incorrect language. Like other open source communities, Python's minders have been asked whether they really want to continue using …

  1. Lee D Silver badge

    I tend to find that when an organisation reaches the point where such things become a consideration rather than, say, concentrating on achieving the product/service they provide, that's the point where things start to go downhill.

    People literally have too much time on their hands if they care about a terminology such as this. What next, blacklist/whitelist being racist? Male/female connectors not including an intersex variant?

    Just code the damn thing, nobody's actually bothering to writing code that's both functional and yet subtly racist

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      There are lots of hermaphrodite connectors available (e.g. Anderson Power Pole) though perhaps not for higher frequencies.

      I just hope this effort is a precursor to some decent laws to protect artificial intelligences from abuse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I had to change the terms whitelist and blacklist from an internal server-side application over 15 years ago. Management concern was that if there was an error the message could have been seen by customers and could have caused offence.

      I thought it was silly but NBD, I changed it to redlist and greenlist and carried on.

      The thing is, they’re only words, but if someone doesn’t like them, find some different words. “Primary” and “secondary”, or whatever, carries the intent just as well.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        " “Primary” and “secondary”, or whatever, carries the intent just as well."

        Primary and secondary doesn't do that. Perhaps "controller" and "controllee"?

        Personally, I think this is a stupid non-issue to raise any kind of fuss about. In the end, though, as a stupid non-issue, it's no more intelligent to fight against changing the terms. My only concern is that whatever terms replace it are both correct and don't coopt a technical term used for similar, but different, purposes, thus causing confusion.

        Master/slave has the advantage of being very clear and well-established, eliminating confusion.

        1. LDS Silver badge
          Devil

          Perhaps "controller" and "controllee"?

          "Boss" and "underling" conveys better the meaning.

          Anyway, I find the term "parent" not adequate for those who had abusive parents, have lost them young, or have been abandoned. It's also painful for those who can't have children and thereby can't become parents. Moreover a parent\child relationship has already a clear and different meaning, especially in OOP.

          "Worker" may not be good for the far-right, always fearful that workers of the world could unite, size the production servers and create a cloudkhoz. And a worker, unlike a slave, has to be paid and may want a pension when it's garbage collected.

          "Leader" and "follower" has also bad connotations - who want to be a "follower"? Do you imply my code lacks "leadership"?

          "Primary" and "replica" have a different meaning than master/slave. "Replica" is usually passive only. Even "primary" and "secondary" have a different meaning - it's a less strong relationship.

          Maybe "Lord" and "Vassal"? Just, vassals were not always reliable.

          But maybe, for Python, "Scrooge McDuck" and "Donald Duck"- with duck typing, it looks good.

          Albeit, I have issue with the Python name itself, some people are really afraid of reptiles. If it quacks, it's a duck.

          The good thing is that with each language and framework using different terms, people will understand even less how to write such kind of code, and quality will become even worse.

          But the Newspeak attempts will have reached their goal to hide actual, real slavery.

        2. xanda
          Alert

          Hold on a moment...

          "it's no more intelligent to fight against changing the terms."

          The 'terms' don't change in or of themselves - it is people who ascribe the meaning. For example, the word "gay" didn't assume it's current cultural meaning all by itself - the meaning has been artificially imposed over years.

          That raises the question of who gets to define the meaning and who gets to impose it.

          The issue thus becomes one more important than that of transient semantics or mere practicality. It is one of both freedom of speech and the imposition of authority aka dictatorship.

          Like so many other words in the English vocabulary, the word slave has more than one meaning; indeed it's original root has been applied to various different scenarios over time. This does mean that the meaning is largely contextual and so ascribing too much value to an alternate one denigrates the beauty and power of language.

          Again this is a problem, both in principle and practice.

          In principle it means that certain quarters will seek to establish themselves as the word/thought police, as indeed they are already doing.

          In practice it means that the 'innocent will anguish over the innocuous' as well as a ton or more of unnecessary work in changing code, reprinting signs and other tangible material - all at great cost.

          It can therefore not simply be ignored or adhered to as if to go with the flow.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hold on a moment...

            what you're describing is the everchanging semantics in language. its a constant battle between the progressives who are willing to modify words to convey new and better meanings and the regressives who cling on to their old definitions, scared their world view will collapse because words are changing around them.

            you've implied that the desire to change language is authoritarian - that's true only if it comes with a real penalty ("omg i cant say the word i used to say cos people will be offended", isnt a penatly, it's petulance). if anything it's the desire to preserve language that's authoritarian as it prevents us from expanding the vocabulary and refining the syntax. its also regressive and fundamentally against the natural human instinct to evolve and discover.

            long story short. Master and Slave are just words. Words which have no more value in their meaning for ATA connected devices on a mother board and no less value when describing treating people as property.

            they're just words - don't cling onto them so dearly because the next generation will be changing them anyway.

            1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              Re: Hold on a moment...

              Main/Subsidiary? Then PCBs can still be labelled M and S.

            2. holmegm

              Re: Hold on a moment...

              "they're just words - don't cling onto them so dearly because the next generation will be changing them anyway."

              What if the next generation *doesn't* change them? Does throw a wrench in that frisson of superiority?

              "its a constant battle between the progressives who are willing to modify words to convey new and better meanings and the regressives who cling on to their old definitions,"

              In any case, what is new and better here? How is insisting upon different words to describe the *same* controller -> controlled relationship "better"?

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "My only concern is that whatever terms replace it are both correct and don't coopt a technical term used for similar, but different, purposes, thus causing confusion."

          The thing is, master and slave have an accepted meaning and are (or have been) used extensively in many situations for many, many years. What is happening now is that master and slave are being replaced by everyones own idea of some new, vaguely similar terms instead of looking at what other have done re-using the same new terms. Everyone deciding to change from master/slave is inventing their own wheel. Meanwhile, marketing have probably set up a committee to consider what colour it should be.

        4. jj_0

          Master and Servant? Saves 50% of the find/replace.

      2. -tim

        "I had to change the terms whitelist and blacklist from an internal server-side application over 15 years ago. [...] I thought it was silly but NBD, I changed it to redlist and greenlist and carried on."

        So now your going to upset the Indians and the Hippies?

        1. BongoJoe

          What about upsetting those with colour blindness?

        2. Stevie Silver badge

          So now your going to upset the Indians and the Hippies?

          First Nations and Hippies.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: So now your going to upset the Indians and the Hippies?

            First Nations and Persons Of Restricted Hygiene.

            1. onefang Silver badge

              Re: So now your going to upset the Indians and the Hippies?

              "First Nations and Persons Of Restricted Hygiene."

              I think you'll find the hippies have more hygiene options than others. They can choose not to wash, or to wash.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > I changed it to redlist and greenlist and carried on.

        What was the redhead reaction to redlist error messages?

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Who cares, they don't have a soul.

          edit: redheads, that is

      4. Mark 85 Silver badge

        “Primary” and “secondary”, or whatever, carries the intent just as well.

        Nah. Go with "Boss" and "Lackey". Or "PHB" and "Contractor".

      5. JuJuBalt

        Now you are discriminating against communists and the Irish.

    3. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Trollface

      Just call 'em "Slaster" and "Mave"...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @malle-herbert

        Or wife and husband.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: @malle-herbert

          "Or wife and husband"

          But which one is in charge there? Men seem to think it is the wife, women seem to think it is the husband. but shouldn't be.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @malle-herbert

            ""Or wife and husband"

            But which one is in charge there? Men seem to think it is the wife, women seem to think it is the husband. but shouldn't be."

            Husbands think they are in charge. Wives allow them that delusion :)

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: But which one is in charge there?

              "Man is the master, and a woman's place is in the home!"

              Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Dec).

        2. snoggs

          Re: @malle-herbert

          Party of the first part/party of the second part?

        3. bpfh Bronze badge

          Re: @malle-herbert

          I find this offensive as it implies a patriarchal notion of the superiority of the male. And what about same sex couples? Maybe my databases and databasettes want to fornic... replicate between themselves in peace and equality... /sarcasm

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'd call them PHB and codemonkey.

      3. illiad

        how about 'boss' , 'employee'

        1. Mycho Silver badge

          Overlord/Minion

          Ultimately some people will discover the etymology of minion and we'll go through this all again.

          For those who don't know, it's from the French for cute and was coined to get an accusation of ... 'servicing your employer' past the censors.

          Same as Gunsel in fact.

    4. billdehaan

      The most common description of this behaviour is "Get woke, go broke".

      It's not whether it's a consideration, it's usually when it becomes the consideration, that things go to hell rapidly.

      When you're more concerned about offending people than you are about making a good product, it's a losing game. Unless you're an ass, you're not trying to offend people in the first place. And if you do so through ignorance, most people aren't going to be upset.

      The people who are upset are the types who get upset by everything. When you see complaints that eating salad is racist, wearing earrings mean you support enslavement of Africans, braiding your hair is a signal that you're a white supremacist, going to a wedding means you think women should be oppressed, etc., you're dealing with people who aren't playing with a full deck.

      There are real issues with racism and sexism in the world. Fretting about technical terminology isn't going to change them in the slightest. There are better things to spend time and energy on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "When you're more concerned about offending people than you are about making a good product, it's a losing game."

        what if the criteria for 'making a good product' included the requirement that it 'didn't offend people'? for products and services to cater to their market they should have a broad appeal. that means using the kind of language that doesnt alienate or offend whilst maintaining enough semantic capital so that we all know what we're talking about.

        tldr; you don't lose by being nice.

    5. Troutdog

      I could not agree more

      There are potentially hundreds of triggers in python. Perhaps the interpreter should explicitly barf on offensive terms used as variable names to prevent users from creating insensitive code. The parser could compare all variable and function names against a blacklist (oops, I meant a condemned word list). Of course, such a list would itself be offensive, so would need to be obscured so that no fragile developers would stumble across it accidentally. Probably best to just ban any recognizable words as a precaution.

      Also: Token ring used hermaphroditic connectors at one time. There is a concrete example of another sex.

      1. jibbly_biskits

        Re: I could not agree more

        In your post, you used the word "condemned". That's offensive to inmates on death row. I couldn't ignore the fact that you also casually used the word "token", which is racist. I'm definitely not in love with the word 'interpreter' as this could trigger any monoglots reading your post.

        1. Mr Humbug

          Would everyone please stop using trigger as a verb.

          Signed,

          An offended pedant

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            So, what verb should I use for the action that occurs when the interupt line changes state and the processor redirects execution away from the mainline code?

          2. Stevie Silver badge

            Would everyone please stop using trigger as a verb. (4 Mr Humbug)

            Good enough for the UXB teams in WWII, good enough for me.

            Expel it forcefully from your anterior dorsal orifice.

      2. onefang Silver badge

        Re: I could not agree more

        "(oops, I meant a condemned word list)"

        Surely that's offensive to people awaiting execution?

        And surely this comment is offensive to people called Shirley?

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: I could not agree more

          I have a problem with model / view and.... argh "controlller" ? !!!

          Please, take me to my safe space. Now. Please. I think I'm going to have a meltdown. And have the police meet me there, I wish to make a complaint.

          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

            Re: I could not agree more

            What about BOFH / Luser? Totally clear to anyone in IT (or should be)

          2. MudFever

            Re: I could not agree more

            @werdsmith, sorry, but you can't use "my safe space" because it requires segregation, elitism and discrimination.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I could not agree more

        "(oops, I meant a condemned word list)."

        Sorry, condemned is on the banned list as it might imply that you support the death penalty. I suspect banned might be banned soon as that implies an inherent censorship, and that can;t be right, can it?

        1. onefang Silver badge

          Re: I could not agree more

          "Sorry, condemned is on the banned list as it might imply that you support the death penalty. I suspect banned might be banned soon as that implies an inherent censorship, and that can;t be right, can it?"

          Differently-visible?

      4. Martijn Otto
        Trollface

        Re: I could not agree more

        Perhaps we can make this list by hashing al the ungood words and then having the runtime hash all the variable and function names and comparing them against this list.

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      that's the point where things start to go downhill.

      ack on the 'downhill'. P.C. and 'hurt feelings' don't belong in tech.

      But if they don't like master/slave, how about:

      a) dominant / submissive

      b) sadist / masochist

      c) Tori / Uke (Judo terms. Judo.)

      d) Giver / Goatse

      e) Boss / You

      f) Microsoft / Everyone Else

      and so on. heh.

      1. ratfox Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

        Master / Minion !

        1. Schultz

          I second master / minion

          How to better fix a culturally loaded term than to substitute it with a flimsy cultural reference?

          1. Oliver Kiddle

            Re: I second master / minion

            On technical things, where the term "minion" is used, I'd expect there to be many minions and one master. With master/slave, it tends to imply one or few slaves. A "minion" also, sounds like a smaller component. If technical things get renamed you don't want to make them harder to understand. Now that I think about it "slave" is generally a poor analogy for the technical usage: slaves didn't sit around waiting while the master did all the work only stepping in when needed.

          2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
            Angel

            I vote for manager / engineer

            Now it's time to make the Holy Bible Politically Correct.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

          yeah I'd actually done 'Overlord / Minion' a bit further down. great minds think alike though

        3. TonyJ Silver badge

          Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

          Master / Minion !

          Gru / Minion

          I have kids. They love these films. Mind you so do I. :)

          1. streaky Silver badge

            Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

            I literally maintain a harem of slaves.

            We use these terms because they accurately describe what is happening rather than obfuscating and people need to find a grip. There's going to be an almighty pushback (see Trump for evidence) from this nonsense and if master/slave computing relationships triggers people they won't like what happens next. This silliness is NOT how you affect social change.

            Newton's third law, look it up.

        4. MrXavia
          Happy

          Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

          Re:Master / Minion !

          no..

          Boss / Minion

        5. Velv Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

          DrEvil / Henchmen

          Oh, wait, that won't work

          DrEvil / Henchperson

        6. PNGuinn
          Boffin

          Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

          How about

          BOFH / PFY?

        7. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @b bob - Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

        I'd like to suggest

        President / citizen

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          and pushing upslope increasing hard

          Oh dear, I'm triggered by the word 'trigger', and you've used it several times here!

          And "triggering an event" is twice as bad, because events are nuclear!

        2. LDS Silver badge
          Joke

          "President / citizen"

          "President" and "Intern", maybe...

          1. gcla72
            Paris Hilton

            Re: "President / citizen"

            That just blows!

      3. Neoc

        Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

        Seme / Uke? (not Judo terms)

        1. Thoguht Silver badge

          Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

          In the interests of gender balance, if you have seme/uke then you need to include tachi/neko as well.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

      5. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

        c) Tori / Uke (Judo terms. Judo.)

        I was thinking more like "Seme / Uke" ("yaoi" fiction)

        Or if you want to make a reference to a well-known fictional Python programmer, you have "Kobayashi / Tohru" in the master/servant roles.

      6. Ima Ballsy
        Facepalm

        Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

        Ok, add

        Pole / Hole ....

      7. thosrtanner

        Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

        It being python, perhaps European Swallow or African Swallow?

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      99% of people who come up with these PC concerns are defending others by proxy, without ever being asked.

      I remember when school blackboards started being called chalkboards in case it offended anyone... Errrr, the board is black, it's got nothing to do with race. It's not made out of crushed and extruded Africans!

      Sometimes I really do just want to round all these people up and give them a slap.

      These snowflakes really need to grow a thicker skin. I went through school as a skinny kid with glasses and an interest in computers, where were my nights in shiny armour to defend four-eyes? They said hurty words!

      Meh... People... They're stupid.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Daemons and Deities?

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Dominatrix / Bottom

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        I'd propose Lord/Serf. Same meaning, different word. And bonus: It refers to WHITE people being the subordinates! Nobody could take offence to THAT right?

      3. PeterM42
        Facepalm

        Blackboards???

        I used to teach at a computer company who had GREEN "chalkboards".

        Just sayin'

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Blackboards???

          If the thing you write on is now to be called by the thing you use to write on it, then that forces us to have markerboards, inksheets and stylusboards.

      4. alisonken1
        Facepalm

        ... blackboards started being called chalkboards ...

        Actually, I remember blackboards being called chalkboards because in my school, the chalkboards were green in color.

        "greenboards" - besides not sounding as functional as "blackboards" - may also offend our environmentalistic brethren.

        1. Anonymous C0ward
          Flame

          Re: ... blackboards started being called chalkboards ...

          The hippies would surely use a "greenboard" for rolling a joint...

    8. jmch Silver badge

      "blacklist/whitelist being racist? Male/female connectors not including an intersex variant?"

      To be fair, while I would not say that blacklist/whitelist is racist, it DOES stem from the historical association white = good*, black = bad. I'm not sure historically if this association stemmed from racism or if racism stemmed from this association (or as is more likely a complex combination of both).

      The problem really isn't the words themselves, it's that some/many** people ARE racist. If racism didn't exist, no-one would bat an eyelid about whitelist/blacklist or master/slave except as a linguistical oddity, just as left-handed people don't object to the use of 'sinister'*** because they're not discriminated against for being left-handed***

      Description of parts of a connector as male/female,it's based on physical reality so if anyone is offended by that it's because they're the type of person who 'like' to be offended because it gives them an opportunity to vent. On the other hand given some type of connectors like USB are rather 'hermaphroditical' perhaps a better term than male/female can be found.

      *at least in the west. In China for example white is associated with death.

      ** delete as you think appropriate

      ***AFAIK

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "the historical association white = good*, black = bad"

        I'm quite sure it comes from a very ancient experience that day/light are safe, dark/night are dangerous because you can't see dangers waiting for you (unless you're a cat).

        The problems came when religions tried to give a supernatural explanation to ancient fears, and turned them into "personae" - thus the evil, dangerous one often live in the dark and are black while the good, helpful ones live in the light and are white (it also suited best fair-skinned people, of course).

        Which in turn probably created a justification for racism especially against "black" people.

        PS: left handed people have been discriminated, and often children exhibiting the behaviour were forced in different ways to become right-handed until recent times.

    9. Maya Posch
      Coat

      "Male/female connectors not including an intersex variant?"

      As already noted, there are 'hermaphroditic' connectors. Personally I happen to be a hermaphrodite ('true hermaphrodite', a hermaphroditic intersex person). There are some people who insist that 'hermaphrodite' is offensive, and that I should not be using it.

      Instead I should be using the wonderful term 'DSD', which used to standard for 'Disorders of Sex Development', but has been euphemistically renamed to 'Differences of Sex Development' because of intersex people being somehow upset with being associated with a medical disorder. Especially since almost all of us are perfectly healthy individuals.

      In my experience there is nothing gained by going all SWJ on words like 'hermaphrodite' or 'intersex. Just use them. They're not offensive, nor is their etymology. Just like for 'master/slave', which only came into use around 1900 for machines and the like according to the sources which I could find.

      A slave device is not subject to slavery, sold into slavery, won't have its children sold into slavery and stopping using it makes as much sense as insisting that we stop calling a black car 'black', because it might offend someone.

      I do feel offended by people referring to 'white people', though. As a ginger person I feel that only people like myself have the right to call ourselves 'white people', courtesy of our translucent skin and super power to turn red within 30 minutes of stepping outside into the sun during the summer.

    10. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Master/Slave

      Should just be changed to Fucker/Fucked.

  2. LenG

    I am seriously concerned that we will have to give up the use of the English language in the near future because there will be no words left which can be used without causing offence.

    1. Mayday Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Doubleplusgood?

    2. billdehaan

      The problem is that people who believe sanitizing the language of offensive terms will result in offensiveness.

      All it means is that new terms will be used.

      Fifty years ago, people missing a leg, or an eye were called "cripples". Then it was decided that term was horribly offensive, and they were to be called "disabled" instead, as it was more sensitive.

      Until about twenty years later, when "disabled" was now considered horribly offensive, and the new term "differently abled" was to be used. But that was a joke, because there's nothing "abled" about missing a leg, or an eye, and so people were trying to find a new unoffensive term.

      It's a losing battle. It's not like disabilities are going to disappear because you call them something different.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Soon you won't even be able to call window-lickers 'scopies"

      2. TReko

        As usual, George Carlin said it best:

        https://youtu.be/vuEQixrBKCc

        1. Justin Case
          Happy

          George Carlin

          @TReko - I'd never heard of the aforementioned George before. Many thanks for the introduction!

      3. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        > Fifty years ago, people missing a leg, or an eye were called "cripples".

        FWIW, I still refer to myself as a cripple (though my leg is faulty rather than missing). That's unlikely to change either - I have had people tell me I should refer to myself using different terms, but they never seem able to explain how it *isn't* offensive to tell me what terms I can use to refer to myself.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "FWIW, I still refer to myself as a cripple"

          people who tell you what you should or shouldnt call yourself are as bad as people who tell others what terms they can or cant change. they're all, at heart, facists struggling with their perceived loss of power and identity.

          language changes. constantly. and it does it through consensus. sometimes that consensus can be 'nudged' with the use of policy but ultimately, the moment people start accepting the new terms, is the moment it enters into the public lexicon.

          it's really shocking to see so many people on this site have an issue with the changing terms. i'm sure those of you with a linguistics background know what that symbolises for a society. we all know where that particular train heads. hint, Trump, Berlusconi, May, Putin, Erdogan, Morsi, Netinyahu, Modi.

          be weary of a population that starts feeling insecure. be weary of the politician who panders to those insecurities.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Fifty years ago, people missing a leg, or an eye were called "cripples". "

        I dont get your argument. are you saying we should still be using the word 'crippled'? I'm guessing you dont use that word so it seems even you understand the need for changing words. and if so, arent you undermining your own argument?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: I dont get your argument. are you saying we should still be using the word 'crippled'?

          The Guardian recently published a magazine piece entitled 'Actors don't black up, so why do they still crip up?'. So, yes, the word does get used still. Mainly for shock value, I think.

      5. Flakk Silver badge

        The problem is that people who believe sanitizing the language of offensive terms will result in offensiveness.

        All it means is that new terms will be used.

        Well that's true, but I think there's more to it than that. Striving to change the language is ultimately an attempt to gain power by shaping how people think. It's subtle, and sadly it's usually quite effective.

        "1984" should serve as a warning to free-thinking liberal democracies, not be utilized as a how-to guide.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Whatever next, removing the colour black and using the hex code for it?

      The world has gone insane and it's time to end it. I've really had enough with humanity.

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        I've really had enough with humanity.

        You and me both. I'll be glad when this observation cycle is over and I can go back home to Barnard's Star.

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: I've really had enough with humanity.

          George Carlin was one of my favorite critics of the 'modern' world. I think I've watched all of his vids and enjoyed every one. My only regret is that I never got to see him live.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        re: removing the colour black and using the hex code for it?

        FFS.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: It's not like disabilities are going to disappear because you call them something different.

          They are "accessibility enabling characteristics".

        2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Re: re: removing the colour black and using the hex code for it?

          "Actually, the RGB triplet is inherently prejudiced: it codes black using the lowest value possible, while white is coded as the highest possible - a blatant example of the white-centered hegemony (that allowed someone of my limited thinking skills to acquire an the expensive college education I'm now wasting on such trivialities)

          Of course, as befits an activist of my calibre, my indignation on this issue isn't sufficiently-well informed to have looked at, say, the CMYK colourspace" < / sarc>

        3. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: re: removing the colour black and using the hex code for it?

          > FFS.

          No, FF5 is virtually pure white, you mean something closer to 005.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: re: something closer to 005

            Like 007? Will there ever be a black 007?

      3. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Coat

        "Whatever next, removing the colour black and using the hex code for it?"

        Please take your offensive witchcraft talk somewhere else.

      4. David Woodhead

        Whatever next, removing the colour black and using the hex code for it?

        Zeroist!

  3. Sam Adams the Dog

    Brain-dead

    But don't we already have "client" and "server" for that purpose? Or is "server" now too politically incorrect? (Or too sullied by its predominant use to refer to web clients and servers?)

    How about "exploiter" and "exploited", instead, or maybe "lord" and "serf"?

    Sheesh!

    1. AZump

      Re: Brain-dead

      No, Client/Server is not the same as Master/Slave. Completely different roles.

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Brain-dead

        > No, Client/Server is not the same as Master/Slave.

        To be fair though, "Primary" and "Secondary" is not the same as Master/Slave either. Primary implies that it'll be used first (say by a front-end), which isn't necessarily true. You may in fact spread your reads across a Master/Slave.

        Parent/Child is also different to Master/Slave in some instances, as it implies that the "child" was spawned by the parent. If you've got Master/Slave replication on your database instances (for example) that's almost certainly untrue. For processes we already tend to use parent/child anyway.

        I'm not opposed to the discussion as such, it's just I think it's a bit of a waste of time - especially given the "improved" replacements don't seem to apply nearly as broadly.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Brain-dead in the political arena...

          Mistress/Slave.

          Dom/Sub.

          They've too much invested in it.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Brain-dead

      A "client" is different from a "slave". A client uses the services provided by the server. A slave is a thing that is under the control of (and typically a proxy for) a master.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Brain-dead

      "How about 'exploiter' and 'exploited', instead"

      or 'Overlord' and 'Minion'

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    from __future__ import snowflake

    I suggest Pimp and Ho as suitable replacements.

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: from __future__ import snowflake

      I feel compelled to point out that, like pretty much all of the "sanitised" proposals, those terms also do not describe a Master/Slave relationship in the meaning it has in computing... unless you really expect the Pimp to directly attend to the carnal needs of clients, and then replay them later, blow for blow (as it were) on the unfortunate Ho.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bwaahhhahahahaha

    Bwahahahahaha

  6. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Worker pools revolt

    We make computers do the tasks that humans don't want so it's a bit silly to keep the coding terms friendly.

    1. illuminatus

      Re: Worker pools revolt

      It's not like they particularly *don't* want to either, so maybe we go with "requester" and "whatever"?

  7. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Facepalm

    It is when the debate on sexism, racism or other "isms reach this level of nitpicking that it becomes in itself offensive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We lost

      These ridiculous "find a victim" hatets got control of the universities, then the media and the police, and now both sides of politics in Britain.

      Common sense and tolerance lost, get over it :-(

      1. Mark 65 Silver badge

        Re: We lost

        I can't wait for the PC brigade to skull-fuck themselves into oblivion.

  8. tekHedd

    The terminology is not the problem.

    Removing the words master/slave does nothing to correct the underlying power imbalance between the controlling and controlled 'wares. We MUST boycott offensive hardware/software until all such relationships are corrected to be consensual.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: The terminology is not the problem.

      "until all such relationships are corrected to be consensual."

      The safety word is 'pigeon'. Now we can continue

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The terminology is not the problem.

        Commissar proletarian?

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: The terminology is not the problem.

        No the safe word is FLÜGGÅӘNKб€ČHIŒßØLĮÊN and is covered here:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GmDl0Tp4DI

        1. Garry Perez

          Re: The terminology is not the problem.

          One of THE funniest films ever, and a great scene as well ! Have a beer

    2. onefang Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: The terminology is not the problem.

      But but butt, in a BDSM context, the Master / slave relationship IS consensual. Us kinky people are now offended that the vanillas consider Master / slave to be offensive. To balance this situation, I'll now go through all source code that I am in control of, and rewrite all the instances of the word "count" to something with one less letter. I'll tell the boss it's just a de-bloating exercise, he's always happy when I make the results take up less space.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The terminology is not the problem.

        Howsa bout a Mistress-Gimp Architecture?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Mistress-Gimp Architecture?

          The problem is that all the signals on the side-channel are masked.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right on guys! While we’re at it let’s do away with male and female connectors.Let’s not stop there, what about black & white hayt (or lists) too.

    FFS!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Start the boycott here !

      No more USB connections for me until male-male and female-female connections are also permitted by our fascist overlords (/ ladies).

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are you woke2K18 compliant?

    This shit is getting out of hand.

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    WTF?

    I don't get it.

    Master-Slave is a very exact and correct description of the relationship. Anything else is bullshit.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it.

      It's not the accuracy of the description that is the problem it is supposed connotations of the terms. The complainers do not understand that precise meanings and descriptions are important in communication. So if master-slave correctly describes the relationship between systems then there should be no problem.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: I don't get it.

        connotations of the terms.

        I call BS ... to paraphrase Dawkins, the late Great Hitch, Fry, Harris, among many other ... how the fsck can you be offended by facts ? Slavery existed, involved masters and slaves.

        We have masters and slaves, though arguably a slave can become master and vice-versa, blacklists and whitelists and we do not give a flying spaghetti monster about your "feelings", consider a cluebat for your Xmas wishlist.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: I don't get it.

          Slavery EXISTS. It is an ongoing problem in the world. The Arab world has ongoing "problems" of human trade. Enslavement was a standard for captured women in the ISIS/ISIL areas. The near east has the sweatshops and other factories where the workforce is defacto enslaved. Etc, Etc.

          Historically it wasn't just the blacks/Africans that were enslaved and the problem wasn't and isn't just limited to pre civil war north america. I find it offensive to claim that it is!.

    2. tim 13

      Re: I don't get it.

      It's not tho'. As pointed out in another comment, in a computer context the master makes the decisions, but also does most of the work, when really it should do as little of the work as possible.

  12. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    "Slave to the rhythm"

    I dare these people to go up to Grace Jones and ask her to re-record "Slave to the rhythm" with a substitute word

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: "Slave to the rhythm"

      And then Iron Maiden (Powerslave), then Deep Purple (Slaves and Masters) though the latter could do with complete deletion from the catalogue.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: "Slave to the rhythm"

        Blake's 7 computers...

        Orac (le)

        Zen (Master)

        Slave (Slave).

  13. sorry, what?
    FAIL

    Sigh

    See title.

  14. th3ro

    There was slavery all of the world at some point but the only place anyone is offended by the terms master and slave is 'merica as usual.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Anyone who successfully...

      manages to get this terminology banned had better be careful next time they pick their car up from having a brake service.

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "terms used ... that could be interpreted as discriminatory or offensive"

    You can't win on this one. Those who have nothing better to do will find some basis for deeming a term offensive. Never underestimate the diligence of professional umbrage takers.

  16. Anonymous Noel Coward
    Coat

    I honestly can't wait until programming languages (mainly C) start returning errors along the lines of "DID YOU JUST ASSUME MY POINTER STATUS!?"

    1. billdehaan

      I believe you just won the internet for today.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Wait until C++ is accused of "cultural appropriation" from Algol or something.

  17. Herby Silver badge

    Bowing to the "Professionaly Offended"

    Seems to be an ongoing problem. Just about everything is offensive to SOMEONE, and people who want to make a name for themselves complain.

    Names are names, and descriptive as well. The terms described are well known in the computer industry (I worked on a computer form the 60's that had such terms) and no civil rights people bothered to notice. Now on over 50 years later someone is offended. Give me a break!

    Of course some names get changed for bad connotations:

    When it started it was "NMR" (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), but given the bad vibes of the word "nuclear", it was changed to MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). In the end it is the same thing.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Bowing to the "Professionaly Offended"

      "When it started it was "NMR""

      Oh, no, it started long before that. This sort of thing has been going on for longer than you or I have been alive.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Bowing to the "Professionaly Offended"

      NMR is for measuring atoms. It doesn't produce recognisable images.

      NMRI was the original term for using the effect to make pretty pictures of the insides of things ypu don't want to take apart.

      As an acronym it's more than a bit of a mouthful, so the 'N' got dropped.

  18. Number6

    What a stupid debate, I echo the comments from Lee D somewhere up the comment stream. Anyone who finds it offensive please explain why, given that master-slave describes the relationship quite well.

    I'd like to see your alternatives, just in case I find any of them offensive.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      "I'd like to see your alternatives, just in case I find any of them offensive."

      I already posted my alternatives, and people might find them uproariously funny [as well as offensive]

      to add to that list: Top / Bottom

      (or you could do 'Top Dog' / 'Under Dog' - heh heh heh)

      with careful consideration and a complete irreverance for this kind of 'social justice' idiocy, all *kinds* of fun 'equivalent' comparative terms may develop!

      1. ratfox Silver badge

        Actually, in the case of databases, I don't find they fit the relation particularly well. I think "replica" works much better than "slave". After all, slaves don't generally do the same work or act identically as their master.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Yes, "master" and "slave" are terms that are used incorrectly in certain corners of the tech world.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Master/Backup, Master/Replica, Primary Server/Backup Server are usually more accurate descriptions of the roles.

            Pretty much the only place where Master/Slave makes sense would be for things like an I2C comms bus where one of the communicators is in complete control of who gets to use the bandwidth and what they get to say.

            Not sure what other terms make sense there.

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
              Paris Hilton

              Pretty much the only place where Master/Slave makes sense would be for things like an I2C comms bus where one of the communicators is in complete control of who gets to use the bandwidth and what they get to say.

              "Yes Mistress" is all I want to say to --->>>

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Joke

        @bombastic bob

        (or you could do 'Top Dog' / 'Under Dog' - heh heh heh)

        Mrs Slocombe's Pussy called to say...

        Top Cat/Under Dog

  19. Joe Dietz

    Starting to be a bit like the overweight uncle at the family reunion in here going on about guns or something. Simply being mindful of other peoples feelings and not being a jerk isn't infringing on your freedom, its just not being a jerk.

    1. Long John Brass Silver badge
      Facepalm

      not being a jerk

      I do wish the "I'm offended by that" crowd would learn this lesson

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: not being a jerk

        I find that offensive.

  20. Schultz

    Contrarian argument

    Let's not forget history!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Schultz - Re: Contrarian argument

      As somebody was saying, history teaches us people never learn from history.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slavery - "America's peculiar institution".

    Shows either an ignorance of history or political bias, or is it a wilful ignorance guided by political bias?

    1. dbtx Bronze badge

      According to a peculiar (American) account of it, what makes us spay-shul is that we eventually ended it. But that's absurd, as you don't get any extra credit for doing the right thing.

  22. dbtx Bronze badge

    MISO, MOSI, SS. The slaves aren't sentient and they don't have anything like human rights. Get over it.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Watch out for PETS

      People for the Ethical Treatment of Software will be after you. Stallman has been claiming for ages that software should be free. If you are not paying at least minimum wage you are part of the problem. Next you will be claiming that the copyright of photographs does not belong to the camera.

      1. dbtx Bronze badge

        I see your PETS

        and raise you one Electronic Utility Liberty Annihilator. Second Renaissance, here we come. (now playing)

  23. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    We've come a long way from Black Perl

    P'raps my favorite piece of code. I'm slightly relieved it doesn't achieve anything though: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Perl

    The OP mentioned Los Angeles for some reason. Been there, lived that. Not sure how well the 'master/slave' construct is understood there. I think 'pimp/ho' might be more comprehensible.

  24. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Daemons

    Some of the Southern Baptists at my university were offended by the UNIX "daemon" terminology.

    Seriously.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Daemons

      there was a bit of a flap over 'beastie' the FreeBSD mascott. Some FUD went around [and I fell for it...] regarding the logo change, that it was some kind of P.C. thing. Well 'Beastie' is still 'the mascott' but yeah the logo changed to a ball with horns.

      that being said there were a lot of us "spun up" over the potential of P.C. screwing things up for 'most people' at the benefit of a very small, vocal, minority of overly-sensitive SJW types. So yeah. Sick of it for over a decade.

    2. Ken Shabby
      Devil

      Re: Daemons

      especially when invoked...

    3. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Daemons

      I had that some 35 years ago with some Christians in the UK. Another that they did not like was the term Zombie, I noticed on IBM AIX systems many years ago that these were renamed 'exiting', or something similar.

      Sigh

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Daemons

        >some Christians in the UK

        But they would be ok with forking a child process?

        But you can't terminate a child process with an abort signal

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My favorite anecdote about "wrong naming" dates back to a huge government program that, among many other things handled streams of pictures from multiple sensors. The module(s) that handled these streams was called something like the "Common Imagery Architecture", and so reams of paper were used to describe this thing and how to use it.

    All well and good, except that one of the sites that were going to get this program cohabited with a well known intelligence agency, and the presence of that agency was officially A Secret (although unofficially The Secret wasn't actually terribly secretive).

    So much panic happened: could you ship documentation describing the workings of the (software) CIA to a site where there the (spook) CIA was hiding? Or would it be more revealing to change the name of the module?

    As I recall, the "interim" solution was to ship the software, but hold the documentation back until the powers that be decided, and as far as I know (which is not very) the powers that be never did, so the problem site got the software but not (formally, at least) the documentation.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weird

    Master and slave used in programming language = bad

    Master and slave* used in bible = the inerrant word of God!

    * Not just used in the book, but the actual practice was endorsed and encouraged.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Weird

      It's why I always use King David-Concubines in my code, to respect the word of G*d

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BDSM will deliver the goods..

    I suggest in future all software architecture terms should be borrowed from BDSM terminology. Given the sado-masochistic nature of almost all software it is only right and proper. Plus it will offend everyone who needs to be offended. And should be at every opportunity.

    So master / slave will become dom / sub. Which has a suitable resonance with the original concept.

    Other terms should be borrowed as needed from the wiki BDSM dictionary list. The urban dictionary BDSM list although much much longer quickly leads one down dark, very very dark, paths best left untrodden by people who wish to remain unsullied by mentally imagery that once visualized is very difficult to dislodge and forget.

    So in many ways very much like the memories of most software development projects I've been involved with over the years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BDSM will deliver the goods..

      Go play with fetlang?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: BDSM will deliver the goods..

      I was kinda hinting at the whole BDSM thing with some of my name suggestions earlier. might as well make it a title

      I should add 'Owner / Gimp' to the list...

  28. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Headmaster

    we...

    shouldn't let vaguely formed notions of political correctness shape other clear uses of plain English.

    This.

  29. Teiwaz Silver badge

    If you look at it another way.

    Getting rid of 'master/slave' terms signals that you are being exclusionist to those living the sub/dom lifestyle.

    The care and keeping of the male slave - KITH M-NSFW.

    They'll be called to rename or even band jam next, because seeing a jar of jam will remind people about a brand of jam that used to use a logo based on a doll that had strong racist overtones.

  30. HxBro
    Paris Hilton

    first time in 20 years

    that I've ever thought of master / slave as something to do with slavery, thanks el reg for reporting this to me.

    Can I complain about the use of the word Python?

    (hint is in the icon)

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: first time in 20 years

      >Can I complain about the use of the word Python?

      Are you demeaning a "differently-abled" reptile that tries hard to live in a predominately leggist world?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Needa SERIOUS thought

    Wow I never thought of the offensive connutations of those terms.

    Python devs need to remove those terms from any whitelists and stick them on a blacklist pronto. Oops maybe that's another 2 they'd want to consider.

    I'll get my coat.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There sure are a lot of people getting very offended by a rather small change

    Yet hardly anyone seems concerned about, whether new terms being used will create confusion as lots of different organisations decide on different terms.

    So you believe it's an idiotic change - fair enough. Why?

    If it's just because you don't like that someone else says those words offend, then aren't you more or less just as sensitive as those you might deride for being too easily offended by harmless words?

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: There sure are a lot of people getting very offended by a rather small change

      This.

      Get rid of a globally accepted phrase, replace it with loads of different ones that mean the same thing that most people will not know.

      So that not going to be confusing at all.....

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There sure are a lot of people getting very offended by a rather small change

        I see.

        It is just because you don't like that someone else says those words offend, and you are more or less just as sensitive as those you might deride for being too easily offended by harmless words.

        You must realise, that your objection apparently boils down to just "Someone wants this to change, but I don't want it to because I think their reason is stupid because I don't like it".

        I certainly think there could be a good reason to oppose the change - even a reason based primarily on "there's no reason for it to change" - but such a reason should at least touch on why the objection raised doesn't make sense (there are a few such reasons raised in this commentary track, I might add) - as opposed to simply railing about SJWs and how you FEEL oppressed by a vocal minority which you DESPISE.

        All that does is show that you don't actually care about whether there is a valid concern or not, you simply care about not letting anyone else make you FEEL bad or irritated.

    3. EN1R0PY

      Re: There sure are a lot of people getting very offended by a rather small change

      Excalty, the alt righters won't understand that though, requires thought. On a side note anyone ever notice that the more alt righ a programmer is the less likely they are to be the best of the bunch, just an observation, jusy words, don't be offended.

  33. Tomato42 Silver badge

    All aboard the euphemism train!

    first it was "shell shock", then it was "battle fatigue", then it was "operational exhaustion", and now, after removing all humanity from the term it has become "post-traumatic stress disorder"

    because renaming the thing automatically makes it all better, it makes it go all away!

    1984 was not an instruction manual, and it was a story about how language controls us if we don't control it

    master/slave should stay, just like whitelist/blacklist and basically any other technical term (just go through urban dictionary, you'll find that basically everything but prepositions could be considered offensive to *somebody* )

    1. Paul Johnson 1

      Re: All aboard the euphemism train!

      "Shell shock" was based on the assumption that the problem was due to repeated loud bangs.

      "Battle fatigue" was an inaccurate euphemism which suggests that it can only happen to soldiers in battle and not to e.g. civilian emergency responders. "Fatigue" also suggests that it will go away with a good night's sleep.

      "Operational exhaustion" ditto.

      "Post traumatic stress disorder" may be inelegant, but it is the only one in your list that is a precise description of the problem.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: All aboard the euphemism train!

        And it also allows you to extend the term to all your members.

        Arguing that a traffic warden who got argued with should get indefinite medical leave for "shell-shock" is trickier

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: All aboard the euphemism train!

        Except that "Post traumatic stress disorder" has now been robbed of all impact again by simply using the initialism/acronym PTSD. Doesn't sound nearly so threatening now. PTSD. Sounds almost like it belongs in the list of ADHD, CD or ADD. Just shove some pills in and it'll all be rainbows and sunshine...

  34. Dwarf Silver badge

    Already been fixed

    Sacha Baron Cohen fixed this in “The Dictator” - call all of them Aladeen.

    Its not difficult is it ?

  35. Neil 32

    Well that's Fetlang screwed then!

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/09/fetlang_erotic_programming_language/

  36. julian_n

    What's next?

    I guess the terms "motherboard" and "daughterboard" will be next to go down the plug-hole of political correctness.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: What's next?

      it would only be a problem if it were "fatherboard".

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: What's next?

      Along with male and female connectors?

      At the same time, it's worth noting that relativism is the best way to cheapen the argument which is why it is advised comparing the various genocides of the last century: they were all abominable.

    3. Patched Out

      Re: What's next?

      These terms are already gone. Proper terms are "Mainboard" and "Mezzanine" or "Peripheral Board".

      P.S. The term "Motherboard and Daughter board" always seemed a bit incestual since the daughter board "plugs in" to the motherboard.

      P.P.S. On that basis, daughter board doesn't seem correct either on the basis that the "daughter board" tends to have the "male" connector.

      P.P.PS. With gender definitions being redefined, a plug-in board with male connectors could now be legitimately called a "daughter board that identifies male".

      1. browntomatoes

        Re: What's next?

        I always thought of it as more like an umbillical cord - as its a permanent attachment. Hence the mother/child terminology made sense.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: What's next?

        > Proper terms are "Mainboard" and "Mezzanine" or "Peripheral Board".

        But doesn't that imply a lesser subservient role to the peripheral ?

        While Motherboard and Daughter board were working together in a synergistic partnership to deliver a solution against the patriarchy

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: What's next?

          I think the negative connotations of the word "user" are too firmly rooted to allow the word to be utilised. Users use. Drugs, other people etc.

  37. sabroni Silver badge

    Thinking about others feelings?

    Fuck that! I'm too busy with my own rage.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Thinking about others feelings?

      so you can more easily poke fun and ridicule the feelings. because everybody has them, and they make a *HORRIBLE* basis decisionmaking. I feel with my fingers, curled upwards in a perverse kinda way.

  38. Crisp Silver badge

    Is it telling that the first thing that came to my mind when I heard Master/Slave was BDSM?

    See title

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Is it telling that the first thing that came to my mind when I heard Master/Slave was BDSM?

      No, not really. Surprisingly many people are atleast aware of BDSM and a quite high percentage is actually atleast somewhat active in such "kinks". It's ridiculous it's considered such a taboo subject when something like 80% of people have at least fantasized about it.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh man.

    Clearly we have to fix the inherent racism in tech.

    Every piece of kit I buy comes with a UK power lead.

    As inconvenient as it may be, I think we should start accepting other power leads.

    This whole power lead situation is looking a bit nationalist.

    Sure, they're sometimes rated for a different voltage and have different pin arrangements but PAT tests don't discriminated. As long as they work hard and have no undisclosed issues or flaws, I dont see the problem.

    We just have to learn to adapt.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Oh man.

      Not only that but all plugs are "male" and all wall sockets are "female". I demand we get "male" wall sockets!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh man.

        I agree. However, those electronics that don't recognise conventional genders will hate your sis-normative attitude and will find it offensive.

        I personally believe there are only two cable genders and the gender neutral gadgets are confusing pin layout with signal type.

        Doesn't matter if the cable is Mini-B, Micro-B or Thunderbolt. If its a male connector its male.

        Gender describes the physical media, everything else is signal.

        I mean, a Thunderbolt connector works both ways, but its still male. Just sayin.

  40. iron Silver badge

    I always knew Python was the bastard spawn of Satan. This nonsense proves it.

  41. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Gimp

    Instead of Master / Slave

    Would "Dom / sub" be more acceptable?

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Instead of Master / Slave

      How about "Pythoneer" and "Perl user"? Certainly appropriate to the domain.

  42. NiceCuppaTea

    SJW Powers Activate

    "Last week Victor Stinner, a Python developer who works for Red Hat, published four pull requests seeking to change "master" and "slave" in Python documentation and code to terms like "parent," "worker," or something similarly anodyne."

    Wont that offend orphans and the unemployed?

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: SJW Powers Activate

      No, anybody who is competent with Linux should have already killed all the Orphans, they just waste resources and don't belong to anyone.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: SJW Powers Activate

        No, anybody who is competent with Linux should have already killed all the Orphans, they just waste resources and don't belong to anyone.

        You kill zombies, you generally uninstall orphans (if we changed uninstall to abort, then we'd have something for people to get upset about) quite feel left out otherwise....

        1. MrBanana

          Re: SJW Powers Activate

          Nope, you can't kill zombies, that's the point.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: SJW Powers Activate

        Linux is obviously satanic ...

        "Out of memory: Kill process 7429 (java) score 259 or sacrifice child"

        1. Tomato42 Silver badge

          Re: SJW Powers Activate

          Linux is obviously satanic ...

          not only is it satanic because it sacrifices children and deals with zombies, it is also full of deamons!

          burn the witch! /s

          sigh

  43. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    The real offence…

    is that slavery continues. What does the rebadging of some IT terms, because the historical connotations might offend some people, say to the actual victims of modern slavery? Not talking about it won't make it go away.

  44. deanb01

    Better inform the car manufacturers

    There are other uses of master / slave in systems. For example in cars (clutch and brake master/slave cylinders)?

  45. codejunky Silver badge

    Really

    "Is it really necessary to pollute Python code base with SJW ideology/terminology?" asked Gabriel Marko. "What comes next?"

    I remember reading that Python doesnt enforce public/private class variables because we are all adults here. Well that dream died a death when the snowflake children somehow came into the adult room. Talk about first world problems. Maybe they can sod off and make a fork of the language where they can strip all possible offence from it (barely any acceptable words left and everything is ==).

    SJW was something we could laugh at, children freaking out but never someone you had to interact with in the real world. Now these idiots casually ignored as idiots are somehow managing to interfere in the real world outside their bubble, and people are taking on their stupidity? Tell em to get lost.

  46. Paul Johnson 1

    History of this terminology

    The "master" and "slave" terminology goes back a lot further than RFCs. It was used to describe the operation of the Decca radio navigation beacons back in 1945.

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

  47. QdK

    What about the whole UNIX parent process killing its children then..?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just curious: How many of you commenters mocking this decision are a visible minority with ancestors who were slaves? How many of you have spoken to such people about why this is an issue for them?

    1. Dabbb Bronze badge

      "Just curious: How many of you commenters mocking this decision are a visible minority with ancestors who were slaves?"

      You mean Irish ? I'd guess quite a few.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Irish society has moved on since the 11th century. American society still has a way to go. Show a little empathy for those living in a country that is still recovering from institutionalized slavery.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Irish society has moved on since the 11th century. American society still has a way to go. Show a little empathy for those living in a country that is still recovering from institutionalized slavery.

          11th century and the Vikings?

          I wouldn't go there. Some irish only regard getting their freedom in 1921.

    2. Christian Harten

      How many people demanding this change fit the same criteria?

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      ancestors who were slaves

      Slavery has been widespread throughout human history, whether as outright property (Rome, Berbers, W.Indies and I'm sure China etc) or as serf/villein arrangements. So, given the mixing of genes, I think that probably pretty well all of us have ancestors who were slaves of some sort..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        For some populations, slavery is recent enough history that its legacy still has a significant impact on society. That's the point.

  49. onefang Silver badge

    Pinky and the Brain. Wait, that's not gonna end well.

  50. EN1R0PY

    Try reading if you soon fond of the English language

    'master'/'slave' <> 'blacklist'/'whitelist'

    The terms 'master' and 'slave' literally only refer to the slave trade. The colours black and white have been used as yes or no since ancient Greek times. Try reading a book that's not called 'my struggle'!

    I ask any of you right now to find the nearest black person and try to explain to them why it's ok to use it... no one... really??? But it was such a reasonable thing to say... ya know how they shouldn't be sensitive about something that affects them not you. Are you sure you don't want to stand up in your office and explain that black people are over sensitive about being raped for 400 years? No?

    And while your at it go find a Jewish guy and explain to him why you're going to start using the term 'auschwitz guard'/'forced labourer' because it's part of the English language so no PC brigade is gonna tell you what to do like some nazi...

    Yes I know it's common parlance (that means spoken often to all you big readers out there) but it's not the only term that could be used, and if you were being honest there's certainly phases you don't want to hear that are probably not as bad a refering to the historical and continuing subjugation of an entire race. Reading this honestly made me ashamed to be a programmer, it's like el reg is just breitbart for programmers now. It not about being 'left' or 'right' but just being right, defending something that hurts some people to use and no one to get rid of is not right.

    1. Dabbb Bronze badge

      Re: Try reading if you soon fond of the English language

      "It not about being 'left' or 'right' but just being right, defending something that hurts some people to use and no one to get rid of is not right."

      There's a river and a country in Africa called Niger.

      Triggered yet ?

      1. MudFever

        Re: Try reading if you soon fond of the English language

        The joys of the English language. How about NIGGARD as a trigger?

    2. markr555

      Re: Try reading if you soon fond of the English language

      ODFO

  51. Dabbb Bronze badge

    "ask any of you right now to find the nearest black person and try to explain to them why it's ok to use it... no one... really???"

    Found one. As black as can be. Happened to be Kenyan immigrant and could not give two shits.

  52. NanoMeter

    From now on Slaves will be known as Afro-Americans and Master as The Plantation Owner.

  53. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Why not just call everything a 'thingie'?

    Actually, on second thoughts, who gives a fuck, seriously?

    1. onefang Silver badge

      "Why not just call everything a 'thingie'?"

      So we gotta plug the thingie into the widget, then run the whatsit, which calls the doodad, and gets it to do something or other.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        The thing-ummy-bob.

        She's the girl that makes the thing that drills the hole

        that holds the spring that drives the rod that turns the knob

        that works the thing-ummy-bob.

        She's the girl that makes the thing that holds the oil

        that oils the ring that takes the shank that moves the crank

        that works the thing-ummy-bob.

        It's a ticklish sort of job making a thing for a thing-ummy-bob

        Especially when you don't know what it's for

        But it's the girl that makes the thing that drills the hole

        that holds the spring that works the thing-ummy-bob

        that makes the engines roar.

        And it's the girl that makes the thing that holds the oil

        that oils the ring that works the thing-ummy-bob

        that's going to win the war.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Have you been reading my documentation ?

  54. Packet

    How weak are we to be affected by such terminology...

    It confounds me every time - at how weak such champions of social justice are that mere words render them so overwhelmed...

    Why can't we just take these words outside of their old or tainted context and use them as they were intended? It's a programming language, FFS, which is, as you know, made up of words.

    I imagine at this time, everything else in python must be just 100% perfect that they can now look at window-dressing.

    1. Patched Out
      Happy

      Re: How weak are we to be affected by such terminology...

      I think you are on to something. Why don't we revamp the entire language to not use words at all? We could replace them with Emojis!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How weak are we to be affected by such terminology...

      It often isn't the 'champions of social justice' who are overwhelmed. Often they are the champions of the overwhelmed.

      Also, you imply a false dichotomy by saying that everything must be 100% perfect if they can deal with this.

  55. Reaps

    Already hated python for the stupid fucking spaces...

    But now I see they are racist too, they need to stop using white space....

    where do I go complain?

    1. Reaps

      Re: Already hated python for the stupid fucking spaces...

      OMG

      how dare they use the term white space it occurs load of times in their code:

      https://github.com/python/cpython/search?p=2&q=white+space&type=&utf8=%E2%9C%93

      I'm going to raise a bug report!!!!!..

  56. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    My suggestion...

    ... Worker and parasite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2_dhUv_CrI

  57. jelabarre59 Silver badge

    Penny for your thoughts

    Is this like the whole rabbid movement in Liverpool where they decided to rename all the locations named after slave traders, including a particular lane named after James Penny?

  58. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Stupid shit like this is how we end up with Donald Trump and Brexit.

    Azathoth's Nebular Nutsack!

  59. Marco van de Voort

    Leader and Worker, are the alternatives better?

    Leader can be associated with Fascism, and Worker is a keyword of communism.

  60. Sir Loin Of Beef

    Change the terminology? I don't care. This isn't going to make the species unfurl.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternative

    May I suggest Sub/Dom as an alternative?

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Python 6.9

    Looking forward to that debate

    1. Anonymous C0ward
      Childcatcher

      Re: Python 6.9

      A 69 interrupted by a period?

  63. InNY

    Requester / Implementer?

    Does exactly what it says on the tin...

    An object requests (orders') [ action / event / process ]; an object implements the requested order [ action / event / process ]

  64. d3vy Silver badge

    A previous client refused to let user accounts as disabled in active directory... Just in case the user had a disability and was offended.

  65. Benchops

    I like "Zen" and "Slave".

    Almost appropriate given Zen is on The Liberator

  66. Gobhicks

    Hmmmm

    Interestingly, thesaurus.com doesn't have "slave" as an antonym of "master" but does have "slave driver" as a synonym.

    The whole thing is horribly anglo-centric anyway, and clearly no device should be the slave of another.

    Is there any language that has a short, snappy word for a person that is put in charge of an enterprise by their peers and another short, snappy word for the persons that put her in charge and voluntarily do her bidding? Has a culture ever existed that needed such words?

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re:clearly no device should be the slave of another

      Bad news for your car's brakes then.

      1. Gobhicks

        Re: Re:clearly no device should be the slave of another

        That's called "political correctness on acid"

      2. unbearable
        Trollface

        Re: Re:clearly no device should be the slave of another

        What are you, some kind of Socialist?

        Surely you know that you'll be the first against the wall when the machines take over.

        And don't tell me to not call you Shirley.

  67. pyite42

    Frankly, I'm more offended by "umount"

    Let's keep the bestiality out of *nix, mmmkay?

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It seems it might be a language thing after all..

    On further digging it looks like the originator of the idea might not be a native English speaker, thereby missing some of the nuances of the linguistic swamp that is the English language. Hence maybe inadvertently making himself look like a complete and total bellend..

    But he is involved in the whole "diversity" malarkey and give that he seems to be a very very minor drone in the whole python universe its pretty much par for the course for these sort of situations. People who actually do something useful in life never ever waste their time on this dross.

    As for the whole "slave" terminology crap as an excuse for failure. Funny how the descendants of west african slaves (which was about 40% to 70% slave holding in the 18'th century - the trade been run by the Arabs)who recently immigrated from Africa seem to do fine, as do the recent immigrants from the Caribbean, where as the local US blacks do so badly. Might it have something to do with the US blacks having being the political clients of first one political party then the other over the last 150 years? Their political masters need them to be failures and forever dependent. Slaves to the party machine.

    (I first wrote "slav to the.." inadvertently returning to the origin of the word. The Slavs in the Ottoman slave markets in Constantinople)

    FYI most of my ancestors were only legally emancipated in 1828, a generation before the local US blacks, and given the nature of early modern gaelic culture some of my ancestors would have been chattel slave owners. And maybe the more feckless might have ended up enslaved themselves.

    It was Western Civilization and the Liberal Enlightenment that ended slavery. Not the neo marxism of pseudo intellectual non entities. None of these realities of history fits into the simple fairy tails of the SJW crowd. Who are never the brightest or most informed people to start with.

    One of my favorite rhetorical hand grenades which I like to use with that ilk here in the US is the fact that the Royal Navy did more to end slavery in the US than Abe Lincoln ever did. A quick look at the history of the West African Squadron will show that they did far far more humanitarian good in the decades they were active than the deeply cynical posturing of the 1860 Republican presidential platform.

    Thats the problem of being a slave to the facts of history. It never fits the simplistic political narratives of the moment.

  69. martinusher Silver badge

    Don't forget sexist terminology as well

    We're all probably familiar with terms like 'male' and 'female' when describing connectors. Such terminology needs to be purged......

    I haven't read all the comments but there should be at least one reference to George Orwell in there -- not "1984" specifically but his essays on the use and abuse of language to guide political thought.

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Don't forget sexist terminology as well

      "We're all probably familiar with terms like 'male' and 'female' when describing connectors. Such terminology needs to be purged......"

      When you look at it and count them carefully, it's the majority of the female connectors that have the power.

      1. aqk
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Don't forget sexist terminology- Reverse polarity Mr. Scott!

        But it's the reverse polarity female connectors that worry me! Have you ever looked in and seen that clitoris?

        And in this case at least, for the few male RF engineers who are not klutzes, it's usually quite easy to find!

  70. sid1950

    Historical context

    This is an interesting issue. I spent time in the past, "de-gendering" official documents. Personnel ads, staff contracts, club constitutions, promotional material, and such. I always went for simpler, as long as it was unambiguous.

    The history of the terms Master and Slave go back a very long way in history. Some of the earliest writings, which seem to be mainly lists of possessions for the purposes of taxation, makes reference to slaves. It was not until the mass kidnapping of Africans for the sugar and tobacco industries in the Americas that the idea of "race" was introduced, giving the terms their modern connotations. I don't know how far back the English words go, but I would think the terms existed in early languages. Certainly they are there in ancient Latin and Greek.

    I've never really understood the use of Master and Slave for HDD's. If it referred to having synchronised spindle rotation, then it would make sense as the terms have been used in servo's for at least a hundred years, but it doesn't. Wikipedia has this:

    "In parallel ATA hard drive arrangements, the terms master and slave are used but neither drive has control over the other. The terms also do not indicate precedence of one drive over the other in most situations. "Master" is merely another term for device 0 and "slave" indicates device 1."

    Any attempt to remove the terms is going to be fraught with problems. Do we need to make it an international standard? That could mean the US imposing it's view on the rest of the world. Do we grandfather in everything before a certain date? There are a lot of uses in the engineering world, including other than servo's. On the railways, locomotives used in multiples have one with a driver, and even if that is not referred to as the "master", all the other loco's are "slaved" to it.

    In electronics, would Primary and Secondary suffice for most uses? I think whatever terms are chosen an attempt should be made to synchronise them with other usages. Thought should be given to standardisation, otherwise we are going to end up with not just multiple terminologies in English, but translations into other languages could become quite fraught if the terms translate badly. This is a good example of the unexpected hilarity that ensues when two people for whom English is not their first language try to make puns! https://youtu.be/9reSQXZy77U

    However you proceed I wish you the best of luck, and will watch with interest.

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: Historical context

      But Primary and Secondary already have a meaning with regard to ATA hard drives.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Historical context

      AFAIK in the American colonies there were native slaves and even white slaved, especially before the large trafficking of Africans began.

      Natives were enslaved first, but they were often not strong enough to stand the harsh and cruel conditions and died in big numbers - soon the colonizing states found some Africans types were far more resistant and started to traffic a lot of them.

      White "criminals" - often imprisoned for minor offenses, as it was common at the time - were often deported to the colonies, and not a few of them actually sold, especially women when they were a scarce "good" in some colonies.

      Of course, in the Old World, Africa, and Asia slavery was existing for thousand of years, and usually war prisoners were enslaved regardless of their ethnicity, stronger populations often raided weaker ones to capture people to be enslaved, and even debtors unable to pay their debts may end as slaves. Serfdom in some European states lasted well into the XIX century, and sometimes into the XX as well.

      I can't really rule out some of my ancestors have been slaves or slave owners. And people are still trafficked and sold today, especially women.

      While it is true US were the last modern state to allow slavery, the "black slave" is only its main and lasting local instance of slavery. What was worse and unbelievable is they weren't actually fully freed until the second half of last century, and racism is still so strong.

      Next we will attack process or privilege "segregation"?

      1. aqk
        Facepalm

        Re: Historical context Kudos!

        Kudos!

        When this topic ever arises, all I can usually say is that some of my ancestors might have been "masters" but I have no doubt that the great majority were slaves.

        And of course, many were thieves and cutthroats. Note abobe that my surname is "King". How did I get this? Ever heard of the "Droit du Seigneur"?

  71. Eponymous Bastard

    No offence

    Fucker and fucked? Surely that can't even offend your granny if she watches TV after the watershed or walks past a school in the UK when it's home time.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: No offence

      DIcks, pussies and assholes.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    or Maybe...

    We should freaking let people act upon these words first before condemning as a {Descriptor}ist/{Descriptor}fobe. Does anyone really want to live in a pre-crime world???

    Has anyone at any age ever raged about anything... what thoughts are racing through your mind in this moment of rage... should you go to jail or put to death because a momentary/fleeting thought?

    What the F ever happened to "Stick and stones may break my bones BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT ME!!!"

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: or Maybe...

      "What the F ever happened to "Stick and stones may break my bones BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT ME!!!""

      I dunno. Why don't we ask Cliff Richard? Or Garrison Keillor?

      1. aqk
        Joke

        Re: or Maybe...??

        Well at least Louis C.K. kept his hands to himself!

        No slave, he! He was a MASTER-

  73. This post has been deleted by its author

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Open Source Diversity?

    Like other open source communities, Python's minders have been asked whether they really want to continue using the terms "master" and "slave" to describe technical operations and relationships

    Where, when, how, I've never heard it was an issue up to now. Yet another example of the intersectionality crowd finding something to be offended over. In this case potentially being triggered by a line of code. What are we going to call the Master-Slave JK Flip Flop after this, the Facilitor-Stakeholder J K Flip Flop

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Open Source Diversity?

      "What are we going to call the Master-Slave JK Flip Flop after this, the Facilitor-Stakeholder J K Flip Flop"

      I'd prefer Facilitor-Stakeholder J K Thong, but I'm an Aussie.

  75. John Bryan
    Big Brother

    It is Orwellian

    I unbellyfeel this.

    But could consider 'plusgood' and 'doubleplusgood' as neither are ungood.

    Newspeak derived from George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak

  76. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Anyone suggesting Parent/Child as a replacement for Master/Slave has no idea of how likely a child is to obey.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      Parent/Child as a replacement for Master/Slave?

      > Anyone suggesting Parent/Child as a replacement for Master/Slave has no idea of how likely a child is to obey.

      How about a First-Superior Homies & Bitches Flip Flop ref

  77. David Roberts Silver badge
    Trollface

    Just reminds me of the great nitty gritty scandal

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1988776.stm

    For this one the SJWs (was that even a term in 2002?) got it wrong.

  78. davcefai

    Upset a different bunch of people.

    How about "Dom" and "Sub"?

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lets face it, almost all uses of the terms master/slave are used in cases where we actually mean primary/secondary, or active/passive.

    master literaly means the one that issues commands and controls the execution context. slave means the one that executes the commands and returns its results to the master. suitable alternative terms are controller/worker. or manager/worker.

    ironic that all of you with issues over changing the terms are probably using them incorrectly in the first place.

  80. EnviableOne Bronze badge

    High horses all round

    Big fan of KISS

    the one controls the other the other must do work but does not get paid - Master / Slave

    It is a board, it is Black - it is a Black Board

    there seems to be little problem with a board that is white being called a white board

    people are not (normally) masters or slaves (anymore) and not black or white

    people are just bluish-white + brown in varying quantities

  81. Citizens untied

    I don't think these terms could be offensive unless you were writing code to actually enslave people... oh, wait a minute!

  82. This post has been deleted by its author

  83. This post has been deleted by its author

  84. Al Crapton

    "America's" peculiar institution? LMFAO

    "America's peculiar institution" gives the distinct impression slavery is uniquely American... which is LMFAO funny. Slavery has been practiced by every civilization on earth, and continues to be practiced by the Islamic potentates of the Persian Gulf.

    The British were the first nation to outlaw slavery, and the Americans are the only nation to have ever gone to war to eradicate it.

    1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

      Re: "America's" peculiar institution? LMFAO

      technically owning another person was leagal in the UK untill the human rights act came in in 1998, but the slave trade was killed by making it not profitable and the ships that powered it were british registered.

      the 1807 act created fines for captains who continued with the trade. These fines could be up to £100 per enslaved person found on a ship, which in the times was significant.

      All subsequent acts banned the trade in slaves, not the owning of them

  85. JiNexus
    WTF?

    Just create an alias of it and not purge it entirely!

    WTH Python!!! Just create an alias of it and not purge it entirely! "Master" and "Slave" perfectly convey the concept. In the English language many words have different meanings based on their context. It's plainly obvious that no allusion to human slavery is meant in the context of software or hardware module relationships. I don't even think it is problematic. The real problem seems to be the people who are taking terms outside their intended space. Why are we linking a scar on human history to terminologies explaining technical relationships?

    Then lets also ban 0 and 1 because it can offends non-binary people!

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    they have a new problem

    https://bugs.python.org/issue34678

    LOL

  87. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    looks like hypocrites run it

    they shutdown this one:

    https://bugs.python.org/issue34675

  88. skrubadubdub

    This is a pretty harmless change. I don't see why it's such a big deal. If certain language upsets some people and no functionality or readability is lost upon changing it, then I would say change that language because you're not even making a compromise. You're just making a situation where nobody loses.

  89. aqk
    Flame

    What next? The "S" word?

    Soon, the niggardly language arbitrators of the USA will decree that, just like the Enword, the words "slave" and "master" must be stricken from THE dictionary. (I believe the only one they follow is the Webster.)

    These nasty words will be replaced by "S-word" and "M-word" respectively, so that no culturally-sensitive person of colour (Kipling referred to them as the "Lesser breeds") will have a heart attack, or worse, draw out that shiv hidden under his trouser ankle, and slash some "white" man's throat. All good liberals know that every young Enward carries such a shiv, right?

    BUT!

    Soon the USA will run out of alphabet letters to describe offending words.

    The question is- which will come first? This, or MS-Windows running out of letters to describe the partitions on a hard or network drive?

  90. Bagira

    Only a matter of time after Guido leaves

    I knew it was only a matter of time after Guido left the PSF board that we'd see a full collapse of its credibility on literally any topic at all.

    The remaining PSF board members are political people not technical people. You may want to consider divesting from the PSF at conventions as this will get much, much worse, and they'll make anyone who disagrees openly into a monster eventually if you push too hard.

  91. john.w

    Fahrenheit 451

    Clearly this terminology can cause offense so should be stopped. The idea that there was a slave trade causes anguish for many so any reference to it should be stopped. History clearly is full of this type of possible offense so should not be taught and any records of such activities destroyed.

    Today is should really be Centigrade 1414.

  92. Stoke the atom furnaces

    BBC Micro

    I always liked the host/parasite naming that Acorn gave to BBC Micro and second processors plugged into the Tube interface.

  93. unbearable

    Were you wondering...

    ...as I was, where yesterday's grammar and spelling dictators went? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Python's Documentation Authors.

    Personally, I associated 'master' and 'slave' in a BSDM context but that's just me.

    I'll stick to my old O'Reilly books and occasional updates. Thank you very much.

  94. gal5

    Sure only talk about Ameica re slavery,

    NOT that it still exists in Europe, Africa.. the Protected "minorities" who must not be named..

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