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

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

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is just silly.

    1. ivan5

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Those pesky SJWs virtue signalling

        by not being publicly known..?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Those pesky SJWs virtue signalling

          > Those pesky SJWs virtue signalling

          > by not being publicly known..?

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

    2. Rich 2

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

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

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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

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

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

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

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

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

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

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

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

        2. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

          Context

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

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

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Headmaster

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

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

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

        4. billdehaan
          Thumb Down

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

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

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

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

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

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        SJW indoctrination

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

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

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Truly-

      Leftpondian guilt, wrote large.

    4. LeeE Silver badge

      "This is just silly."

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

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

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

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

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

        Not only neurotic, its plain wrong.

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

    5. BillG Silver badge
      Devil

      DS9

      Yes, this is silly.

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

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

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      This is just silly.

      big thumbs up for brevity AND accuracy

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You are way, way too kind.

      It is offensively stupid.

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

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

      Time for the nonsense to end.

  2. kuiash

    They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

    I double dare you.

    1. colinb

      Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

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

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

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

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

        1. magickmark
          Trollface

          Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

          @Jake

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

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

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

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

            "male dominance over a female partner!!"

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

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

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

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

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

      2. PTW
        Unhappy

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

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

    2. tekHedd

      Re: They should ask Torvalds to rename git.

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

  3. JohnFen Silver badge

    Wow

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

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

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Wow

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

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

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    1. Jim Mitchell

      "manager" and "employee"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > "manager" and "employee"?

        Sony and Prince?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          shareholders and <who cares>?

          1. hplasm Silver badge
            Devil

            Or..

            1% and scum.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

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

      1. onefang Silver badge

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

  5. tekHedd

    No masters!

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

    1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Re: No masters!

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

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

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

    2. John G Imrie Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: No masters!

      What about consenting Sub/Dom roles?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Yes. Enough with the kink shaming

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

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No masters!

        > What about consenting Sub/Dom roles?

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

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: No masters!

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

        2. onefang Silver badge

          Re: No masters!

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

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

  6. cornetman

    I'm always suspicious of "undisclosed complaints".

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

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

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Alan Mac

      Undisclosed

      I really wish you'd posted that anonymously

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      I'm always suspicious of "undisclosed complaints".

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

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

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

  7. EveryTime Silver badge

    A silly issue, distracting from real work

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

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

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

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

    1. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

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

      1. BillG Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

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

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

      2. Fursty Ferret

        Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

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

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

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

        1. Jaybus

          Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

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

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

          1. onefang Silver badge

            Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

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

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

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

          "A refusal to change with the times"

          I am _OFFENDED_ that you *FEEL* I'm REFUSING to CHANGE "with the times".

          Except, of course, I _AM_. Refusing to behave like AN IDIOT is a good thing.

          see what happens when the OTHER side is "offended"? I bet you don't give a crap! And neither do I, about people being "offended" about the terms master / slave in a technical context.

          Let's all STOP GIVING A CRAP. Then we'll get along.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

        "unfortunately for them it is highly unlikely I would ever offer them a job."

        I don't know about that -- that sounds more like "fortunately for them", as in they'd be dodging a bullet. I certainly wouldn't want to work for someone who is so sensitive that they would reject people based on that rather than on whether or not they'd perform well in the job.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

      "viz. the chain of euphemisms for bodily functions, each of which turns into a word not used in polite company a generation or two later."

      No shit? You're taking the piss, right?

    3. muffins

      Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

      Just because you don't find these terms offensive or troublesome doesn't mean that someone else's reaction to them is not valid. I'm sure there's things you would find offensive that I couldn't relate to (for example, becoming exasperated by changing my behaviour to accommodate someone else's viewpoint).

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

        OK if we *MUST* offend *EVERYBODY* equally let's just call them both "Semprini"

        /me runs after grabbing coat

      2. SumGuySays
        Facepalm

        Re: A silly issue, distracting from real work

        "Just because you don't find these terms offensive or troublesome doesn't mean that someone else's reaction to them is not valid."

        I mean yeah it does mean their reaction is invalid because they don't understand that the same words have different meanings in different contexts. Master and Slave have specific meanings that everyone in programming and IT know and understand and have been that way for decades.

        We have parent processes that kill their children. That has nothing to do with homicide just convenient words that in this context have different meaning.

        When Androids get created we will have to go through this all again because someone will thing the word replicant is offensive to artificially created people.

        This is just like the who there are only two genders argument, but in reverse. Biologically it's true, but socially they use the same word to be more of a behavior than a phenotype. You can't just wake up and decide to have a penis, but that's not the context of those fluid gender identity arguments.

        Don't get your sociology in my computer science.

  8. alain williams Silver badge

    Then check the new terms ...

    in all known human languages, just in case they are offensive in Mongolian, or something.

    They will then need to wind up the DeLorean to 88 miles per hour to check that the term does not become offensive in years to come.

  9. ITS Retired

    We can't be having descriptive nomenclature.

    People might figure out what you are talking about. You know like some people might think male/female electrical plugs as being obscene (USA). I'm really surprised no one has redesigned the working ends of common extension cords and power cords plugs for appliances and household outlets as being less suggestive to safe guard the sensibilities of children.

    (Frequency and Hertz is another example of confusion.) Everything new ain't necessarily better.

    1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: We can't be having descriptive nomenclature.

      Frequency and Hertz is another example of confusion.

      Bad example: 'frequency' and 'hertz' are not synonyms: Nobody would ever say "That was an annoying high Hertz noise" or "Radio 4 is on 93.5 frequency". IOW frequency is a synonym for the general terms 'oscillation' or 'vibration' but Hz denotes a measured frequency, which is a much more precise statement.

      Hertz replaced cycles/sec as the preferred term denoting a measurement of frequency 40-50 years ago during a sudden mania for naming derived scientific units by the names of related scientists. The changeover was confusing: when I started University we used cgs units. By the time I graduated, we'd moved first to MKS units and then to the current names. Apart from the Hertz (Hz) losing information because you have to know what a Hertz is a synonym for (cycles/second) which is annoying for units you seldom use, it is easier to write Hz than cps, cycles/sec or c/s and it gets even better when you're dealing with KHz , MHz or GHz.

      1. Paul Kinsler

        Re: Nobody would ever say "That was an annoying high Hertz noise"

        I'm not so sure about that - some people use words like "amperage", for example, and sometimes even might talk about the voltage through something. I agree they shouldn't, but not everyone has their terminology perfect, and could quite easily have learnt it from another misinformed individual.

    2. DCFusor Silver badge

      Re: We can't be having descriptive nomenclature.

      I have some old General Radio gear that had sexless RF connectors. What would we call them today?

      Trans-??? They were used on RF signal generators, from the days when frequency was understood to mean cycles per second unless otherwise specified. Kind of like we don't say "liters metric" or "Feet imperial". No need.

      More importantly, would be be fined in Canada for not calling them whatever the right thing is today?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        AFAIK

        the term was, and still is, 'hermaphrodite'.

      2. stiine
        Flame

        Re: We can't be having descriptive nomenclature.

        Probably Type-N. The type that you can pump kilowatts through without arcing, melting, or catching fire.

  10. DCFusor Silver badge

    Makes me glad I'm old, accomplished,

    And have some actual virtue, so I don't have to do fake-virtue-signalling. I was unaware that my software had feelz, and am damn glad that in my code, slaves respond to their masters with far more alacrity than in any human relationship that ever existed. It'd be wrong for humans or even insects to act that way, but this is SOFTWARE, you morans. I am glad the valves in my petrol engine slavishly follow the camshaft. And my house heater slavishly follows that the thermostat tells it to do, rather than freeze me or burn my house down.

    What a silly bunch of crap. Reminds me of some insights by CS Lewis who basically mentioned that if you want to destroy humans, the tool to use is messing up their ability to communicate by buggering their language - the holding places for the mind.

    Look what's happened to "conservative" and "liberal" - conservatives (a label I used to be proud of) have become right-wing nuts - and liberals - these people with this CRAP - are anything but liberal or progressive, and since they are supported by huge mega-corps who are now doing censorship, are the actual Fascists - isn't the definition of that the point when you can't tell whether the oligarchs or the government actually are in charge? Bingo. The liberals aren't - they are forcing me to be like they want.

    That's not liberal...that's totalitarian.

    Hopefully I'm done with the subject. Partisanship has driven me off some otherwise worthwhile sites - I just want to talk tech, honestly, and am sick of the fake angst. This is one site I've been able to stomach as it's pretty low here, and usually with decent humor. A good laugh is, well, good.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Makes me glad I'm old, accomplished,

      "Partisanship has driven me off some otherwise worthwhile sites"

      That's odd, since your comment brought partisanship into a discussion where it wasn't present before.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Makes me glad I'm old, accomplished,

        Yeah John, I screwed up. Though it's for certain that there's a side in the fake 2 sided distraction that does this stuff, and one that never does this stuff, and it's pretty obvious. I will repent if I can manage.

    2. muffins

      Re: Makes me glad I'm old, accomplished,

      How is the use of terms "master" and "replica" "buggering" language? They seem more appropriately descriptive to me than master/slave. Surely just shutting down any suggestion of change is closer to "totalatarian"?

      1. Simon 11

        Re: Makes me glad I'm old, accomplished,

        But "replica" is a copy. A slave is not a copy.

        The issue appears to be that people are expressing butt-hurt and demanding change without thinking about what to change it to (that is clearly far too difficult). The existing terminology is clear and widely understood - A master is the primary control system that drives / feeds one or more slaves. Likewise, a slave is a system that is driven by another, if the master is down or non-existent, the slave won't do anything.

        "master" / "replica" doesn't convey this style of relationship at all. It conveys the idea of there being a primary control system, with a copy of that system (so in the event the master goes down, the replica would take over and perform the role of the master).

        1. onefang Silver badge

          Re: Makes me glad I'm old, accomplished,

          For database systems, surely it's Tyrell Corporation / replicant.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Makes me glad I'm old, accomplished,

        "They seem more appropriately descriptive to me than master/slave. "

        Not to me. "Master/replica" implies a rather different relationship than "master/slave".

        Of all of the suggested replacements for master/slave, the only one I've seen that I think would actually work (in terms of being nonconfusing and being a reasonably accurate descriptor) is "Dom/sub".

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Makes me glad I'm old, accomplished,

        Surely just shutting down any suggestion of change is closer to "totalatarian"?

        The word you're looking for is "consistent".

        In tech-speak words have specific meanings. They may have been imported from some other context by analogy but once imported they acquire a new significance and it becomes important that they're used consistently. Unless we have consistency it becomes impossible to communicate. That means that if I ever used the term "slave" in documentation anyone reading it then, now or at some point in the future would know exactly what I meant. Even if we were to coin a new term now and use it in the future it would in no way remove the need for anyone entering the field in the future learning what the term "slave" meant in that context; there's too many examples of it being used in that precise, technological sense to do without it.

        Your opening sentence is a perfect example of the pitfalls that are caused by lack of precision. It's clear from the fact that you think "replica" is equivalent in meaning to "slave" whereas they actually mean two different things. To try to impose the one term in place of the other would indeed be buggering about with the terminology if not with the actual language.

        Perhaps you've wandered into this conversation from marketing or management where precision of expression is a disadvantage, exposing as it does an absence of meaning.

  11. JLV Silver badge

    Apologies

    Haven’t paid enough attention to this severe atmospheric disturbance in a warm water individual consumption container, but...

    Is the line being drawn at _not_ breaking user code? Possibly by not touching API or by aliasing master/slave to umbrellas and whatever? I get the sense, from the blurb about APIs, that this is mostly doc-level, but...

    Also, whatever the motivation for this, it would be best to put determination of adequate, preferably industry-wide, replacements as a much-preferred prereq. Perhaps ‘subordinate’ for ‘slave’?

    Otherwise we’ll end up w stupidly unclear euphemisms up the wazoo. Umbrellas indeed.

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Apologies

      "Otherwise we’ll end up w stupidly unclear euphemisms up the wazoo. Umbrellas indeed."

      You don't want an umbrella up your wazoo, and if you do somehow end up with one of them there, do not open it.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Apologies

        For those of you who don't know what a wazoo is, it's the thing most politicians talk out of.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Apologies

          "For those of you who don't know what a wazoo is"

          An umbrella holder?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Hurtful"

    AFAICT the idiot who removed these normal, clear terms from Python refused to say who was actually offended by them.

    Does the author of this story have any evidence of people who found these terms "hurtful" ?

    Or is he just writing nonsense ?

    1. Tom Wood

      Re: "Hurtful"

      Like the old argument about 'brainstorming'. Someone decided that would be offensive to people with epilepsy and decreed it henceforth be known as a 'thought shower'. But then someone actually asked the people who actually were epileptic and they laughed: https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/press/facts/brainstorming-offensive

      1. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

        Re: "Hurtful"

        "henceforth be known as a 'thought shower'"

        Sounds like they're taking the 'golden shower'.

      2. billdehaan

        Re: "Hurtful"

        Likewise the complaint that "parent/child" terminology with respect to processes had to be renamed, because it was hurtful to orphans.

        And always, it's never the complainer that's offended, he/she/it is always complaining pre-emptively on behave of others who they believe will be offended. Meanwhile, the supposedly wounded party usually, as you've pointed out, thinks the entire thing is silly.

        Back in the day, I had a census taker squeamishly try to take to me about disabilities. I'm blind in one eye (childhood trauma), but I don't consider myself disabled, although the census taker did. It was pathetic watching this bureaucrat trying to be excruciatingly sensitive about the fact that I'm missing an eye, whereas I thought the sensitivity was just laughable.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "Hurtful"

          Likewise the complaint that "parent/child" terminology with respect to processes had to be renamed, because it was hurtful to orphans.

          I'm not familiar with that one. How do they deal with orphan processes? And is anyone offended when they become zombies?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Hurtful"

      There's a huge email thread where I work of people who find it offensive.

      1. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

        Re: "Hurtful"

        "There's a huge email thread where I work of people who find it offensive."

        As offensive as this (quote from Antirez)?

        "After it was clear that I was not interested in his argument, Mark accused me of being fascist. Now I’m Italian, and incidentally my grand grand father was put in jail for years by fascists because he was communist and was against the regime. He was released to die in a couple of months at home. The father of my mother instead went in the north of Italy for II World War, and was able to escape from the Nazis for a miracle. Stayed 5 years as a refugee, and eventually returned home to become the father of my mother. Mark do not care about the terminology he uses against other people, if the matter at hand is to make sure people that may potentially feel offended will not."

        Quite frankly the behaviour ascribed to 'Mark' in the above paragraph disgusts me, but it is all too common.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Hurtful"

        "There's a huge email thread where I work of people who find it offensive."

        Who find what offensive? Hurtful?

  13. jake Silver badge

    I just got back from a rather large data center.

    Every machine there took clock from a clock master ... and was in turn a slave. Something tells me that this will still be true when my Granddaughter is long retired. There are some battles that are just too stupid and time wasting to even contemplate starting. One wonders at the holier than thou set who started whining about this particular one. Don't they have anything better to do? Like, oh, I dunno, CODE, maybe?

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: I just got back from a rather large data center.

      Probably they start these pointless battles because they are too stupid to code or do anything else useful for society.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: I just got back from a rather large data center.

        Ah... the bikeshed argument!

        1. billdehaan

          Re: I just got back from a rather large data center.

          Ah, I've lived this, but never had such a nicely-encapsulated reference for it before, my thanks.

          Back in the day when I was doing Serious Defence Work, I was responsible for evaluating, and recommending, compiler purchases. I have a long winded story which I will summarize by saying that a $250,000 Ada compiler was purchased practically on a whim, and approved within two working days, while a Turbo C (not C++, this was 1988 or so) compiler that had a retail price of $49 took over 18 months, and about a 40 page list of required approval signatures.

          Being that we were doing Navy work, the common euphemism at the time was that it didn't matter if you're building a dinghy or an aircraft carrier, it was the same amount of paperwork, but we could get you the carrier faster.

          Now, I shall simply say it is a "bikeshed" moment, and pass on the link.

          Thanks again.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: I just got back from a rather large data center.

            No worries, and haha yeah, you've experienced your very own bikeshed moment!

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: I just got back from a rather large data center.

              I generally don't use "bikeshed". It's "Parkinson's law of triviality". The folks paying the bills tend to pay more attention my way.

    2. Long John Brass Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I just got back from a rather large data center.

      Like, oh, I dunno, CODE, maybe?

      If they could code they wouldn't be complaining. They would be too busy doing something actually useful!

      Here is the problem; The people who complain will never ever be satisfied. If you give in to them once, they will just come back for another byte of the "I'm offended pie". It's all they know and it's all they can do; They have no other use, skill or ability.

      The one and only solution is to starve them of their oxygen by simply ignoring them. Don't answer or respond in any way (just send all comms they spurt to the wast-bin)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I just got back from a rather large data center.

        Case in point: Pro-environment protesters were blocking streets in San Francisco today. Nothing new, right? Except today they were protesting the "Global Climate Action Summit", the agenda of which AGREES with the protesters in everything except timeframe! It would seem that the protesters want it to happen last Thursday or earlier, and won't take no for an answer. The mind absolutely boggles at the stupidity of this kind of person.

  14. Mephistro Silver badge
    Flame

    Every living human being has ancestors...

    ... that were slaves, and other ancestors that were slave masters.

    And bad things in history won't be prevented from happening again just by censoring the words that describe them. It's probably the other way round!

    And applying one of these words to elements of software or hardware is just a convenient way to describe the relationship between said elements. You can't offend an effing hard disk drive!

    Politically correct language has morphed into a tool for some fuckwits to gain an illusion of popularity or power, at the cost of breaking language, one of the most important tools we humans have.

    This is criminally stupid.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge
      Terminator

      You can't offend an effing hard disk drive!

      I think you aught to know I'm feeling really depressed.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Every living human being has ancestors...

      The problem is software development has attracted a lot of "young" people who believe their task is not to build working software, but "to change the world", and since most of them come from some political area, that's the result.

      Don't get me wrong, I think people should be involved in things that matters, just code can't become a battlefield of different political orientations.

      While softening the meaning of some words may be wrong, many words have different meanings depending on context. A software of missile launch that call "abort" is in no way trying to assert something about women rights. If a process runs in a sandbox, it's not because of a childish behaviour - and is using "childish" as a pejorative offensive?

    3. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Every living human being has ancestors...

      >You can't offend an effing hard disk drive!

      You can call them FAT though....

  15. ThatOne Silver badge
    Unhappy

    OMG

    I think everybody agrees that real slavery is a Bad Thing. But finding the term itself offensive when used metaphorically in a purely technical setting is just as ridiculous as the Victorians covering table legs for modesty reasons.

    When you get to the point to be aroused by the view of naked table legs, or to be offended by the thought there might be a "master" function cold-heartedly commanding "slave" functions, I think there is something askew with society.

  16. Cincinnataroo

    The world has gone mad.

    One approach: Bugger off you winger and create your own language, database whatever. Dickheads.

    Another: I object to just about every reserved word in your language, please remove them all from the source.

    Another: Stop using things have have caved to this nonsense.

  17. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Sometimes, I despair...

    That's all. Go and fix a bug, or something.

    Or consider Houseplants of Gor: http://www.rdrop.com/~wyvern/data/houseplants.html

  18. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Joke

    They should have studied INTERCAL

    Where 1/3rd - 1/5th of all statements need to be polite (" PLEASE DO", "PLEASE DO NOT"), etc. I always found the COME FROM (time-reversed GOTO) statement in later versions a stroke of genius.

    Next time a student annoys me, I might set his or her next programming exercise in INTERCAL. Evil? Certainly! Fun? Absolutely!!

  19. Czrly

    I exploit my vocabulary. It is a slave to my whims.

    I read an excellent blog post about the word, "exploit", a few years ago. The thrust of the argument was this: nonsense words like "leverage" (which should only be a noun and never a verb) only serve to weaken communication when they are used in place of perfectly adequate and, in fact, ideal words that have long existed in the English language. If one wants to make an unequivocal point, one should use real words. Strong words are not offensive if used appropriately.

    Ever since then, I have made a point of exploiting the word, "exploit", whenever possible. The same goes for many other words. "Implementing this feature should be easy, now, because we can exploit the additional ground-work that we included in sprint (n-2)," I might announce in a planning meeting. "No, the hardware devices should always be slaves to the software service running on box Y," I will continue to declare in the future.

    Living in Germany, this is expected. Professionals communicate conclusively. There is no strange personification of software systems and hardware tools -- a fact that is astounding given that my testers often report things like, "He tells me that he cannot connect to the remote server," because of the fact that German nouns have genders.

    I will continue to use the English language as she was meant to be spoke. If I have to continue to live in Germany in order to get away with that, I won't complain. I will leverage my proximity to some of the oldest and best breweries in the world and be perfectly content.

    I, a master of my mother-tongue, shall never surrender!

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: I exploit my vocabulary. It is a slave to my whims.

      Uptick for the 'English as she is spoke' reference.

  20. Kevin Johnston

    Reality check

    All these arguments 'on behalf of someone who was/would be offended' were beautifully summed up by Billy Connolly talking about Political Correctness...

    It is arrogance in that you have no proof that the person would actually be offended and you have not allowed them to state their opinion, assuming that you know how they would feel.

    All you can say if if you personally are offended

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Reality check

      Further up the thread, someone linked to the case of "Brainstorming" being termed politically incorrect.

      Within the results of that statement is something that really underlines your point:

      > However, in the survey, 93 per cent of people with epilepsy did not find the term derogatory or offensive in any way and many felt that this sort of political correctness singled out people with epilepsy as being easily offended.

      The knee-jerk "we must protect them" without giving them any say, is itself potentially offensive.

      I try not to offend, and will apologise if I have legitimately offended, but I never try to judge what might and might not offend someone else beyond the bleeding obvious.

  21. Degenerate Scumbag

    It's cool that these people are identifying themselves. Will come in handy when it's time for the helicopters.

  22. jb99

    Two projects to move away from

    I have no confidence in the future of either project now.

    When projects fall prey to this kind of thing, it _always_ gets worse and turns into a witch hunt where people taking fake offence use it to gain power. The product always suffers.

    I'd move away from both now as this kind of thing often means the future of the product is in doubt

    1. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

      Re: Two projects to move away from

      "I have no confidence in the future of either project now."

      Yes, it's a pity. Both projects could have been forked, but I guess that misses the point. Hunting witches is a lot more fun.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Should these people even be in IT if they are too sensitive?

    The BOFH would have a field day with them.

  24. Vanir

    Fascist

    A person who uses threats and intimidation to make slaves of people who disagree with them.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Fascist

      Get with the program, they make replicas of people who disagree with them.

  25. Phil Lord

    Changing Language

    The idea is that changing language can help to change the debate. And, of course, it has a long history and does work: nowadays the use of the "n-word" on TV is uncommon and always considered offensive; the introduction of the term "gay". There are many examples.

    For myself, I find it hard to get excited about "master/slave", simply because in the UK at least it's largely historical. Perhaps, that is a luxury others do not have. One of the things that I do find amusing, though, is all the people who like to spend their time commenting on what a waste of time this is, when we should be coding. And others complaining about the principle of trying to change language to change the debate, and then blaming it all on SJWs and snowflakes: terms invented in an attempt to change the debate.

  26. RayzorWire

    Why are we allowing the rantings of a single idiot make such fundamental changes! This is a bloody programming language for gods sake and in some dark corner of 4chan some idiot is laughing his cock off at this.

    We live in a time when the faux-outrage of a vocal minority can have massive impact on the more passive majority - often for no good reason!

    1. Phil Lord

      How is this fundamental? All I can see is a change of a few words in the documentation.

      And yet many of the posters on this thread seem really, really up-tight about it. Are you really so upset? Or are you just a vocal minority trying to have an impact through your faux-outrage?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because they are not rantings and it is many people who are offended, not just one or two.

      Simply because a particular group is a minority, it does not follow that their views are either insignificant or worthless. In order to maintain a vibrant and healthy culture, it is necessary to understand others' views and, where reasonable, to accommodate them. Whilst a simple change in terminology may seem insignificant to you, it may hold importance to one of the "faux-outrage vocal minorities" you mention.

  27. Tom Melly

    I'm not one of the "it's political correctness gone mad" crowd, but what slightly irks me about this is the US-centric take on this. Outside of the US, slave and master tends, reflexively, to refer to the Romans rather than the US.

    1. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

      Cultural imperialism

      "what slightly irks me about this is the US-centric take on this. Outside of the US, slave and master tends, reflexively, to refer to the Romans rather than the US."

      I had the same thought. It seems to be a form of cultural imperialism.

  28. Electronics'R'Us

    What next?

    Are we going to get lots of requests to change the naming of pins on hardware SPI interfaces from the perfectly descriptive MISO/MOSI?

    Or perhaps the Power architecture mnemonic EIEIO being offensive to farmers? (I remember seeing a comment in the source that said // Old Macdonald had a farm).

    How about slaved power supplies for proper sequencing should be renamed? Dependent? (Can't have that, implies economic status)

    Maybe the term 'bit twiddling' can be offensive (sexual incorrectness)

    The list goes on; these terms are used because they perfectly describe the relationship in hardware.

    Get a grip! (Oh, is that offensive too?)

  29. HieronymusBloggs Silver badge

    Fascist software

    To show solidarity with this fine and sensible social movement I must immediately go through my computer systems and rip out all of the nasty fascist open source software which uses a git Master branch. It will signal what a virtuous fellow I am and everything will continue to work just f

  30. teknopaul Bronze badge

    news designed to distract?

    Stupid issues like this neatly cover up the ongoing real modern daybslavery issues in US prisons.

    Take time to inform yoysrself on the strike if you have seen this and not that.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So really we can justify removing any word that causes pain anguish or suffering, hu Microsoft?

    1. onefang Silver badge

      "So really we can justify removing any word that causes pain anguish or suffering, hu Microsoft?"

      Is it the micro, or the soft that causes you so much anguish?

      1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: Is it the micro, or the soft that causes you so much anguish?

        I can cope with soft, I mean soft cheese is very good.

        I can cope with micro, I grew up thinking about computers being "micros" and still tend to think of CPUs as being microprocessors.

        No, it when the 2 words are combined that they represent a concept which I find too ghastly to contemplate.

  32. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    WTF?

    MISO

    So do ALL the data sheets for ALL of the devices with an SPI bus connection need relabelling?

    1. Electronics'R'Us

      Re: MISO

      To say nothing of the (probably) 10s of thousands of schematics already done with those names.

      Let's not forget about the netlist too - will the manufacturers get offended at netlist test when they make sure that a MISO connects to another device MOSI?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    looks like python has a new problem

    https://bugs.python.org/issue34678

    LOL

    does redis have the same?

    1. cornetman

      Re: looks like python has a new problem

      I suspect that this "dwayne gigleum" was taking the piss and if so I applaud his sense of humour.

      However, it's difficult to be sure in the current environment.

  34. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    Marthter / Igor

    Would that be OK? Igors love having a "marthter"

    (Doffs hat to the late, great Terry Pratchett once more)

    I'd better be on my way. The one with "The Fifth Elephant" in the pocket, please

  35. JavaJester

    Developers Who Say "Ni!"

    The Developers who say "Ni!' demand a sacrifice. Your Git project has a branch called "master". We demand that its name be changed at once to "Ekke Ekke Ekke Ekke Ptang Zoo Boing!" and you bring us a Shrubbery.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Utter morons

    Why the negativity about master/slave. Have these people ever discussed dom/sub culture? The two are utterly inseperable and care incredibly for each other's welfare, a loving bond that is far above what most people share. The name master/slave, dom/sub, top/bottom are simply words for those who delight in the roles they feel most safe in. Master is nothing without their slave, the slave gives the master their power over the slave. The slave can remove that power in an instant if they feel it's being abused.

    Let's not even get into such things as IDE settings master/slave drives and heaven knows how many other IT tech items rely on the terms master ( controller ) and slaves ( actors who carry out instructions ).

    These idiots hear master/slave and all their narrow minded little brains can think of is the horrendous period of American history where the terms master/slave had utterly adhorrent meanings.

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Utter morons

      I invoke the safe words "Yes Dear", and you will all stop bothering me with your outrage.

  37. Brent Longborough
    WTF?

    No, but here's an answer anyway

    Leader / Follower

    Please, now can we STFU and get back to debugging?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: No, but here's an answer anyway

      > Leader / Follower

      Leader? Führer? OMG, that's totally unacceptable...

  38. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: This is a CLUSTERFUCK.

      Oh, shut up! We don't need angry men with spittle flecked chins either.

  39. Geoffrey W Silver badge
    Terminator

    How about 'Master' and 'Mistress' instead?

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