Some people get moral enjoyment from finding ways to feign offense... at best, it is a waste of time to indulge much of these false complaints.
Our goodness and values show in our worldly actions.
It has become a way to get the effects of political terrorism while avoiding the risk and backlash of actual terrorism. The real purpose at this point isn't to actually convince or cow people into obedience. It's low-risk practice for training radicals, and any political movement seeking rapid change needs about 10% of its membership to be radicals.
Even short of violence, human politics boils down to "bigger army diplomacy."
I think this is an excellent analogy. The Linux OOM killer even has a log message about sacrificing children:
And that, AFAIK, isn't part of the Linux kernel API/ABI, so it could be changed more easily than Redis' SLAVEOF command could. But it's clear from context what it's referring to.
Why not assume good faith? Surely you can make an argument against changing technical terms without assuming the person bringing up the changes is just trolling.
> "After it was clear that I was not interested in his argument, Mark accused me of being fascist"
No need to assume.
One should also understand that not all countries have the same political activists and race-baiters that the US has and therefore the words master and slave don't carry the same baggage as they do in the US.
> 25.7.4 Aborting a Program... Future Change Warning: Proposed Federal censorship regulations may prohibit us from giving you information about the possibility of calling this function. We would be required to say that this is not an acceptable way of terminating a program.
If it does offend anyone at all, why not change it? If it might offend anyone at all, why not change it?
It's not like we're redefining the color blue to appease red-ists. There's a dozen synonyms that convey the same relationship construct as master/slave without using the word slave.
It's not the hill to die on, or take a stand on.
It doesn't offend anyone. If it does, it's easily cleared up with a broader understanding of the english language. That doesn't matter, though, because it doesn't offend anyone.
The hunt for these righteous stances _is_ the goal.
You don't change it, because 1) it's a weird bid to control the behavior of someone else, 2) you didn't gain anything. the priesthood wants to find your dirty stain, shine the light of an extremely flexible outrage on it, make an example of your submission to their humbling cleansing, then move on.
All you've done is apologize to the no one who was actually harmed, add fuel for the next imaginary incident, and waste your time.
> It's not like we're redefining the color blue to appease red-ists.
I am deeply offended that your source control denigrates people from non-conventional families. Please purge this insult from the internet on my behalf.
This is just more distractions from what really matters, writing coding and completing the task at hand.
Like you said, "one of those low-effort, doesn't-matter changes", so why change it?
antirez, at least, says otherwise.
> [...] to change the documentation, deprecate the API and add a new one, change the INFO fields, [...]
Maybe those people should feel guilty. Maybe, as a European, he doesn't want American guilt to control the way he uses language.
Not doing what this particular brand of moralising busybodies wants sends a message to them, other busybodies and more importantly everyone else involved with Redis that this organisation will not instantly roll over to pressure. If you remember the Drupal controversy where some activists were trying to get someone expelled from the community for their sex life the maintainers rolled over until over a hundred contributors and sponsors said to reverse the decision or they’d fork Drupal.
The principle is the same. If you pay the Danegeld you will never be rid of the Dane. If you don’t feel like giving a mile, consider very strongly whether to give an inch.
Sounds like it's more work than you imagine.
Also, where to draw the line? Should we rename Brainfuck? Is white-space PC?
There has been a push to rename "whitelist" and "blacklist":
Did you read the article? He answers this question. He devotes the last four paragraphs of the article to exactly that.
tl;dr is that
a) it's not as simple a technical fix as you might think and
b) it's not just a technical issue.
If we instead called it Guard and Concentration Camp Prisoner would more people feel differently?
Yes, if we go to the fringes there are ridiculous things that people can get upset by - but this doesn't seem like one of them.
There are plenty of words that are just as descriptive that we can use in place of master/slave at literally zero cost to clarity.
If it took no effort to make this change, this discussion probably wouldn't even be an issue in the first place since many project owners would change the terminology just to stop the whining and discussion. But it's not that easy, so many people have decided to not bend over backwards for every term that could possibly be twisted into being considered offensive when taken out of context, including "master / slave", "whitelist / blacklist", "forking", and "killer app". Yes, people have taken issue with all of those terms  and will probably take issue with even more if developers start to appease them.
This kind of thing is a slippery slope.
Because giving in to thought-policing bullies is always a bad idea.
Note how quickly the wannabe bully in this case went from demanding the change to calling the maintainer every vile name in the book.
The hierarchy of "parent" and "child", at least, is used for terminology in other fields, e.g. euphemistically in psychology, for relationships that fit a particular behavior pattern, even when the participants aren't actually related. Likewise, I'm sure the programmers responsible for the "parent"-"child" metaphor, didn't consider all the possible pseudo-language this method might generate. Just as no one might imagine `chokeAndDieOn(kernel)`.
On the other hand, "master"-"slave" is taken from a pretty explicitly provocative (and negative) situation that still exists in many forms in today's world and was designed as a metaphor explicitly for the relationship, as opposed to being incidental, like your example.
However, if what you say is your firm belief, then you surely wouldn't mind `"dominatrix"-"submissive" databases` or `"torturer"-"victim" databases`?
That's metaphor, but not really euphemism.
> However, if what you say is your firm belief, then you surely wouldn't mind `"dominatrix"-"submissive" databases` or `"torturer"-"victim" databases`?
First, I'd have no problems if they actually communicated useful information by way of metaphor, but I can't immediately see any way those examples would.
Second, do you really want, in the course of arguing that describing a relationship of total control between different programs or other inanimate systems as a master-slave relationship is offensive, to suggest that consensual BDSM relationships are analogous to both actual slavery and torture in the offensiveness of having descriptions of other things refer to them?
The deal killers being that it's less readable due to the lack of established usage and that it doesn't define the relationship as clearly as master/slave. It feels like "dominant" might imply that it has authority in most cases, but not every case.
>And is your project a popular open-source project?
Yeah I'm Linus lol.
Torture-testing. Victim threads. Everything has its use.
There are plenty of other uses in technology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master/slave_(technology)
I suppose "leader-follower" might be the least offensive of all, but that's also quite cult-like, and we all know the damage caused to society by cults and leader worship.
Also carries none of the baggage of slavery.
I think leader/follower is just as accurate while carrying less baggage, but I could see people getting offended by those terms, too. Follower implies lack of autonomy, blind devotion as in a cult, a follower of a dictator like Hitler, power centered around a possible demagogue, etc.
If I were working on a new project I would probably not use "master/slave", because at that point it's trivial not to use it, but to ask an established project to change what they're doing for something so petty seems very silly.
I would guess Master and Secondary is the more common relationship in other technical fields, through I would be surprised if master and slave originated in computer technical documentation.
We could mark deleted rows with a "david star" tag and then run the "holocaust" process on the tables to remove them from storage.
or what about saying "castration" instead of "sandboxing".
Surely, people would agree some words are emotionally loaded and using them is unnecessary
That's not really analogous.
Master-slave refers to a power relationship. “David star” (even more clearly your pre-edit “Jew") is a clear reference directly to a specific people, and “holocaust” to specific historical events.
> or what about saying "castration" instead of "sandboxing".
Aside from being a horrible metaphor compared to sandboxing...what about it?
So, how hard would it be to
sed -ri 's/slave/receiver/g; s/master/sender/g' redis_source/
Deprecating something, even terminology, should not be done lightly.
You're getting downvotes not (just) due to disagreements but because your first comment was incorrect (it's not just a sed command) and your second was unproductive.
But I too think this level of extreme political correctness and people getting mobbed and harassed as a result has really gotten out of hand.
People do NOT have a right to not be offended. Somehow we've forgotten that.
(Please correct me if there is an error with this process.)
Edit: I would like to point out that this is not a criticism of the author or OP. It's an observation. (Also, edited wording.)
I had a french person talking about how they were oblivious to that dynamic because they were raised in france where it isn't a problem.
That takes a pretty bad ignorance of colonial french history to say with a straight face.
There are a bunch of goofy alternatives as well, like "Master/Minion" or hell, why not "Dom/Sub?"
If you judge historical figures by modern morals and standards you'll find everyone is a bad person. In that case we should wipe George Washington and Thomas Jefferson's faces off of our currency because their families owned slaves too, nevermind their contributions to America.
That said, regardless of the past and ongoing use of master/slave terminology, we should be trying to steer away from it. It's insensitive and just generally unpleasant.
Also, they've included a note on the official position of the project about this in the docs for SLAVEOF
But bending over backwards and rewriting and re-documenting a huge part of your extremely popular application because a subset of a subset of people find it offensive is... strange.
Also loved the reply: "You call me a fascist, you know, those people who attacked and killed people over here less than 100 years ago. Maybe YOU should watch your language." OWNED! HA!
> Interestingly, DNS has gone the other way. It used to be that it was called “primary” and “secondary” DNS servers, but now the preferred terms are “master” and “slave” servers.
You have to look at really old RFCs to see the old terminology, but it’s there.
But, on the whole, I agree with the sentiment.
I'm older than I used to be and this has made me more appreciative of polite language. But a lot of people who use what I used to somewhat contemptuously call "polite catch phrases" are often not actually any more respectful of other people than those that don't. That genuine respect matters far more to me.
In essence, I think he is correct that what America needs to do is set things right by its own people instead of telling non-Americans that they need to jump through hoops over our emotional baggage for relatively minor details of this sort.
To me, someone who speaks English as second language really shouldn't be concerned about non-technical meaning of a word. It almost feels like he is trying to be offended for someone else.
In my twenties, my husband spent months going on endlessly about his new best friend "John." John this. John that. It aggravated the hell out of me. He gushed about the guy.
Then one day hubby and John arranged for the two families to meet and it turned out John and his family were black. The surprise showed on my face, which made for a very awkward meeting.
I didn't care that they were black, but my husband had never once mentioned that John was black. So I assumed he was white.
In that moment, I realized this was a racist assumption. This assumption that if he isn't white, my husband will inform me of this fact, was an artifact of a deeply racist culture. And I was tremendously upset to realize I had drunk the koolaid when I thought of myself as an idealist and not racist and so forth.
So I am very uncomfortable with the possibility that I may yet still be obliviously doing things that help keep racism alive, help keep people of color oppressed, help keep doors shut in their face without being aware of it. I don't know the solution to that and I think if you really truly believe in justice and equality, that should bother you. If it doesn't, then you are probably part of the problem and just not really wanting to take responsibility for that fact.
But, yes, nitpicking about a single word (or a couple of words, in this case) is often a cheap way to lord it over people and act morally superior without really doing anything of significance. That much, I agree with.
How can an assumption be racist anyway? If my friend told me about a friend I might imagine that person tall and slim with brown hair and whatever other look and if this person turns out to be short and chubby with blond hair - who cares. Obsessing about skin color like you are doing right now is completely meaningless, doesn't help anybody and just feeds the segregation even more. You can't be "subconsciously racist", don't believe those hoax psychologists that claim it.
The assumption was rooted in cultural practices of the Deep South.
Studies show that people who disagree with primary racism will still agree with secondary and tertiary rules that help enforce it. So you may not like the idea of subconscious bias, but it's quite real.
It is sort of a social "Jim Crow" law. Like when people say they aren't racist, but they wouldn't hire anyone who "sounds" black (who has the so called black accent) because you need to be articulate for the job. My rebuttal to that back in the day was "George W. Bush." Because if you actually need to be articulate, then a white man widely mocked for his speech issues should have never been president. But that's not really it.
Very easily: "you're Irish, I just assumed that you were a drunk".
Please, do go on—what else about the master/slave relationship is implied by the terminology?
No one would argue for "political correctness", only some would argue against it, because only place it exists in their imaginations.
I really appreciate antirez's point on this, "Mark" definitely seems to be a person with their heart in the right place but lacking tact and being intolerant to decisions not going his way; especially given the technical work this change would necessitate the change does not seem appropriate.
That said, I hope that in time the technical world will settle on some alternative to ensure we can talk freely without distracting or offending folks.
A few years ago I was in a meeting talking about database options, hitherto I had used "master/slave" to describe this database topology. In that meeting was an African American co-worker ("Frank") and as the words left my mouth I realized that completely irrespective of my intent I brought into the room the spectre of times past. I've no idea how Frank felt about it - but all of a sudden I had lost all ability to continue my point. I paused and said something that amounted to: "you know,... that phrase is fucked up - let's not use it - what words should we use?" and Frank suggested we look at what terms Amazon uses; they used "source and read replica" and that's what we went with. I've never regretted recoding my use of words on that one.
If there's anything that this post-Trump era has really brought into focus for me: it's that my privileges of being white, able bodied, and male results in me being least well positioned to say what is offensive or not. If you think it's offensive, open it up to the rest of the room and establish how to move forward.
Computer code can't literally enslave other computer code (at least not until AI improves by a lot). Inanimate objects can't cause or experience suffering to/from other inanimate objects. Abstract concepts don't have agency. A master-slave relationship is just an accurate and abstract way of describing certain kinds of concepts.
Spoken like someone who has never had to face systemic oppression.