GitHub has said it will remove terms associated with slavery like “master” and “whitelist” from its platform.
The world’s largest repository host has said it will drop terms like “master” and “slave” for more neutral terminology like “main/primary/default” and “secondary”.
Other terminology which will be replaced includes “whitelist” and “blacklist” in favour of the more general “allow list” and “deny/exclude list,” respectively.
In a 2018 paper from the University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology, the authors wrote: “The use of such terms does not merely reflect a racist culture, but also serves to legitimize and perpetuate it.”
Nat Friedman, CEO of GitHub, made the announcement following a week of global protests around lingering systemic racism issues.
GitHub is just the latest tech company to make changes to be more welcoming to their BAME communities.
Similar terms are set to be removed from the Android OS, the Google-backed Go language, the PHPUnit library, and others.
LinkedIn software engineer Gabriel Csapo recently tweeted:
The moves from the tech community are part of a wider call to remove all historic references to slavery including the removal of statues and the changing of things like building and street names.
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