re: Replacing master in git VIEW POST

re: As far as I know, the issue is not with the word master but with the word slave. I'm not sure why you see git's master as the kind of master/slave ...

Git's master is historically tied to master/slave. It got the name from BitKeeper.

Source here


Not quite. That was an interpretation, based on quite a lot of inference ('probably'). On the other hand, the guy who actually came up with the term says he meant it as in 'master copy': twitter.com/xpasky/status/12722807...

FWIW he also suggests that the BitKeeper history might also be valid.

Given the fact that I don't remember why I called a thing that thing 6 months later, wouldn't surprise me if that were the case. It's also possible that both were the case: master, the word, came from BitKeeper, and he also learned that it meant something else.

Yes, you are right. I later learned that the git team were thinking and using 'master/slave' terminology for repos around that time.


But who knew that that was the origin? I remember the days of The appallingly-named master & slave device controllers, but had no idea that the same terminology was originally in git.


Fair enough. If you look at bitkeeper's documentation though, it refers to master as the master repository. In git, all repos are equally important, it is hard to see when we normally use a server (eg. github) as the source of truth. But in reality all repos are their own master. If anything git freed all the slaves, hehe.

I hear your point. But the master/slave denomination is still quite common is technology. Even if it is rarer these days. The history is there and even if the meaning has changed or time has passed or whatever, if there is a slight chance that this will be interpreted as master/slave ( like it is today ), it should go away.

UPDATE my comment grew into a proper post, 8 problems with replacing "master" in Git.

The comment below is only kept for historical purposes. PS: congrats to the OP for taking more time to think about this issue and keeping their post for accountability.

Why exactly should it go away? Because one sensitive soul out there doesn't have a bit of self-control and chooses an interpretation you have no control over?

Did you mean to oppress anyone when you simply used a word that had become standard?

Words have multiple meanings. "Drug" can get you in jail, or save your life. Should you never use "drug" again because a cop might interpret "I need a drug for pain" as you seeking fentanyl, not aspirin?

There's always going to be someone offended or triggered by anything. Choosing an interpretation of a word with multiple meanings is just that, a choice.

To me, "master" comes from the records industry, where you had a master record/CD and made copies. I don't see why I should mess up all my git workflow and scripts for the purely theoretical slavery interpretation of the word by nobody who will ever use my private repo, and why all git tutorials and articles should become invalid because "master" is now demonized.

Has anyone ever actually complained about this word for git branches?

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