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Discussion on: Why GitHub renaming master is good

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dandv profile image
Dan Dascalescu

I firmly believe that doing this at such a high profile level

... may be a cheap PR stunt, given the far more serious social justice problems that GitHub has. See point 6 in my post.

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_garybell profile image
Gary Bell Author

Yes there's going to be a level of PR about it, but given the climate and current active global movement on this, there's the fear from some organisations that they may seen to be ignoring the issues for things they have control over, and that make people uncomfortable. The cynic on me also believes there's a solid fear of missing out from marketing departments on this.

Because of where I live, and that I have deliberately spent 90% of my career in smaller organisations, I don't have a network of black developer friends with whom I can discuss whether this is an issue with. I know there's small pockets of racists in the development community, but I know the majority of the community wants to be inclusive.

The current global protests are highlighting and reigniting the negative connotations of various words, and that is going to make people feel uncomfortable. If renaming something will help remove the discomfort of some of those people, then we are being more inclusive.

Regarding the tweet in your post for point 6 - yes doing so id going to cause discomfort too. It's impossible to keep everyone happy all of the time. But if/when all of this settles down, those who were offended or uncomfortable at renaming the branches away from master will likely no longer care. The movement, however, may have stoked a fire in those who found themselves offended or uncomfortable with the terminology master.

This is just a small change in a very long game.

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dandv profile image
Dan Dascalescu

I don't have a network of black developer friends with whom I can discuss whether this is an issue with

No worries, that would be too small and too localized of a sample anyway.

I've looked at the comments here and on Twitter. All back developers I've seen either didn't give a damn on the alleged connotations of the word "master",

Blacks don't give a damn

or...

If renaming something will help remove the discomfort of some of those people, then we are being more inclusive.

... what if on the contrary, this whole discussion is unnecessary and actually makes black developers more uncomfortable than the word itself (which AFAICT wasn't a problem before)?

Black developer made uncomfortable

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hounerx profile image
Sherif • Edited

....should have read the rest of the thread twitter.com/Speedkicks/status/1272...

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dandv profile image
Dan Dascalescu

I have. I'm quoting that tweet as an argument that some black developers have been made uncomfortable by the change.