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Discussion on: Replacing master with main in Github

darkwiiplayer profile image

Here's my perspective, in case anybody cares: Most of the world outside the USA will be either confused by this change, or annoyed, depending on whether they're even following the current social situation over there.

First of all, "master" comes from Latin and has cognates in many languages across the world, most of them maintain a meaning closer to their original, like the German "Meister", which can also have the master/slave connotation, but outside of very specific contexts is usually associated with a mentor/teacher or someone who's "mastered" something. Many foreigners will bring these associations into the English language as they learn it.

Second, while most of the world has some dark past with slavery, most of us have gotten over it. The USA has some very specific set of circumstances that keep this topic relevant, but that does not affect most of the rest of the world, where slavery didn't always go hand-in-hand with racism, but instead was much more closely linked to classism or just plain military conquest.

Considering those main factors, and the fact that such a change, going directly against the convention of git, I can't help but feel (and I know many non-USA people feel the same way), that this is, yet again, just the USA pushing its agenda on the rest of the world as if they $#@€ing own the place. Never mind people who aren't all that good at English and just want to add their part to the OS world constantly being confronted with weird vocabulary landmines they neither understand nor learned in English class in school.

Personally, I prefer main. It's shorter, makes more sense and is nicer to type, so if it had been chosen as the default, that would have been better than what we currently have; but with master having been picked as a default, I do think that moving away from that convention will just cause problems, specially since there's no way the whole OS community is going to make that change.