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re: Replacing master in git VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

I remember when I first heard this terminology, I couldn't believe it was a thing in software!
I think renaming master to main makes the most sense, since that's how it is explained anyway.

 

"Master" is a term from the recording industry. I'm not a native English speaker so it was strange to me too, but in American English "master" has been far more commonly used in the past 50 years to talk about vinyl records and CDs, or having a "Masters of Science" or being a "master of the guitar" than slaves. Words change meaning over time.

 

but in American English "master" has been far more commonly used in the past 50 years to talk about vinyl records and CDs...

Not in the computer industry.

Until the past decade or so, the "master/slave" terminology was alive and well and even the default meaning of "master" in this context, even if "slave" wasn't explicitly mentioned.

It was even engraved on hard drives until the early 2000s (until the early-mid 2000s, BIOS software would commonly look for bootloaders on any and all drives hooked up, unless jumpers on the physical drives were set to "master" and "slaves" -- or more accurately, the OS drive and data drives).

You can find the discussions had by several of the database organizations and adjacent groups about renaming the hub-and-spoke architecture from "master/slave" to something else.

Words change meaning over time.

They do, but in this case it's not a change of meaning. "Master" still means "overseer of subordinates" as one of its definitions.

The meaning, in this case, hasn't changed. The word is overloaded -- it has several definitions, not unlike overloaded methods in C# or Java (which is why the "Master of Science" thing is an absurd and bad-faith argument, because it's using a different definition of the word).

This overloading is actually an argument in favor of changing it, because there are many words to choose from that better describe the default branch and aren't overloaded -- both of which make the meaning more clear.

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