re: Replacing master in git VIEW POST


Does 'master' always imply a corresponding 'slave' and hence always have slavery connotations?

At school, with no people of African origin at the school, in each year we had a teacher who was referred to as "the year master" but nobody ever thought that it related to any slavery concept. We just thought of him as the dude that was in charge, of us, and we were definitely not his slaves.

In git I've seen 'master' branch used universally but never once heard of other branches being called or ever referred to as 'slave' branches by anyone, ever.

Too bad if anyone has ever conceived a "Masterplan".

It must hurt to be "MasterCard" right now... VISA just scored a free home run!

The only IT concept I have heard of where master/slave is used is hardware redundancy - e.g. database replication where there is a 'master' database with one or more 'slave' databases to which data is replicated.

I can see a definite issue with that usage. Perhaps that concept should be renamed 'origin/clone' - which is actually a much more accurate description in any case. A 'clone' database's sole purpose is to become a perfect clone of the origin database - which is actually not at all like a master/slave relationship. So even people who are not offended by the use of the master/slave term should be disturbed by it's inaccurate depiction of the concept the term is trying to identify.


No. The word "master" does not always correspond to "slave". I have a Master's degree. That does not mean that I've made a slave of a subject. A master of a recording does not imply that there are slave recordings, but copies. MasterCard does not mean that it is for slave owners. Master plan just means it's either the main plan or a darn good one.

English is a strange language. One word can have many different meanings, and very different words can be spelt in the same say (e.g. to "lead" a group" or a "lead" pipe"). Let's not go overboard with a shotgun approach to censoring different words that happen to look and sound the same. The master/slave usage in tech is and has always been toxic and offensive. Let's just stop calling Jenkins worker nodes slaves. A git master branch does not have the same connotation.

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