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Discussion on: Replacing master with main in Github

n_develop profile image
Lars Richter

Hi Christian,
thanks for your reply.

First of all: I'm totally aware that the change is not easy for everyone. But I mean it in a technical way. There are software projects out there that have tons of automation scripts, hooks, and whatever that contains the word "master" to reference the master-branch. It's not easy to change the name of the branch in these projects.
And I'm not so much on the "CHANGE IT NOW OR YOU'RE A RACIST" side of this discussion. But I think we can all make more people feel included when we start changing it whenever we can make the change with reasonable effort. So start with your small projects where you do not need to update any automation scripts. There are millions of repositories out there where the change will be easy. Why not do it?

Because it's not comfortable? To be realistic: What will happen?
People will type git checkout master from time to time and will see the error, that master does not exist. And everybody will immediately remember that it is main now. Relearning this will take 5 days, tops. I'm ok with investing a couple of failing "checkouts" to make this change.

It also triggers people, if you say 'This is a racist term, stop using it.'

I can totally see that. But to be clear here: I did not say that. Most of the devs who stand up for this change are saying: "This term makes some people feel excluded/not welcome. I think we should change it."
And yes, there are hardliners on both ends. But let's have a healthy debate.

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donut87 profile image
Christian Baer

And I'm not so much on the "CHANGE IT NOW OR YOU'RE A RACIST" side of this discussion.
You might not be, but consider what message people are receiving. Communication is very hard. See "Friedemann Schulz von Thun" for the problem of sending and receiving messages. I trust, that German is not an issue for you ;-)

Because it's not comfortable?
Exactly. Like I said, it's called comfort zone for a reason. Change always needs energy to overcome inertia. Be that in Physics or in Psychology. We humans are beings of habit and tend to reject suggestions to change. This holds true, especially if the change is forced upon us by some "higher force".

But let's have a healthy debate.
This is what I wished would have happened. Github took this opportunity away by deciding on a new standard without asking. For a company that claims to be community-driven, this was not a smart move.
The goal is noble and right, the methods are questionable and I fear, did not help the cause.

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shanrhyupong profile image

For your information, "Person of Color" is the most patronising and racist term I have ever heard in my life. You're basically practising segregation with this sort of language. "Us" vs "Them". Whites vs non-Whites, and is being White is the norm? Ridiculous.

Come over to Asia/Africa/South America. You're the minority there. Let's see how you like being called an "mzungu", "firanghee", "gora" or "gaijin" or "gringo" all the time for the rest of your life.

The cognitive dissonance is really strong with you, isn't it? Smh.

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donut87 profile image
Christian Baer

Now that you have stated what you do not want, please state what you want instead. So if you are done with shaking your head, please be so kind and tell me what to use instead.

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shanrhyupong profile image

Just don't use that term. Every ethnicity is different. If you want to refer to people who are not White/Caucasian, just use the term "non-White"/"non-Caucasian". That makes more sense than treating the non-White people as homogeneous, one-dimensional beings.

Also, cut out the passive-aggressive nonsense. It is very boring, I assure you. You wish to talk like adults, let's do so. If you cannot, then I don't see any reason to continue engaging with you. There is a time and place for levity, and I am all for that. This is not one of those occasions.