DEV Community


Discussion on: Replacing master with main in Github

packetdancer profile image

I cannot understand why so many people are resisting this change.

I honestly can't either. It's such a small thing. Even doing it by hand takes a minimal amount of time!

We've been having this discussion at work; in the course of the discussion the topic of the etymology of the term 'master' as used in tech came up, and discussion of whether or not it was meant to be taken in that sense. Someone replied to that all asking "Does intent matter here?", and I think the answer is "no".

The analogy I used in the discussion there is that if hurl something at someone's face, they get bruised. And with regards to that bruise, it doesn't actually matter if I threw it deliberately or if I lost my grip on something while gesturing and flung it accidentally; they get hurt either way. And I'd think we all want to avoid injuring our colleagues, even if such injuries are accidental.

I mean, people put on wrist straps when using Wiimotes or JoyCons or VR controllers of any form because you don't want to fling them at someone's face unintentionally. I view renaming the primary branch of a repository to be akin to those wrist-straps: a safety measure to ensure we don't unintentionally fling daily microaggressions at someone's metaphorical face.

I mean, the only reason I haven't migrated all of my own older personal repositories yet is that I'm trying to work on a tool in my spare time which will use the github GraphQL API to handle the whole process—including shifting the default branch to 'main' and migrating any necessary branch protections from 'master' to 'main'—and have left the repos I'm not using on a daily basis as a final test case for when I finish.

n_develop profile image
Lars Richter

First things first: I saw you joined just a few days ago. I am glad you joined this great community. Welcome!

Thanks for your reply. I agree 100% with your comment. It's good to see people like you with a healthy attitude to this subject.

Most people don't understand that it is not about them. It's not about them "being racist". You are not a racist if you use "master" as your main branch. That's not the point. It's about the other people interacting with your repository and your code. The point is: how do THEY feel?

Thread Thread
shanrhyupong profile image

As a "minority", I don't see any logic or usefulness in this change. Thankfully, github has accepted the views of the "other side" (the rational side) as well and have given people the choice of using master or main, which, ironically, you would have argued for as well - the choice - if you really did care about "minorities"). Get off your high horse - you don't represent me.