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Memfis

Is it a problem that programming languages have terms like "master" and "slave"?

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https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/11/python_purges_master_and_slave_in_political_pogrom/

 

I found this article quite interesting. I never even thought that these keywords could be seen as an issue. Do any of you guys feel something unpleasant when dealing with these terms? Would you say that perhaps these attempts to control the languages we use are going a little too far? Also won't there be compatibility problems in the future?

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18 minutes ago, Memfis said:

attempts to control the languages

 

Hey, do you have a link to that post where you mentioned removing palettes from wads if they used light blue because the word for light blue in Russian also means gay?

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Of course it is a problem, a first world problem. Only the easily offended sees a problem where there is none.

 

17 minutes ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Quite the opposite, to honest. :P

Kinky.

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Pretty indifferent about it, really. It's hard to imagine anybody could actually take offense to the terms used in these contexts, but neither are there any strong reasons to use them.

Edited by chungy

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If people found those terms upsetting then sure, this is positive. My concerns are more pragmatic, that being that replacement terminology is inconsistent. Django has leader and follower, Redis has primary and replica, and now Python has parent and child. I'm sure there's even more than just those terms for other projects that I'm not aware of. If one set of terminology becomes de-facto standard then that's fine, but nobody is following anybody else's lead outside of in the abstract, so there's way more confusion than is necessary when moving between projects.

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1 hour ago, Nine Inch Heels said:

Quite the opposite, to honest. :P

 

1 hour ago, Solmyr said:

Of course it is a problem, a first world problem. Only the easily offended sees a problem where there is none.

 

Same/Agreed.

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No strong opinion on "master" and "slave", but I remember an argument being made somewhere (although I can't find the article offhand) on similar lines that "Error: aborting child process" might not be the best message for a program to throw if it could appear on an obstetrician's screen in view of a patient.

 

33 minutes ago, 42PercentHealth said:

programmers are mature enough

I dunno, man...

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Vehicles have what are called "master" cylinders and "slave" cylinders for creating hydraulic pressure - totally harmless, and this was the first thing I thought of. In contexts such as this, or in programming language, I honestly believe that the definitions of these terms make them apt and - in my mind - more than justified. There are many words with varying degrees of stigma, and I personally don't believe in relegating them exclusively to the context from which their stigma was borne, because then these poor words will never be free from their baggage. #freethewords (no this isn't a real hashtag)

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The main issue I have with some of the replacements is that they don’t evoke the necessary imagery. I get if people really want to change this even though I think it’s a bit hysterical, but “primary” and “secondary” for example don’t imply the same thing (that one is a controller of the others). Maybe “boss” and “hapless employee” as a tongue in cheek reference to wage slavery would be a good alternative :D 

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Doesn't hurt anybody to choose some words which avoid unpleasant historical baggage, so I'm in favour. Personally I'm just tired of the reactionary Internet outrage machine that stirs up a big unnecessary drama every time people just try to make things a bit better for everyone. Good to see that the people calling the shots are level-headed though; Guido is good people.

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master/slave is typically implying hardware, i'd use it in hardware like if i made circuits. Or in describing the coupling of some USB devices. (someone mentioned it was used in motor engines, well there's a good argument for where it comes from as the engine is like a clock)

you just choose the words for the environment (if none exist already), in game engines so far i have used (where i needed to make up a word):
manager-<child
engine-<entity
they're just choose not to conflict with existing terms like object or gameobject

so with regard to master/slave, you would use it in engineering because the world is already there and engineers do not have much patience for people making philosophical about the words used

when making up words i think you need to be 90% pragmatic (anticipating all conflicts of understanding)... and 10% fancy (make a cool sounding word so it stands out a tad and is easy to remember).... Master/Slave fits the bill for this, it sounds a tad cool and it's obvious what the relationship is

EDIT: didn't realise the context lol, i'm a total python evangelist, well if guido says so is my new answer.... it's not so much whether he's right (or whether we even care), it's that he is our dictator (indeed i prefered tabs to spaces).... all right thinking programmers understand the value of a dictator

Edited by DarkShroom

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Is this one if those things where people have been actually upset by it, or is it more that some other people think some people might get upset by it?

 

There does seem to be something of a rise of "pre-emptive political correctness" these days.

 

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new answer: guido says so

this is like for example i used to have brackets one way but now we do it the other, everywhere we go 95% of us do not have to change how the formatting works.... so whatever

in python you code like some_variable in other places you code someVariable.. you just learn to agree much like i imagine mechanics agree with each other on the metric system

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5 minutes ago, Bauul said:

Is this one if those things where people have been actually upset by it, or is it more that some other people think some people might get upset by it?

 

There does seem to be something of a rise of "pre-emptive political correctness" these days.

 

i recon it's pre-emptive... and perhaps looks a tad hasty... but to be honest in software i've never seen the terms anyway all i can think of is in hardware and the USB stuff.

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If slavery isn't something that makes you feel uncomfortable, that's very fortunate for you, but suppose that it is, and suppose that you had to work with these terms every day, and suppose that your coworkers liked to use them as springboards for jokes?

 

For people coming from the classic "oh no political correctness" and "why so offended" angle: I'm sure there's SOMETHING that would make you feel bad or annoy you if you were constantly reminded of it. Think about it.

 

Alternatively, maybe the analogy is being retired because it's just not helpful anymore in this world of decreasing slavery and increasing disinterest in history?

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It's only a problem if people make it one, and seeing as how people are very skilled at making problems from nothing... cue the controversy.

 

I've never cared about the terms because I understand the meaning in the context of hardware systems. You can't offend me with those terms in this context.

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5 hours ago, Memfis said:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/11/python_purges_master_and_slave_in_political_pogrom/

 

I found this article quite interesting. I never even thought that these keywords could be seen as an issue. Do any of you guys feel something unpleasant when dealing with these terms? Would you say that perhaps these attempts to control the languages we use are going a little too far? Also won't there be compatibility problems in the future?

 

Can we use "dom" and "sub" instead?  ;)

 

What about "Doomguy" for Master and "Icon of Sin" for Slave? [/joking]

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there's an ongoing culture war, and it's being fought on many fronts. This is yet another incursion of Social Justice ideology.

 

no, master/slave in programming is not a problem, unless you're concerned with policing language to enforce ideological orthodoxy.

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It's fucking stupid and the people pushing for this are pushing for it because they have zero technical ability but a gnawing need to have some, any, relevance to the group they're trying to cling to. Fuck'em.

 

2 hours ago, Benjogami said:

If slavery isn't something that makes you feel uncomfortable, that's very fortunate for you, but suppose that it is, and suppose that you had to work with these terms every day, and suppose that your coworkers liked to use them as springboards for jokes?

 

For people coming from the classic "oh no political correctness" and "why so offended" angle: I'm sure there's SOMETHING that would make you feel bad or annoy you if you were constantly reminded of it. Think about it.

 

Alternatively, maybe the analogy is being retired because it's just not helpful anymore in this world of decreasing slavery and increasing disinterest in history?

 

I'm sick and fucking tired of this bullshit. Do sysadmins who had to bury their own kids start crying whenever they have to deal with killing off child processes? No. This is a non-issue that's invented by a caste of people who desperately need something to be upset about, and what they're upset about is usually the fact that mommy hasn't cut the crust off their sandwich.

 

3 hours ago, fraggle said:

Doesn't hurt anybody to choose some words which avoid unpleasant historical baggage, so I'm in favour. Personally I'm just tired of the reactionary Internet outrage machine that stirs up a big unnecessary drama every time people just try to make things a bit better for everyone. Good to see that the people calling the shots are level-headed though; Guido is good people.

Is the "reactionary Internet outrage machine that stirs up a big unnecessary drama" the people who try to change words so that nobody will ever be offended, or the people who are annoyed at said moral guardians?

Remember when people thought Doom was evil because it had demons and caused school shooters? It's frankly shocking that the guy in charge of Doom's arguably most important historical project next to the idgames archive is behaving like post-Columbine bible-thumpers. I understand that they're your friends, but tbh you need to get your head out of your ass.

Edited by segfault

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Dom and sub.

Bourgeoisie and proletariat.

Romero and bitch.

 

 

Edited by Urthar

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2 hours ago, Benjogami said:

If slavery isn't something that makes you feel uncomfortable, that's very fortunate for you, but suppose that it is, and suppose that you had to work with these terms every day, and suppose that your coworkers liked to use them as springboards for jokes?

 

For people coming from the classic "oh no political correctness" and "why so offended" angle: I'm sure there's SOMETHING that would make you feel bad or annoy you if you were constantly reminded of it. Think about it.

 

Alternatively, maybe the analogy is being retired because it's just not helpful anymore in this world of decreasing slavery and increasing disinterest in history?

There's a slight problem here. Once you start censoring things based on hurt feelings, where does it end? Potentially, anything could be offensive. It's a slippery slope towards massive censorship and curtailing of freedom of speech and expression. This, to me, is far more offensive than any 'hate speech' I'm aware of.

 

And no, this is not about being historically uninformed, or the supposed decrease in slavery. in fact, while slavery and the slave trade no longer operate legally anywhere in the world, and a smaller percentage of human beings are enslaved, human trafficking remains a major problem worldwide.

 

Anyone who's been following current culture knows the real reason. It's as I said -- Social Justice orthodoxy campaigning for power and influence, and control of language is a major component of that (as Orwell warned us).

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