Our team is currently implementing a shiny new Jamf server and while configuring the clustering, encountered its language of ‘master’ and ‘slave’. This prompted a healthy conversation about the naming of things, and I thought I’d share some of that.
As a consequence of our discussion, we’re going to try and ensure that in our own descriptions we’re removing or avoiding references to language with origins and (for some at least) potentially ongoing meaning that doesn’t align with our values – particularly master/slave (preferring primary/secondary or primary/replica). Some vendors (cough Jamf cough) are a little late to the party, but there’s no reason for this to leak into the things that we get to name (like our own database servers).
Not sure what the fuss is about? Perhaps try humbly ‘checking your privilege’ (I should know - I’m a middle-aged white bloke from Sydney) and read some of what has been happening in this area across the tech world:
- Rails founder David Heinemeier Hansson tweeting about this https://twitter.com/dhh/status/1032050325513940992?lang=en (refer the linked thread)
- A good post on Medium https://medium.com/@mikebroberts/let-s-stop-saying-master-slave-10f1d1bf34df
- Related Python ‘issue’ with links to it being solved for lots of databases, languages and frameworks https://bugs.python.org/issue34605 (and some reporting of that here https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/11/python_purges_master_and_slave_in_political_pogrom/)
(NB. some are even proposing here the removal of the blacklist/whitelist nomenclature too)
Most of us don’t mean any harm when we use phrases like this. But that’s not the point, is it ;)
Footnote. This was something I originally posted on https://forum.mitie.edu.au, but it feels significant enough to warrant sharing here too.