Mozilla gives 15k to remove "Slave" from build bot documentation

iamzim101

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Feb 22, 2011
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I know im a bit late to the party (the blog post was on the 10th).
But mozilla awarded 15k to a project in order to "... remove the term "slave" from all documentation, APIs and tests, and also to make improvements so Buildbot works better in the Amazon EC2 cloud".
Relevant blog post
Please keep in mind that the terms "Master" and "Slave" is a real technical term and has been in use for decades.

I honestly don't like this change.
Some people will argue that this is literally just a word and can be quickly changed without any hassle. And I could also argue that the word "plate" should be changed to "flat plane" to stop a small minority from being offended.
What really annoys me though is that Mozilla is paying for this to happen. I can sort of get behind individual projects changing to a new naming system through their own volition. That's how languages change over time (I don't have to agree with it but it will happen). But I can't get behind a non profit organisation such as Mozilla paying someone to do this.

It's like unicef paying someone 100k to change "3rd world countries" to "less privileged countries" in all of their marketing. They have better things to do with their money.
 

Redryhno

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Jul 25, 2011
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Pluvia said:
Their money, they can spend it how they like. Don't think it matters if you get behind it or not.
That's sorta like saying campaign contributions don't/shouldn't matter in elections...
 

Redryhno

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Pluvia said:
Redryhno said:
Pluvia said:
Their money, they can spend it how they like. Don't think it matters if you get behind it or not.
That's sorta like saying campaign contributions don't/shouldn't matter in elections...
Apart from the fact that elections aren't remotely comparable to some software, it'd actually be more like saying that campaign contributions use their money and they can spend it how they like. Don't think it matters if you get behind it or not.

So yeah, your analogy was off twice there.
That's why there was the "sorta" thing there at the start dude.
 

DrownedAmmet

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Apr 13, 2015
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iamzim101 said:
I know im a bit late to the party (the blog post was on the 10th).
But mozilla awarded 15k to a project in order to "... remove the term "slave" from all documentation, APIs and tests, and also to make improvements so Buildbot works better in the Amazon EC2 cloud".
Relevant blog post
Please keep in mind that the terms "Master" and "Slave" is a real technical term and has been in use for decades.

I honestly don't like this change.
Some people will argue that this is literally just a word and can be quickly changed without any hassle. And I could also argue that the word "plate" should be changed to "flat plane" to stop a small minority from being offended.
What really annoys me though is that Mozilla is paying for this to happen. I can sort of get behind individual projects changing to a new naming system through their own volition. That's how languages change over time (I don't have to agree with it but it will happen). But I can't get behind a non profit organisation such as Mozilla paying someone to do this.

It's like unicef paying someone 100k to change "3rd world countries" to "less privileged countries" in all of their marketing. They have better things to do with their money.
Actually, I think this is something that they should be using award money for, some small little change that makes it sound better but isn't a big enough deal for someone to pay for it themselves. I think it's cool that they want to use a less loaded word

The weird thing is if you got to buildbot's website, they still use the master/slave terms on the front page:
http://buildbot.net/
 

seventy two

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Pluvia said:
Their money, they can spend it how they like. Don't think it matters if you get behind it or not.
Mozilla solicits donations from people so I think it is fair that people have an opinion about something their money is potentially going towards.

Personally I think it is a silly changed, if it was not a problem in the recent past it should not be treated as a problem now.
 

MysticSlayer

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Apr 14, 2013
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iamzim101 said:
Please keep in mind that the terms "Master" and "Slave" is a real technical term and has been in use for decades.
To be fair, I've always wondered why they chose those words over other, equally fitting terms. Maybe I'm just adding too much cultural baggage to the two words.

That said...

I honestly don't like this change.
I doubt you would dislike it so much if you weren't adding some clear distaste for (excess) political correctness to this. In terms of responding to hyper-sensitivity, this is a very minor issue. I doubt anyone is severely affected by changing "master/slave" to something less likely to offend someone.

Also, it's not like this is the first time a controversy has been raised. There are at least two other instances (one with Django and another more recently Swift) where the terminology was changed.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

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So what are they changing it to? I mean the master/slave divide hasn't been relevant in home computing since SATA took off properly. It's been a while since I had to make changes to jumpers :p

But seriously, what are they replacing it with?
 

The Enquirer

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Gordon_4 said:
So what are they changing it to? I mean the master/slave divide hasn't been relevant in home computing since SATA took off properly. It's been a while since I had to make changes to jumpers :p

But seriously, what are they replacing it with?
Maybe they'll do whatever the creators of "Gravity Falls" did to get it on Disney channel. Change it to actually offensive words so when it's changed back it's well received.

In all seriousness, I am curious what they're changing it too. Normally I'd look it up myself but I'm heading to sleep. You can get an internet point from me if you happen to find out before I do when I wake up.
 

DefunctTheory

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Mar 30, 2010
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MysticSlayer said:
To be fair, I've always wondered why they chose those words over other, equally fitting terms. Maybe I'm just adding too much cultural baggage to the two words.
For the same reason most physical connections use 'female' or 'male' connectors. Someone named it a while ago, it was technically accurate, and while 'slave/master' is offensive to use with people, it wasn't a huge deal back then when it came to things.

And as others pointed out, it's a technical term not limited to programming. Military vehicles use 'slave' cabling system to charge each others batteries, Hydraulic systems used it, databases uses it, PATA drives used it, system clocks, and so on. It's even used in some fiction - Battletech uses it for Command and Control modules, named 'Slave' or 'Master.'

Personally, I'm not to bent out of shape by this either way. The 15K reward was given to remove slave from the documentation and improve performance, so I really doubt they gave 15 thousand dollars for a simple Find/Replace job. And it's not like this is the first time this came up.

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/master.asp

Gordon_4 said:
So what are they changing it to? I mean the master/slave divide hasn't been relevant in home computing since SATA took off properly. It's been a while since I had to make changes to jumpers :p

But seriously, what are they replacing it with?
I believe the terms of choice now are Master/Primary and Replica.

EDIT: Also, I've heard 'Leader/Follower,' but if we're going to stay away from things that are offensive, we should probably keep away from names that could remind people of cults.
 

Smooth Operator

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Oct 5, 2010
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Well it's just bad form, you start mucking around with expected technical names and you confuse the fuck out of everyone trying to work with you stuff, not to mention everything that exists right now.
But then again most of the more industrious companies do this as a strategy so they essentially create more brand names inside their brand, it is a horrid practice.
 

EyeReaper

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Good. As someone with Polish ancestry, I was getting so sick of the cultural appropriation going on. As a man with Slavic ancestors, I'm pretty sure I get to say that's our word.

Might also want to tell Mozilla that "hard worker" is off-limits too.
 

munx13

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Dec 17, 2008
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Pluvia said:
Their money, they can spend it how they like. Don't think it matters if you get behind it or not.
I see a small problem here.
 

Thaluikhain

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munx13 said:
Pluvia said:
Their money, they can spend it how they like. Don't think it matters if you get behind it or not.
I see a small problem here.
Only a small problem, once they get their money, they can spend it on whatever they want.

Sure, some people would be annoyed at them because of this, but I don't imagine they'd miss out on much in the way of donations.