Linux banned terms like “blacklist” and “slave” from the kernel | Applications and Software

Following a trend that gained momentum after the protests over the death of George Floyd in the United States, Linus Torvalds approved the adoption of a new terminology for the source code and documentation of the Linux kernel. The idea is to curb the use of terms that have or can take on a racist connotation. From now on, words like blacklist and slave should be avoided.

The general understanding is that neutral terminology makes the community responsible for Linux development more welcoming and inclusive for everyone. There is no definitive list of substitute words, but Torvalds pointed out some fairly consistent options.

Master (master) and slave (slave), for example, can be replaced by primary (primary) and secondary (secondary); blacklist (blacklist) and whitelist (white list) can be exchanged for denylist (block list) or allowlist (whitelist).

Lenovo computer with Ubuntu Linux

Old terms that are now considered inappropriate may be preserved only for the maintenance of old source code or documentation, as well as for compatibility with protocols or hardware that require these words.

In other circumstances, inappropriate terms should be avoided and, whenever possible, changed in all activities that involve the development and maintenance of Linux.

THE decision was announced by Linus Torvalds last 10 in response to the proposal from Linux maintainer Dan Williams, which presented the new approach on July 4th.

With that, the kernel developers join several technology companies that have also decided to avoid using terms that can be associated with racial issues. Among them are Twitter, Microsoft, GitHub, LinkedIn and JP Morgan. Project developers like Android, MySQL, PHPUnit and Curl are also moving in that direction.

With information: ZDNet.

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