Linus Torvalds Has Merged Inclusive-Terminology Rules Into The Linux Kernel Git Tree

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"The discussion has tapered off as well as the incoming ack, review, and sign-off tags. I did not see a reason to wait for the next merge window". Word like master, slave, blacklist and whitelist is now banned from the Linux kernel. Accepted new-speak replacement word include primary, main, secondary, replica, subordinate, initiator, requester, target, responder, controller,host, device, worker, proxy, leader, follower, director and performer. The new terms will likely confuse non-technical people, non-native English speakers and others who have been using the now-banned technical terms for decades.

written by 林慧 (Wai Lin) 2020-07-11 - last edited 2020-07-13. © CC BY

Linux coding styles documentation in the current git tree.

We warned you that Intel is pushing for 1984-Style revision of words allowed in linux kernel development and documentation earlier this week. Linus Torvalds has now merged a new section on "inclusive-terminology" into the Linux kernel's "Linux kernel coding style" document found in the Documentation/process/coding-style.rst file in in the Linus source tree. This section will be a part of Linux 5.8 when it is released in a few short weeks.

The merge adds the following text:

"For symbol names and documentation, avoid introducing new usage of 'master / slave' (or 'slave' independent of 'master') and 'blacklist / whitelist'.

Recommended replacements for 'master / slave' are:

'{primary,main} / {secondary,replica,subordinate}'
'{initiator,requester} / {target,responder}'
'{controller,host} / {device,worker,proxy}'
'leader / follower'
'director / performer'

Recommended replacements for 'blacklist/whitelist' are:

'denylist / allowlist'
'blocklist / passlist'

Exceptions for introducing new usage is to maintain a userspace ABI/API, or when updating code for an existing (as of 2020) hardware or protocol specification that mandates those terms. For new specifications translate specification usage of the terminology to the kernel coding standard where possible."

"inclusive-terminology" text block merged into the Linux kernel on July 11th, 2020

The Approvals

The "inclusive-terminology" documentation merge was signed-off-by:

Stephen Hemminger Microsoft
Theodore Ts'o Google
Shuah Khan Samsung
Dan Carpenter Oracle
Kees Cook Google
Olof Johansson Tesla
Jonathan Corbet
Chris Mason Facebook
Greg Kroah-Hartman Linux foundation
Dan Williams Intel

The Rejected Essay

The original Intel-proposed documentation merge included long essay arguing why the Linux kernel would need "inclusive-terminology" coding rules. That essay has so far not been merged to a separate inclusive-terminology.rst documentation file. That may be a good thing, the Linux kernel Documentation/ is not meant to be filled with political blog posts.

The Consequences

The practical consequences of the new rules are simple: Well-known technical terms like master, slave, whitelist and blacklist can no longer be used in patched submitted to the Linux kernel. The new-speak rules lay the foundation for a slippery slope that will likely lead to many more words being replaced by new-speak synonyms in the future.

The new terminology are specially hurtful and problematic for young people, poor people and people of colour in particular and they will create inequality and inevitably create both a larger wealth divide and larger a knowledge divide in society. Those who use old text-books because they simply can not afford brand new ones will learn the old, forbidden, technical terms that have been widely used for four decades. Those who have well-paid parents employed by large multinational corporations, such as those people who imposed the new new-speak terminology rules, will be able to buy brand new text-books with the new rules.

It really is quite sad that misguided 白左 people working for large western multi-national corporation are using their power to step on those who are already worst off in society - regardless of them actually understanding the actual practical consequences of what they are doing or not.

(0 votes)


Anonymous (d99d9ab3)

17 months ago
Score 0++


"Calling things 'professional' is... trying to enforce some kind of convention on others by trying to claim that it's the only acceptable way"

What a knee bending coward. I hope prep people start forking the kernel

Anonymous (f4423a00)

17 months ago
Score 8++

Tomorrow they will 'abolish' the extremely ordinary titles "Mr" and "Mrs" because they are nothing but variations of master and mistress.

In the meantime, real problems are still real and still problems.

Anonymous (359d3f57eb)

4 months ago
Score 0
Wow. I wouldn't fall on this sword, but damn people, have some intestinal fortitude. And Fuck You also. Blacklisted

Anonymous (f4e0b41f60)

2 months ago
Score 0
Sneeds seed and feed, formerly sane
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