Re: Change branch name in GitHub #project #communication

Matteo Lissandrini (AAU)

Thanks for the support Massimo!

To be honest me neither, but alas the fact that *we* don't do that association is quite at the core of the matter.
As you say, it is definitely not about what we mean but about other people being unduly hurt.


Matteo Lissandrini

Department of Computer Science
Aalborg University

From: <> on behalf of Massimo Pizzol via <>
Sent: 16 June 2020 09:44:02
Subject: Re: [bonsai] Change branch name in GitHub #communication #project

To be completely honest, I had never before this mail associated the word “master-branch” to the master/slave relationship. But I can see some can make this association and find the name inappropriate.

It is OK for me to change the branch name to “main” or similar.

Basically it does not cost us any effort, and if this can avoid other people feel bad then…why not.


From: <> on behalf of "Matteo Lissandrini (AAU) via" <>
Reply-To: "" <>
Date: Tuesday, 16 June 2020 at 09.32
To: "" <>
Subject: [bonsai] Change branch name in GitHub #communication #project

Hi all,
I would like to propose we change branch names in our github repositories away from `master`.

Here some more pointers about this proposal.

Language and words have a power and, unfortunately, some words and terminology we have historically used in technology (and in everyday conversation) are not neutral - they have an inadvertent and inherent ability to hurt some sections of our society.

Master-slave is an oppressive metaphor that will and should never become fully detached from history. Aside from being unprofessional and oppressive it stifles participation according to Eglash: “If the master-slave metaphor affected these tough-minded engineers who had the gumption to make it through a technical career back in the days when they may have been the only black persons in their classes, what impact might it have on black students who are debating whether or not to enter science and technology careers at all?”

I believe is in everybody's interest to move to a more inclusive language.


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