In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Github, a Microsoft-owned company that provides hosting for software development, is working on removing coding terms like “master” and “slave.” In programming, the term “master” can refer to a main version of a software project off which variations are created.
On Thursday, Github CEO Nat Friedman replied to a tweet from Una Kravets, director of product design at Bustle Digital Group, about the tech community taking steps to rename certain terms — particularly, to switch that of the default branch structure from “master” to “main.”
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“It’s a great idea and we are already working on this,” Friedman tweeted.
CNET reached out to Github for comment, and we’ll update when we hear back.
Github’s Twitter page posted that it stands with the black community and the fight against racism. Comments flooded in in response, demanding that the company terminate its contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The agency’s actions of splitting up immigrant families at the US-Mexico border was widely condemned by tech companies. In June 2018, nearly 100 Github coders penned a letter to Microsoft saying they would leave the company unless the contract was dropped.
Black Lives Matter: How you can take action today
Amid global protests in response to the deaths of black civilians like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and others, tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft have voiced the need for racial justice. Technologists are also looking at revising other terms like “whitelist” and “blacklist.” It’s also been suggested that “white hat” and “black hat” be replaced with “ethical” and “unethical.”
Black Lives Matter. Visit blacklivesmatters.carrd.co to learn how to donate, sign petitions and protest safely.