Branch name adjustments

What do you want to see in Armagetron soon? Any new feature ideas? Let's ponder these ground breaking ideas...
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Z-Man
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Branch name adjustments

Post by Z-Man »

I had enough of keeping old branch names out of laziness. Our releases currently are 0.2.9.X and should no longer come from a branch starting with 0.2.8. So:

For git, if you were using legacy_0.2.8, please switch over to legacy_0.2.9.
For bzr, the new branch name is lp:armagetronad/0.2.9 in short form or 0.2.9-armagetronad-work.

The old 0.2.8 branches still exist, but they're no longer updated. If you were in the habit of regularly merging from 0.2.8, switch to merging from 0.2.9 now. The bidirectional sync between git and bzr is still in operation, both for 0.2.8 and 0.2.9.

Equivalent operations happened on the support modules (winlibs, build_codeblocks).

Anything 0.2.8.3 stays 0.2.8.3.

On the git side, a further change was made: Our configured main branch is now named 'trunk'. Background, of course, is the increased perceived iffiness of the master-slave relationship in IT in general; my personal interpretation here is that by using these terms to describe a technical relation, one might accidentally plant the idea in people's heads that it maybe isn't such a bad model for human relations as people make it out to be. It's not about avoiding a term at all cost, that would be silly; how else are you going to talk about slavery? Also important, nobody pressured us to do this and we do not want to pressure anyone else. We, that is Tank, Lucifer, Armanelgtron, Luke-Jr (I think?) and me just had a quiet chat on IRC. Hard to believe, I know :)

Before you argue that point: Yes, the git main branch is traditionally called 'master' probably because the term was taken over from bitkeeper, which does have slaves, relevant links here: https://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop ... 00066.html And the master branch is also not the master in the sense of 'master copy', the thing other equal things are copied from; the point is to have the copies only start out as copies, then modify them. And definitely it's not the master in the sense of 'very skilled person'. So it's a term that doesn't even fit in any of its regular meanings. 'trunk' is much better, see: Trees. When seen with math/computer nerd logic, anyway. I suppose botanists would protest the statement that the trunk is a branch.

The 'master' branch is still there and currently synced with trunk, but that is bound to stop some time.

Further down the line, there are going to be two more changes, no rush though:
Obviously, the Master Server also isn't really a master in any regular sense of the word. It's up for renaming. "Directory Server" is what we're hovering over. Suggestions welcome. "Hub"? It's short. But then people probably expect to be able to interact with others on the hub.

Also definitely on the chopping block: We have two instances of blacklist/whitelist in the authentication server configuration. That's just really bad for our poor Lizard Brain. They'll probably become block/allowlists.

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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by syllabear »

I would argue against overthinking too much about the significance of some of these terms.

Blacklist for instance comes from a list of judges who killed Charles I (an English king) that was made by his successor Charles II - the names of the people on this "black list" were the people responsible for Charles I's death. Clearly there are no racist origins to the word, and attributing to them today is stupid, or a vain attempt to virtue signal. If you follow this behaviour to it's logical end, you will run out of adjectives to use for anything, since people's offensive sensibilities are endless.
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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by Z-Man »

I'm not overthinking, I'm underthinking. I'm thinking the current use of blacklist and whitelist implies black = bad and white = good. And I think that the primitive bits of our brain that are responsible for what we like or fear are not sophisticated enough to understand that that is purely to be taken metaphorically and does not apply to skin tone.

The origin of the term does not matter. But please check your assumptions. Your origin there comes from long ago (there's several other possible origins, too, of about the same age). That alone is not reason enough to conclude the origin is not racist. It may not be, but there also were pretty bad racist around back then.

The 'logical end' is an end of your choice. I'm pretty sure the real logical end is much earlier and I'd be able to stop myself waaay earlier, if only at the point where I can't be bothered to remember any more what I'm no longer supposed to say. And at the current rate, more words and expressions are created than are removed here, even assuming the removal was a ban. And it isn't, far from it. I haven't stated it explicitly, but for compatibility reasons alone, all commands that include MASTER, BLACKLIST or WHITELIST are still going to work. I don't have any intention of regulating the use of these terms. Just the default terms used in the documentation and official command list are going to change, into terms that are better understandable from any cultural context. I mean... look at that. You have like a 50% chance to guess WHITELIST correctly, tops, and 0% for BLACKLIST.

I'm quavering on the Master Server :) It basically depends on whether we can find a good replacement term. Also, it's the most painful to actually execute. And I checked the translations; the French one is "Maitre", which clearly is the highly skilled person/instructor (by epsy, I guess). Russian is "Мастеру", which the Internet tells me is also ambiguous like the English, but leaning heavily towards the highly skilled person/instructor, and apparently also the word they chose for the "Wizard" dialog style in computer programs. Polish is "głównego" (some characters mangled by copy/paste), which just means 'main'. German leaves it at Master Server, because we like to just steal the English words for things we don't understand; but if pressed by the Deutsche Sprachreinhaltungsanstalt (*) and forced to stay close to possible literal translations, I'd probably have picked "Meister", too, definitely not "Herrenserver". So every language but English makes it clear that no slavery or White Supremacy is involved, or rather, the translators understood the English that way. It's a small sample, but still a sample. I feel less need to change it now.

I suggest those who would like to see "Master Server" changed throw their suggestions in the ring, then we'll have a vote. First between the change alternatives, then the change vs. 'keep it at Master', because if we do it in one vote, those who want it to stay the same can increase the chance of getting their way by making good change suggestions to split up the competition, which would be weird. No, I don't care that forum votes are not 100% representative.

(*): that does not exist.

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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by delinquent »

With respect to "Master copy", "Master Server", "Master template" et al, this is an example of multi-definitive language in English. It has no relation to indentured servitude, unlike the term "master/slave", from which such a relationship can be inferred. Rather, it infers "leader" or "commander" - you can see examples of this in old aristocracy, where a homeowner with hired staff would be named the "master" of the house, who directs actions. I'd say leave the Master Server as-is, but one can understand hesitation over the terms "master/slave" - even if that is the technically correct definition within IT, especially with IDE and comms bridging. To be fair, however, we use this form of connectivity much less nowadays, even within enterprise infrastructure. My storage array can address up to sixty drives at once! I suspect even without endeavouring to change this naming schema, the cessation of it's common usage will occur naturally as technologoy continues to evolve.

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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by kyle »

The origin of the words can always be debatable. When github announced this change months ago, my reaction, what really, why, in this context it doesn't mean that and I've never thought of it that way. But there are people who do feel that way. So changing the names make it more inclusive to all and that's a good thing.

As for renaming the master server naming, lets stick to tree naming, maybe orchard server or forest server.
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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by sinewav »

kyle wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:31 am
As for renaming the master server naming, lets stick to tree naming, maybe orchard server or forest server.
This is in line with my thinking toward language in our current climate. There is no reason to keep offensive or questionable language when there is so many better options. You can almost always find model in nature to use whenever creating a system. I love taxonomy!

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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by delinquent »

You know, it strikes me that we (as a society, not just the Armagetron community) seem to be arbitrarily making decisions about what is offensive and what is not. I wonder if we might not better be equipped to understand what we should be looking at within society if we actually asked the persons whom we are trying to be more inclusive towards. I'm aware I'm making some assumptions here, but perhaps the likes of JamezFlamez, Tweezy, etc are the people we should be asking, rather than making blanket directive changes at whim based on what we percieve to be damaging.

I hope that doesn't come off the wrong way, I'm not trying rustle feathers here.

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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by sinewav »

Speaking of branches, this thread is racing toward a fork.
delinquent wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:32 pm
...rather than making blanket directive changes at whim based on what we percieve to be damaging.
I rarely see policy changed on a whim, and it's certainly not being changed here without careful thought. Anything considered socially offensive is a moving target and it's always best to overshoot the target by a little than not go far enough.

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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by delinquent »

Perhaps whim is the wrong word. I suppose what I'm suggesting is that we may not be the most qualified to answer the question "is this offensive" or "does this warrant change". Moreover, it might appear more offensive to make such token gestures without actually consulting those to whom we are attempting to demonstrate our resolve to.

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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by kyle »

delinquent, I get exactly what you are trying to say, but it's not that simple. We may have an idea of who may think it is offensive, but it's not that simple. It really may not be offensive to the people we think at all.

What we are saying there exist at least a person who thinks, black/white list or master branch / server that is offensive, they may have never played this game, possibly because the way we use those words they find offensive. We would rather it not be offensive to anyone and further open it up to anyone.

So why not take the time to rename a few things, as z-man said and I agree Master branch never really fit armagetron's model anyway. Why keep the though being white and black list, when those names really don't say what they are really doing. Any why not give the "Master server" a more descriptive name for what it actually is? If there is a chance that this can be inclusive to more people, while actually making our naming better why be opposed to it?
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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by Z-Man »

I think that considering what's 'offensive' is entirely the wrong framing. It puts the burden too much on the receiver's side. I just said some words! Words can't do harm. But you hear them and choose to be offended. Can't you just choose not to? Can you demonstrate to me why you have the right to be offended by them? And then prove how your right not to be offended, which does not exist (mostly), weighs more than my right to free speech?
The question I'd rather ask is whether our communication shows compassion and respect. And is honest in that, of course.
delinquent wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:20 pm
Moreover, it might <edit>be less compassionate</edit> to make such token gestures without actually consulting those to whom we are attempting to demonstrate our resolve to.
That's true. Voices welcome. But kyle is also right, our sample size here is small and pre-filtered. It's not representative of the whole population, so care needs to be taken.

This Wired article has some statements:
https://www.wired.com/story/tech-confro ... ter-slave/

Main valid argument against Github's move, which the arguments againts are focusing on as they come from an opposing petition, is that it's an empty PR move that doesn't change any real problem. Yeah, I get that. That's relatively easy to avoid for us: We just don't make a big thing out of it. A line for each change in the patch notes, obviously. It's kind of a bugfix. But no prose patting ourselves on the back. I hope I haven't done any of that here :)

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Re: Branch name adjustments

Post by delinquent »

Z-Man wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:30 pm
The question I'd rather ask is whether our communication shows compassion and respect. And is honest in that, of course.
Your point is well taken. I suppose my concern is "are we simply pretending it never happened". Nevertheless, I think it prudent to point a few eople to this thread and gauge their opinions - at least a few voices are better than none. From the article you linked, I think the term "distractions or solutions" is an appropriate question to be asking.
Z-Man wrote:
Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:30 pm
But no prose patting ourselves on the back. I hope I haven't done any of that here :)
I'm probably not the person to make such an assessment, but I don't intepret any of that here. This is (IMO) a valid discussion at an appropriate time.

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