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Date:   Tue, 9 Jun 2020 10:19:35 -0700
From:   Stephen Hemminger <>
To:     David Miller <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH ethtool v1] netlink: add master/slave configuration

On Sun, 07 Jun 2020 16:45:32 -0700 (PDT)
David Miller <> wrote:

> From: Stephen Hemminger <>
> Date: Sun, 7 Jun 2020 15:30:19 -0700
> > Open source projects have been working hard to remove the terms master and slave
> > in API's and documentation. Apparently, Linux hasn't gotten the message.
> > It would make sense not to introduce new instances.  
> Would you also be against, for example, the use of the terminology
> expressing the "death" of allocated registers in a compiler backend,
> for example?
> How far do you plan take this resistence of terminology when it
> clearly has a well defined usage and meaning in a specific technical
> realm which is entirely disconnected to what the terms might imply,
> meaning wise, in other realms?
> And if you are going to say not to use this terminology, you must
> suggest a reasonable (and I do mean _reasonable_) well understood
> and _specific_ replacement.
> Thank you.

How many times have you or Linus argued about variable naming.
Yes, words do matter and convey a lot of implied connotation and meaning.

Most projects and standards bodies are taking a stance on fixing the
language. The IETF is has proposed making changes as well.

There are a very specific set of trigger words and terms that
should be fixed. Most of these terms do have better alternatives.

A common example is that master/slave is unclear and would be clearer
as primary/secondary or active/backup or controller/worker.

Most of networking is based on standards. When the standards wording changes
(and it will happen soon); then Linux should also change the wording in the
source, api and documentation.


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