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Date:   Tue, 7 Jul 2020 17:26:41 -0400
From:   Arvind Sankar <>
To:     Tibor Raschko <>
        Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
        Mark Brown <>,
Subject: Re: [Tech-board-discuss] [PATCH] CodingStyle: Inclusive Terminology

On Tue, Jul 07, 2020 at 02:48:25AM +0200, Tibor Raschko wrote:
> > More generally etymological arguments are just not super relevant here
> > anyway, the issues people have are around current perceptions rather
> > than where things came from.
> This is where ignoring etymology in this case falls apart, claiming that the
> current meaning is more important than the historical one. Yes it should be more
> important, but it suggests that the current meaning is negative, which it is
> not. In computer science (context!) these words do not have any negative
> perception or connotation, and people in this field know this. Yes, outsiders
> might not know this and could misunderstand them. But since when do experts in
> computer science (or in any field of science for the matter) care if a layman
> can correctly understand the field's technical terms? We never did and never
> will, except in this particular case for some odd reason.
> Be honest: "blacklist" is a technical term where the actual meaning has no
> negative connotation despite what people outside the field might think. But
> apparently we don't care about the actual meaning. We also don't care about the
> historical meaning or etymology. We only care about... well if not about the
> meaning in the past or present, then I don't know what. Looking good in the media?

Blacklist most definitely has a negative connotation in technical use.
You blacklist devices that don't work properly, you blacklist drivers
that don't work for your hardware, you blacklist domains that are
sending spam or trying to mount network attacks on your servers. Things
on the blacklist are "bad" in one way or the other, that's the reason
they're on it.

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