Linux and its developers analyze a transition to an inclusive language

Some days ago Linux kernel developers received a proposal in which It is proposed that the Linux Kernel handle a suitable language and terminology and socially responsible with the problems that are currently coming. For this, a document was prepared in which the use of inclusive terminology is prescribed in the kernel. For identifiers used in the kernel, proposes to abandon the use of words like 'slave' and 'black list'.

Instead, the recommendation is made to replace the word slave with secondary, subordinate, replica, responder, follower, proxy and interpreter, and blacklist with a blocking list or deny list (secondary, subordinate, replica, responder, follower, proxy & performer, blocklist & denylist)

Recommendations apply to new code added to the kernel, but in the long term, removal of existing code is not excluded of the use of these terms.

At the same time, to avoid compatibility violations, an exception is provided for the issued API for user space, as well as for protocols and definitions of hardware components already implemented, whose specifications require the use of these terms.

When creating implementations based on new specifications, it is recommended, where possible, to align the terminology of the specification with the standard coding for the Linux kernel.

Recent events have prompted a Linux position statement on inclusive terminology. Since Linux maintains a coding style and its own idiomatic set of terminology, here is a proposal to answer the call to replace the non-inclusive terminology.

The document was proposed by three members from the Linux Foundation technical council:

  • Dan Williams (developer of NetworkManager, drivers for wireless devices and nvdimm)
  • Greg Kroah-Hartman, responsible for maintaining a stable branch of the Linux kernel, it is the main contributor to the Linux USB kernel subsystems, driver kernel)
  • Chris Mason (creator and chief architect of the Btrfs file system).

Also welcomed by the Tech Council members were Cook Kees (former sysadmin chief and Ubuntu Security Team leader, responsible for promoting major Linux kernel active protection technologies) and Olaf Johansson (working for support ARM architecture in kernel) From other well-known developers, they subscribed to the document David Airlie, maintainer of the DRM subsystem and Randy Dunlap

Linux inclusive kernel terminology

The Linux kernel is a global software project and in 2020 there was a global calculation of race relations that caused many organizations to re-evaluate their policies and practices regarding the inclusion of people of African descent. 

Disagreement was voiced by James Bottomley, former member of the technical board and developer of subsystems such as SCSI and MCA, and Stephen Rothwell(Stephen Rothwell, Linux-next branch maintainer). Stephen thinks it's wrong to limit racial issues only people of African descent, slavery is not limited to people with black skin.

On the triviality of replacing words

The African slave in trade was a brutal system of human misery deployed on a world scale. Some word choice decisions in a modern software project do next to nothing to offset that legacy.

So why put more effort into something so trivial in comparison? Because the goal is not to repair or erase the past. The goal is to maximize the availability and efficiency of the global developer community to participate in the Linux kernel development process.

James suggested ignoring the topic with inclusive terms, Ya que it only contributes to increasing disunity in the community and pointless debates about the historical justification for replacing certain terms.

The presented document acts as a magnet to attract people who want to use more inclusive language and other terms.

If you do not raise this issue, the attacks will be limited only to empty statements about the desire to replace the terms, without engaging in meaningless disputes that the slave trade in the Ottoman Empire was more or less brutal than in the United States.


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  1.   Martin said

    You have to be an idiot to fall for the progressive these of modern language for the offended.

  2.   logan said

    the dictatorship of the politically correct

    1.    Hernan said

      Now the sudo command is going to be sude? Why are they going to comb the queue of churches and stop bothering and wasting time for those of us who dedicate ourselves to Linux?

  3.   minute27 said

    GNU / Linux is about freedom, restricting the freedom of its users. Amazing. So much so that they complained that Windows & Co. were censors who only looked out for their interests, trampling on users, now they trample on users without charging anything. Hypocrites

    1.    Predator said

      The correct word to replace "slave" would be "employee", ahhh no either, it has to end with "e", "employee" otherwise it is not inclusive, xD

  4.   Hernán said

    Incredible that they waste time on these things ... How embarrassing.

  5.   Jorge de loquendo said

    Everyone get rid of Systemd and stop progressive left-wing Nayibista Poetteringist censors (PCINP)

  6.   perberos said

    At the time I made a Gnome fork due to the stupidity of some. Don't force me to fork linux !!!

    1.    smith AR said

      a real shame, where freedom was left, opensource is selling itself to this rancid left of the politically correct. I shit on your stupid inclusive language

  7.   Bruno said

    I think that when that day comes I will stop using such a good operating system .. a shame, a shit a shit

  8.   Walter Omar Dari said

    I hope there are some normal distributions left, with normal kernels. I'd stop using any other crap.

  9.   Azureus said

    Personally I consider it as stupid, now everything offends people for everything, it only remains that at some point the inclusive language already considers it offensive and begins to substitute the "e" for "x".
    In any case, as an end user, I don't see the point in modifying the reserved words in the kernel, in my 6 years as a user I have never modified the kernel and I see it idle and there I do consider that it is a great pretext to fragment the community.

  10.   Rafael Mayor Azpiazu said

    Honestly, I think that those of you who have commented here are missing two heads. GNU / Linux is about freedom and, if there are people who are bothered by different terms or do not feel comfortable, why not change them? They are not going to make the system slow down or anything like that, and total, half of the users are graphical environment users who rarely touch things in the kernel, so I do not understand the movie that some are forming because of bullshit .

    In this life you have to evolve, see things from another perspective and not get stuck with the first thing that happens, unless you want to be toxic people. Let's live comfortably and let us live, because getting into the lives of other people does not make you more human, on the contrary.

    1.    Men in black said

      “Honestly, I think those of you who have commented here are missing two fingers. GNU / Linux is about freedom and, if there are people who are bothered by different terms or do not feel comfortable, why not change them? »…

      And don't the people who consider these changes stupid have the same rights? Are the changes going to make the system faster or something like that? The people who comment here do so by exercising their legitimate right to comment and express their ideas. And they are in their legitimate right not to accept stupid things from idiots who try to instill in them what they have to think, say or do.
      "Let's live comfortably and let us live, because getting into the lives of other people does not make you more human, quite the opposite." You know, start by leading by example and let people be free and express themselves freely. It will not make you more human but less fascist asshole.

  11.   A person said

    They have time to change the linux language, don't they? But then they don't have time to create their own file manager or some support for programs that do not reach Linux yet, instead of being hanging from debian and its apt-get manager, and Yes, it bothers that the words change.

  12.   lscp said

    Poor progressive assholes that get offended by everything
    now they want to put their shit inclusive language, and worse in the linux kernel
    "Sudo now is sude and if you don't like it, you're a fucking homophobic" that's what those who instead of brains would say have shit in their heads