Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

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gosling
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by gosling » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:33 pm

I work in IT for a science publisher and we have a few "slave" instances of MarkLogic. I've always felt uncomfortable with the term (and I'm white) but have never been in a position to do anything about it. I don't know if anyone has commented on it now.

Conversely, I haven't had a problem with GitHub using "master" for their main branch, probably because they don't use "slaves" for other branches. I've heard they're going to switch to using "main" instead.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Grumble » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:09 pm

In recording you have a master and a copy, which feels fine. The word master isn’t a problem without the word slave next to it.
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Martin_B » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:33 am

I've more usually seen grandfather-father-son (which is, admittedly, sexist) for computer back-up systems.

I've not seen many cases of master-slave in that context, or in computer systems where you have a main server or terminal and 'subordinate' servers or terminals. I think the last computer I heard of as 'slave' was on Blake's 7.
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by TimW » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:58 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:00 pm
We're not necessarily the best people to judge the offensiveness or not of the terms here.
You're right - there probably aren't many Slavs here.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by gosling » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:04 am

Martin_B wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:33 am
I've more usually seen grandfather-father-son (which is, admittedly, sexist) for computer back-up systems.

I've not seen many cases of master-slave in that context, or in computer systems where you have a main server or terminal and 'subordinate' servers or terminals. I think the last computer I heard of as 'slave' was on Blake's 7.
Ooh, yes, we could use XML-style parent-child (or ancestor/descendant) terms.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by dyqik » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:44 pm

gosling wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:04 am
Martin_B wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:33 am
I've more usually seen grandfather-father-son (which is, admittedly, sexist) for computer back-up systems.

I've not seen many cases of master-slave in that context, or in computer systems where you have a main server or terminal and 'subordinate' servers or terminals. I think the last computer I heard of as 'slave' was on Blake's 7.
Ooh, yes, we could use XML-style parent-child (or ancestor/descendant) terms.
That's often a somewhat different kind of relationship - hereditary properties and attributes rather than command and control based or content mirroring based.

Source and mirror are common in caches and the like. I'd use object and image when doing optics, but that's confusing in computers.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Boustrophedon » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:08 pm

Pokes thread gingerly with bargepole.
Nope.
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:26 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:00 pm
I've skipped over a few posts on this thread, but it's always worth remembering the general balance of whiteness on the forum. We're not necessarily the best people to judge the offensiveness or not of the terms here.
What has whiteness got to do with it?
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:31 am

dyqik wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:44 pm
Source and mirror are common in caches and the like. I'd use object and image when doing optics, but that's confusing in computers.
GIven system A and system B whereby system B does only and exactly what is dictated by system A, this seems a perfectly good match to the terms "master" and "slave".

A mirror is a specific type of slave which carries an exact copy of its master. However content could be distributed via a master/slave relationship in other ways, such as where the master keeps only an index and directs slaves to hold and serve content. It's good to use a more specific term when it applies.
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by JQH » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:19 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:26 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:00 pm
I've skipped over a few posts on this thread, but it's always worth remembering the general balance of whiteness on the forum. We're not necessarily the best people to judge the offensiveness or not of the terms here.
What has whiteness got to do with it?
See the history of slavery in the British Empire for a f.cking big clue.

And, kind of related, what does the team think about male-female connectors?
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Martin Y » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:47 am

JQH wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:19 am
... And, kind of related, what does the team think about male-female connectors?
I'm not sensing any uncomfortable power relationship between plugs and sockets. So to speak.

About the only trouble I find is trying to decide what's a plug/male and what's a socket/female when there are so many series of connectors with weird and wonderful contacts and shrouding construction making it near impossible to be clear which of a mating pair you mean.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:40 am

JQH wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:19 am
And, kind of related, what does the team think about male-female connectors?
I've always thought it a bit weird. Not for 'woke' reasons, but just…it's basically calling them 'penis' and 'vagina' connectors, which seems pretty childish. Like, is that really the best nomenclature we can come up with?

"Insert the 3.5 mm audio penis into the 3.5 mm vagina" - ridiculous.

I'm not sure what I'd suggest as an alternative, though. 'Penis' and 'anus' would remove the heteronormativity and potential reference to male-female power dynamics, but is still a bit unnecessarily sexualised.

'Intromittent' and 'receptive'? 'Innie' and 'outie'?
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by basementer » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:49 am

Boustrophedon wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:08 pm
Pokes thread gingerly with bargepole.
Nope.
Don?
Nod.
I'll think of something.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Martin Y » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:04 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:40 am
JQH wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:19 am
And, kind of related, what does the team think about male-female connectors?
I've always thought it a bit weird. Not for 'woke' reasons, but just…it's basically calling them 'penis' and 'vagina' connectors, which seems pretty childish. Like, is that really the best nomenclature we can come up with?

"Insert the 3.5 mm audio penis into the 3.5 mm vagina" - ridiculous.

I'm not sure what I'd suggest as an alternative, though. 'Penis' and 'anus' would remove the heteronormativity and potential reference to male-female power dynamics, but is still a bit unnecessarily sexualised.

'Intromittent' and 'receptive'? 'Innie' and 'outie'?
I guess it's a bit puerile if it's not familiar terminology, but at least the penis/vagina analogy is simple.

I don't have a problem with just using plug and socket except unfortunately in common parlance a "plug" is any connector on the end of a cable and "socket" is any fixed connector, no matter which way round the pins work, so there's more scope for confusion than if you use terms non-technical people don't use.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Grumble » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:28 am

Male-female as a technical term is only weird if you have hang-ups about sex. Whatever you call them will become a possible euphemism in any case, just as penis and vagina originally were.
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by individualmember » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:51 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:40 am
JQH wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:19 am
And, kind of related, what does the team think about male-female connectors?
I've always thought it a bit weird. Not for 'woke' reasons, but just…it's basically calling them 'penis' and 'vagina' connectors, which seems pretty childish. Like, is that really the best nomenclature we can come up with?

"Insert the 3.5 mm audio penis into the 3.5 mm vagina" - ridiculous.

I'm not sure what I'd suggest as an alternative, though. 'Penis' and 'anus' would remove the heteronormativity and potential reference to male-female power dynamics, but is still a bit unnecessarily sexualised.

'Intromittent' and 'receptive'? 'Innie' and 'outie'?
Back when I was learning the terminology one of the alternatives was insert the jack into the jack plug/socket. Because PO type audio connectors (similar to but not the same as 1/4” TRS connectors) were always called Jacks in the area of telly I was in.

And the plugs usually had double innering (ooer missus).

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:03 am

individualmember wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:51 am
Back when I was learning the terminology one of the alternatives was insert the jack into the jack plug/socket. Because PO type audio connectors (similar to but not the same as 1/4” TRS connectors) were always called Jacks in the area of telly I was in.

And the plugs usually had double innering (ooer missus).
Jack and socket do seem unambiguous. Plug already gets used as a verb, and there's a bit of ambiguity as Martin says, along with its other slang uses - so "plug the jack into the socket" seems good enough.
Grumble wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:28 am
Male-female as a technical term is only weird if you have hang-ups about sex. Whatever you call them will become a possible euphemism in any case, just as penis and vagina originally were.
I guess it could become a euphemism at some point, though electric plugs and sockets have been around for decades already without becoming commonly sexualised. But I think that's a different question to adopting terminology that was initially used solely to refer to sex.
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Martin Y » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:31 pm

Speaking of ambiguity, with headphone jacks, the jack is actually the socket and the jackplug is what goes into it.

But everyone calls jackplugs "jacks" for short. So, no scope for confusion there.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by jimbob » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:11 pm

Grumble wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:28 am
Male-female as a technical term is only weird if you have hang-ups about sex. Whatever you call them will become a possible euphemism in any case, just as penis and vagina originally were.
Beat me to it... including going back to the original euphemism
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by Martin Y » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:47 pm

Ah, the ever-ascending hierarchy of euphemisms, where each one eventually becomes too uncomfortable to use and has to be paved over with an even vaguer one.

We're amused by people too prudish to use the same word as us for place-you-go-for-a-sh.t, but the word we use is a euphemism and so are all the others you can think of that don't come straight out of Viz.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by JQH » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:52 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:47 pm
Ah, the ever-ascending hierarchy of euphemisms, where each one eventually becomes too uncomfortable to use and has to be paved over with an even vaguer one.

We're amused by people too prudish to use the same word as us for place-you-go-for-a-sh.t, but the word we use is a euphemism and so are all the others you can think of that don't come straight out of Viz.
For some reason Billy Connolly's comment about Mary Whitehouse came to mind:

Spoiler:
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by dyqik » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:58 pm

Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:31 am
dyqik wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:44 pm
Source and mirror are common in caches and the like. I'd use object and image when doing optics, but that's confusing in computers.
GIven system A and system B whereby system B does only and exactly what is dictated by system A, this seems a perfectly good match to the terms "master" and "slave".
This just isn't true. You obviously don't know much about slavery.

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by shpalman » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:14 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:47 pm
Ah, the ever-ascending hierarchy of euphemisms, where each one eventually becomes too uncomfortable to use and has to be paved over with an even vaguer one.

We're amused by people too prudish to use the same word as us for place-you-go-for-a-sh.t, but the word we use is a euphemism and so are all the others you can think of that don't come straight out of Viz.
If you used the word "toilet" now, nobody would think you were referring to a small towel or to the process of getting ready in general.

Words have etymologies.
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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by individualmember » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:45 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:03 am
individualmember wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:51 am
Back when I was learning the terminology one of the alternatives was insert the jack into the jack plug/socket. Because PO type audio connectors (similar to but not the same as 1/4” TRS connectors) were always called Jacks in the area of telly I was in.

And the plugs usually had double innering (ooer missus).
Jack and socket do seem unambiguous. Plug already gets used as a verb, and there's a bit of ambiguity as Martin says, along with its other slang uses - so "plug the jack into the socket" seems good enough.
Grumble wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:28 am
Male-female as a technical term is only weird if you have hang-ups about sex. Whatever you call them will become a possible euphemism in any case, just as penis and vagina originally were.
I guess it could become a euphemism at some point, though electric plugs and sockets have been around for decades already without becoming commonly sexualised. But I think that's a different question to adopting terminology that was initially used solely to refer to sex.
What about connectors which are the other way around at each end of the cable, plug and socket isn’t enough for XLR connectors

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Re: Is "master - slave" admissible as technical terms?

Post by murmur » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:41 pm

individualmember wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:45 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:03 am
individualmember wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:51 am
Back when I was learning the terminology one of the alternatives was insert the jack into the jack plug/socket. Because PO type audio connectors (similar to but not the same as 1/4” TRS connectors) were always called Jacks in the area of telly I was in.

And the plugs usually had double innering (ooer missus).
Jack and socket do seem unambiguous. Plug already gets used as a verb, and there's a bit of ambiguity as Martin says, along with its other slang uses - so "plug the jack into the socket" seems good enough.
Grumble wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:28 am
Male-female as a technical term is only weird if you have hang-ups about sex. Whatever you call them will become a possible euphemism in any case, just as penis and vagina originally were.
I guess it could become a euphemism at some point, though electric plugs and sockets have been around for decades already without becoming commonly sexualised. But I think that's a different question to adopting terminology that was initially used solely to refer to sex.
What about connectors which are the other way around at each end of the cable, plug and socket isn’t enough for XLR connectors

I'm accustomed to just talking about RCAs, XLRs, BNCs, Toslink and the like. It always follows that a plug needs to go into a socket, otherwise stuff doesn't work...
It's so much more attractive inside the moral kiosk

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