IBM, Red Hat, VMware & Others Form The Inclusive Naming Initiative
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 19 November 2020 at 06:07 AM EST. 118 Comments
FREE SOFTWARE --
The Inclusive Naming Initiative has been formed by various industry players to make "consistent, responsible choices to remove harmful language" from software.

The Inclusive Naming Initiative wants to provide language recommendations for projects, recommended implementation paths, tooling, and community recognition for changes made. Working into Q1 they aim to firm up their best practices and replacements along with initial tooling. By Q3 of next year they plan to share their "wins" at KubeCon 2021 and form a certification program by Q4 for projects abiding by inclusive naming. Their goals are outlined here.

Akamai, Cisco, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, IBM, The Linux Foundation, Red Hat, SDDI, and VMware are the initial organizations backing this effort.

The project's word replacement list includes words like whitelist/blacklist, master/slave, and also master itself. "While master in and of itself is potentially neutral, the propensity in which it is associated with the term slave in computing makes master on its own guilty by association. Though it is used as a standalone, it’s impossible to remove the association with command and control entirely, and thus we recommend moving away from even singular use."

This follows the Linux kernel earlier in the year adopting its own inclusive terminology guidelines.

Those wanting to learn more can visit InclusiveNaming.org.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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