Change the name of the default branch to "main"
In the last few days there have been ongoing discussions about changing Git's default branch name to something other than "master". This was followed by GitHub announcing they were going to use a different name (while ironically keeping ties with ICE), as well as GitLab looking into adding a feature that let's you change the default name for projects.
To form my own opinion on the matter I spent a few days thinking about this, as well as asking for some feedback on Twitter. A former colleague shared some interesting feedback on the matter. In particular, I thought this tweet from another discussion was very insightful:
Do I have a problem with that word? No, but there’s an implied relationship. It’s like on the SAT- parent is to child as master is to ___. Master on its own isn’t required, so is there any problem with changing it to main or default where the implied relationship isn’t weird.
When I read "parent is to child as master is to" my first thought was "slave?", followed by more or less "oh damn".
Of course different people will interpret "master" differently. Some may have a problem with the term, others may not care. Some may associate the term with slavery, others may think of it as "master" in the context of BDSM. Inko being a public project meant to attract both users and contributors means we have to find some sort of balance. If many people potential users or contributors have issues with certain language, changing that language may need to be considered.
Setting aside what other's think of the term, my opinion is as follows:
- "master" as a branch name never made much sense. It's not the master/boss of anything, nor is it some kind of "final" version. "master" also does not tell anything about how the branch is used. "main" or "develop" would be better names; with "main" being easier to transition to.
- I don't have any negative associations with the term, but I can see others may have.
- Changing the name now is probably easier than later, as right now not too many people are likely to clone the repositories.
But before we change anything, we need to figure out exactly what/who depends on the branch being called "master", and how we go about informing these people/systems to change it to "main". Once we have more information on this we can decide how to best proceed.