MySQL and Twitter developers revise blacklist-whitelist, master-slave and similar terminology

This week, MySQL database developers made an announcement that they will be changing the terminology used in their database and source code.

Currently, MySQL is the second most popular database engine in the world.

In a blog post, the MySQL team said that the old terms will be replaced with new ones:

  • Master (to become ‘source’)
  • Slave (to become ‘replica’)
  • Blacklist (to become ‘blocklist’)
  • Whitelist (to become ‘allowlist’)

Initially, ‘master’ and ‘slave’ were going to be replaced with ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’.

However, as the MySQL developers were trying to remain technically correct, they decided to forego using the latter expressions.

Despite the fact that their decision stands, the team of developers did not choose to explain the reasoning behind it.

The renaming is taking place at a time when other open-source projects and companies have decided to revise their nomenclature.

The developers are retiring the old terms due to insensitive language that often leads to racial stereotyping.

In related news, Twitter’s development team is also making a similar move in regard to its internal tools, which comes only a couple of days following MySQL’s decision.

This is the complete list of changes:

  • Whitelist (to become ‘allowlist’)
  • Blacklist (to become ‘denylist’)
  • Master/slave (to become ‘primary/standby’, ‘primary/replica’, ‘leader/follower’)
  • Grandfathered (to become ‘legacy status’)
  • Gendered pronouns (to become ‘people’, ‘you all’, ‘them’, ‘they’, ‘their’)
  • Man hours (to become ‘person hours’, ‘engineer hours’)
  • Sanity check (to become ‘confidence check’, ‘coherence check’, ‘quick check’)
  • Dummy value (to become ‘sample value’, ‘placeholder value’)

In addition to the two companies mentioned above, the following companies are making similar changes to their terminology:

  • Curl
  • Microsoft
  • GitHub
  • Android
  • LinkedIn
  • Splunk
  • Ansible
  • JPMorgan
  • OpenSSL
  • PHPUnit
  • Go

Theses changes were inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.