Documentation/process/coding-style.rst | 12 ++++ Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst | 64 +++++++++++++++++++++++ Documentation/process/index.rst | 1 3 files changed, 77 insertions(+) create mode 100644 Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst diff --git a/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst b/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst index 2657a55c6f12..4b15ab671089 100644 --- a/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst +++ b/Documentation/process/coding-style.rst @@ -319,6 +319,18 @@ If you are afraid to mix up your local variable names, you have another problem, which is called the function-growth-hormone-imbalance syndrome. See chapter 6 (Functions). +For symbol names, avoid introducing new usage of the words 'slave' and +'blacklist'. Recommended replacements for 'slave' are: 'secondary', +'subordinate', 'replica', 'responder', 'follower', 'proxy', or +'performer'. Recommended replacements for blacklist are: 'blocklist' or +'denylist'. + +Exceptions for introducing new usage is to maintain a userspace ABI, or +when updating code for an existing (as of 2020) hardware or protocol +specification that mandates those terms. For new specifications consider +translating specification usage of the terminology to the kernel coding +standard where possible. See :ref:`process/inclusive-terminology.rst +<inclusiveterminology>` for details. 5) Typedefs ----------- diff --git a/Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst b/Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst new file mode 100644 index 000000000000..a8eb26690eb4 --- /dev/null +++ b/Documentation/process/inclusive-terminology.rst @@ -0,0 +1,64 @@ +.. _inclusiveterminology: + +Linux kernel inclusive terminology +================================== + +The Linux kernel is a global software project, and in 2020 there was a +global reckoning on race relations that caused many organizations to +re-evaluate their policies and practices relative to the inclusion of +people of African descent. This document describes why the 'Naming' +section in :ref:`process/coding-style.rst <codingstyle>` recommends +avoiding usage of 'slave' and 'blacklist' in new additions to the Linux +kernel. + +On the triviality of replacing words +==================================== + +The African slave trade was a brutal system of human misery deployed at +global scale. Some word choice decisions in a modern software project +does next to nothing to compensate for that legacy. So why put any +effort into something so trivial in comparison? Because the goal is not +to repair, or erase the past. The goal is to maximize availability and +efficiency of the global developer community to participate in the Linux +kernel development process. + +Word choice and developer efficiency +==================================== + +Why does any software project go through the trouble of developing a +document like :ref:`process/coding-style.rst <codingstyle>`? It does so +because a common coding style maximizes the efficiency of both +maintainers and developers. Developers learn common design patterns and +idiomatic expressions while maintainers can spot deviations from those +norms. Even non-compliant whitespace is considered a leading indicator +to deeper problems in a patchset. Coding style violations are known to +take a maintainer "out of the zone" of reviewing code. Maintainers are +also sensitive to word choice across specifications and often choose to +deploy Linux terminology to replace non-idiomatic word-choice in a +specification. + +Non-inclusive terminology has that same distracting effect which is why +it is a style issue for Linux, it injures developer efficiency. + +Of course it is around this point someone jumps in with an etymological +argument about why people should not be offended. Etymological arguments +do not scale. The scope and pace of Linux to reach new developers +exceeds the ability of historical terminology defenders to describe "no, +not that connotation". The revelation of 2020 was that black voices were +heard on a global scale and the Linux kernel project has done its small +part to answer that call as it wants black voices, among all voices, in +its developer community. + +Really, 'blacklist' too? +======================== + +While 'slave' has a direct connection to human suffering the etymology +of 'blacklist' is devoid of a historical racial connection. However, one +thought exercise is to consider replacing 'blacklist/whitelist' with +'redlist/greenlist'. Realize that the replacement only makes sense if +you have been socialized with the concepts that 'red/green' implies +'stop/go'. Colors to represent a policy requires an indirection. The +socialization of 'black/white' to have the connotation of +'impermissible/permissible' does not support inclusion. + +Inclusion == global developer community efficiency. diff --git a/Documentation/process/index.rst b/Documentation/process/index.rst index f07c9250c3ac..ed861f6f8d25 100644 --- a/Documentation/process/index.rst +++ b/Documentation/process/index.rst @@ -27,6 +27,7 @@ Below are the essential guides that every developer should read. submitting-patches programming-language coding-style + inclusive-terminology maintainer-pgp-guide email-clients kernel-enforcement-statement
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