Apple Starts Moving Towards Racially Neutral Coding Terms

While it’s fair to say that we live in a society that is far more equal than it used to be, there are still a few things about it that hearken back to a far less equal time and a big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that our language often incorporates elements of a racist past. This is something that a lot of people don’t even realize, but in the programming and coding community there has been a growing movement that is discussing the importance of changing terms that stem from racial biases and racist histories.

Terms such as blacklist and whitelist are included in this category, and while some might argue that this is not that big of a deal even though it clearly is since black being bad and white being good definitely comes from a racist set of principles, there is other terminology such as Master/Slave that is definitely racist since it refers to the long and sordid history of black enslavement in the west and particularly the US. Master/Slave is used to refer to one program or software that controls another, and programmers and developers are increasingly calling for this language to be changed.

Apple is one of the first major companies to take something like this seriously, and the tech giant recently announced that it would be moving away from the use of this terminology towards more neutral terms such as deny list and allow list instead of blacklist and whitelist as well as primary and secondary instead of master and slave. It is phasing the older language out of Xcode as well as various other aspects of its developer ecosystem, and while a small but vocal minority might criticize this as unnecessary and just another example of PC culture, others would most definitely commend this as being a step in the right direction.

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