Saying "no" to unethical tasks
GitHub may contain the largest collection of open source projects but this is a warning about monopolies again Reposting some projects could get you banned https://dctr.pro/2jz
git changing master to main by default
The argument against the word "master" is based on the unproven assumption that the term is loaded with racist connotations, and the mandate for change is based on the fact that the possibility of the assumption's truth is nonzero and that the side-effects of the change are small.
If that were true, I would be on board with it. However, it's plainly clear that the impact of git upstream switching the default branch name to "main" is going to be huge. Many scripts with the "master" hard-coded are going to break, scripts written on the valid assumption that the name "master" was an intrinsic, unchanging property of git.
Every programmer who works with repositories before and after the change are going to constantly mis-remember which is which, and we'll have to guess at the default when working with new or unfamiliar repositories.
This event is going to establish a new epoch in git. We should take that seriously.
Which means we have to confront the fact that the assumption (that inherent racism is present in the word "master" and is causing harm to those who have suffered under racism) may not actually be true. The claims do not hold up well under scrutiny. And, as far as I can tell, the cause is championed disproportionately by white people.
The moralized nature of the question puts an external pressure on decision makers on the git project, which is normally not present for other patches. They have to consider, if they review these changes negatively, will it affect their personal reputation? Their careers? If there's even a slight chance of this, is it better not to argue the matter at all, and rubber-stamp the patches? I don't think this change is being developed under the right conditions.
On the left, we have a tendency to rubber-stamp social causes with a lesser degree of scrutiny. I think that this is a testament to how much we value empathy and solidarity, but I don't think it's a healthy way to approach our problems. Software breakage has a social cost, too.
Revised git master -> main thoughts
Changing the branch name is something we *can* do. It's going to be very annoying and break a lot of things, but we *could* do it and it wouldn't be the end of the world.
I value software which is stable, and robust. I value making and keeping promises about how your software works to users. I value an objective, fact-driven engineering process. I don't think this issue is any of those things, so it's pretty obvious why it rubs me the wrong way.
I'm also still pretty sure that the campaign is largely led by white people who would presume to speak for their black peers, and I really fucking hate it when people presume to speak for someone else on moral grounds.
All things said, however, I do care about people's feelings, and I understand that there are legitimately some PoC who feel personally uncomfortable with the word. I have still never seen even one first-hand take from a PoC, but I've seen enough second-hand accounts to at least reduce confidence in my position.
So, I have been downgraded from "I am against this change" to "I am annoyed by this change". I call for a measured, unemotional discussion in the planning and execution of the change, careful not to presume that anyone is a racist for pushing for a more careful rollout. Give ample notice to affected parties and have a sense of empathy for those who are going to face problems resulting from the ensuing large-scale breakages.
Today I reached the next level of remote work excellence. 🏅
@sir Seriously, thanks for making a software forge that doesn't suck. It's such a simple thing but I love the ability to push to a non-existent repository and have it just appear.
I've gotten back into #RSS lately in an attempt to gain some control over the content I consume.
Each day, I'll scroll past dozens of headlines on Reddit/HN but rarely spot anything worthwhile. My feed reader yields maybe 5-10 articles a week, but I read all of them.
The trick is curation -- only subscribing to high-quality feeds that I actually read.
Mailing lists are resistant to censorship
I don't know how to feel about Mozilla reaching out to the community about MDN content. It's a desperate cry for help.
I think what excites me about things like #gemini is that it's simple enough I can wrap my head around it and a nice community around it. Gemini will probably never "take over the world", and I question if that's even desirable. It's just fun to play with and I like seeing what people can do with it.
Firefox: The Jewel^WEmbarassment of Open Source