XSF Discussion - 2021-03-04

  1. edhelas


  2. dwd

    Well, that's fun.

  3. dwd

    There's a considerable number of comments in that Twitter thread, some saying it's rubbish and others saying it's blown open RSA. It'll be interesting to see if the paper gets peer-reviewed or if anyone builds a practical demonstrator.

  4. Kev

    The replies in the thread seem like a prime (heh) example of “don’t read the comments” :)

  5. dwd

    https://github.com/lducas/SchnorrGate strongly suggests it doesn't actually work.

  6. Menel

    If its a paper from 2019 and it was not top news on different newspapers then its not "destroying RSA" (rule of thump, and I didn't read the content)

  7. dwd

    2021, though based on an earlier paper. Last version published yesterday, pre-print, so I wasn't expecting it to be front page news yet. I mean it's not as dramatic as it claims by a long shot, by all accounts, but I'm glad I dug into it a bit.

  8. jonas’

    dwd, from what I heard, it is a re-upload of a paper from 2019 without major differences

  9. jonas’

    but I didn’t dig into it eihter, so I should probably just shut up :)

  10. eevvoor

    OT but so cool: https://fsfe.org/news/2021/news-20210302-01https://fsfe.org/news/2021/news-20210302-01

  11. eevvoor

    > Refund of pre-installed Windows: Lenovo must pay 20,000 euros in damages

  12. Ge0rG checks date: not April 1st

  13. eevvoor


  14. neelix

    Hello everyone, Im proposing to ban the terminology 'master and slave' terminology within the XSF documentations. These terms can be offensive for victims of slavery.

  15. MattJ

    Sorry, this person has been causing a nuisance in other MUCs

  16. MattJ

    As in, verbally insulting people with derogatory language

  17. Daniel

    fwiw it doesn’t seem to appear in a lot of xeps https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Axmpp.org+master+slave

  18. Daniel

    virtually none

  19. mathieui

    Daniel, yes, that person is a troll and those are not their real concerns

  20. MattJ

    I'd be up for us updating what occurences there are

  21. Daniel

    > I'd be up for us updating what occurences there are +1

  22. Holger

    Usage of Shakespeare material is offensive for people without good traditional education such as me.

  23. MattJ

    We can send you a book

  24. Holger


  25. Ge0rG

    [controversial opinion] I think that updating our documents will not have any measurable effect on the lives of slavery victims, but would cost us significant effort for discussing the benefits and costs, reviewing documents, applying our document update processes etc.

  26. MattJ

    I would like it to not cost us more than 5 minutes and a PR

  27. MattJ

    If you want to make it something bigger, that's your choice :)

  28. Ge0rG

    MattJ: you can ask neelix to provide such a PR.

  29. MattJ

    After their behaviour in operators@ yesterday, I wouldn't collaborate with them on anything

  30. Ge0rG

    Then let's just pretend nothing happened and move on?

  31. MattJ

    Parallel issues

  32. MattJ

    Another parallel issue: for anyone who is blissfully unaware, operators@ has become the accidental focus of an ongoing ideological flamewar (for want of a better term)

  33. MattJ

    To assist with moderation I'm considering a policy of only granting verified server admins voice by default

  34. eevvoor

    sounds sensible

  35. MattJ

    This may or may not be a temporary measure, but I think it will help to improve the signal to noise ratio

  36. MattJ

    which has plummeted in recent days

  37. Daniel

    > [controversial opinion] I think that updating our documents will not have any measurable effect on the lives of slavery victims, but would cost us significant effort for discussing the benefits and costs, reviewing documents, applying our document update processes etc. I'm not an expert on this matter but a lot of experts are telling me that language does in fact matter

  38. Daniel

    And influces the way we think and act

  39. Daniel

    But again the only xep that uses this terminology is fmuc which isn't even used

  40. Ge0rG

    MattJ: I agree that it's a sensible measure, at least temporarily. Probably not so good in the long term

  41. Ge0rG

    Unless you want to have a bot that will auto-voice everybody joining from an account that's listed in the respective domain's 0157

  42. MattJ

    That's part of the plan, yes

  43. Holger

    There's certainly correlation between language and action, but I'm not sure experts will be able to show that deliberate modification of language changes action.

  44. Ge0rG

    But even than that's a significant hurdle

  45. MattJ

    Whether language matters or not, which none of us are experts on, consider that practically adusting a couple of words in a XEP now is minimal burden compared to the potential future burden of defending our choice not to update the document well into the future

  46. Holger

    Totally agree :-)

  47. MattJ

    Whether you agree or not, the industry is moving away from such terminology, and the XSF is very possibly going to get called out for not following this shift

  48. jonas’

    FWIW, replacing master/slave in documents sounds like a low hanging fruit we can do even if we’re not certain if it helps or not. Reluctance for action here is hardly justifiable, especially if it doesn’t affect the core architecture or a lot of things (as it would for example for many DNS implementations)

  49. MattJ

    The XSF is not a political organization, and we don't want to defend such a position, right? :)

  50. MattJ

    But here we are, probably already spent more time discussing it than it would take to make the PR

  51. jonas’

    just because I’m not on a system where xeps is cloned!

  52. jonas’

    otherwise it would already be done by now :)

  53. jonas’

    I like primary/replica as replacement in general, but I don’t know (yet) about the specific occurences to know if it fits in all our cases

  54. MattJ

    I can take a look in a minute, just need to wrap up another task

  55. Holger

    MattJ: I totally agree it makes no sense whatsoever for the XSF to go against that trend.

  56. Ge0rG

    It is really sad to see that doing nothing has become a despicable political position that will put you under fire. But well, those are the times, and the XSF is not the place to fight the language wars.

  57. jonas’

    when checking with some good folks about primary/replica, I was sent: https://www.theregister.com/2021/03/01/splunk_unbiased_documentation_guide/ https://docs.splunk.com/Documentation/StyleGuide/current/StyleGuide/Inclusivity

  58. jonas’

    I’m just going to forward this here without further comment (except "good folks"), I haven’t looked into it deeply yet

  59. deuill

    There's quite a few of these lists floating around with different terminology, though from a spectator's view it seems that master/slave and blacklist/whitelist are thought to be the most egregious.

  60. deuill

    The Splunk guide is somewhat broader than I've seen in the past.

  61. dwd

    MattJ, Thanks for doing that PR. I could quibble about some of your choices (thank heavens we only have a primary bedroom and not replica ones), but I'm happy with this as-is. Do we want to explicitly adopt this as a general policy for the XSF, and if so, do we want to raise this at Board level?

  62. Daniel

    is it worth doing a "singular they" pass while we are at it?

  63. mathieui

    the master/slave and whitelist/blacklist is afaik quite uncommon in our specs, since they are a bit outside of the domain vocabulary, but updating pronouns to singular they may be a bit more involved

  64. Kev

    I think I’ve reviewed all the changes and only found two places (left a comment) where I think it subtly changes the meaning.

  65. Kev

    Although Primary-Replica is quite confusing in the 289 cases, as that’s not really what this is doing (one could argue that it wasn’t really doing master-slave either, I suppose).

  66. edhelas

    we might reconsider the Romeo & Juliet thing as well with more neutral names

  67. Daniel

    Sam and Max :-)

  68. jonas’

    extraordinarily good suggestions

  69. Daniel

    but no i'm fine with romeo and juliet in the examples

  70. jonas’

    I, too, am personally, but I *have* already heard the feedback that it’s a tad dark and "not a good example of successful communication, is it?".

  71. Zash


  72. Kev

    It’s not Romeo and Juliet that we use, is it?

  73. Daniel

    that actually a good take. but i don’t think we should go and change old XEPs in that regard

  74. Kev

    It’s arbitrary characters from Shakespeare, of whom those are two examples.

  75. mdosch

    > we might reconsider the Romeo & Juliet thing as well with more neutral names Max und Moritz?

  76. jonas’

    Kev, indeed, I only heard that feedback about romeo and juliet specifically though. From someone not familiar with the fact that others are also used.

  77. jonas’

    mdosch, what is good about daniels suggestion is that they’re pretty gender neutral

  78. mdosch

    JK anyway. As MM are pretty dark too.

  79. jonas’

    very :)

  80. Kev

    Sam and Max might be somewhat more still in copyright than Bill Shakespeare ;)

  81. jonas’

    I don’t get the Sam and Max reference then

  82. Kev


  83. mdosch

    If I think about Max und Moritz and Struwwelpeter I guess no one would give such books to children nowadays. 😂

  84. moparisthebest

    oh well we certainly can't use Sam and Max then, police are bad you know ?

  85. moparisthebest

    just use A and B

  86. SamWhited

    I always use Twelfth Night characters because that's probably my favorite of the comedies (but I have no real preference, it doesn't need to be consistent in my mind)

  87. MattJ

    dwd, thanks. For the record I picked "primary bedroom" because that seems to be what the estate agencies are moving to ("primary" or "principal"). I've never heard either term used in reality though :)

  88. bean

    Hi everyone. The problem with replacing certain words with something different is that someone is gonna find the "new" words also irrespective/racist/whatever. It is a never ending game I would not even bother to play. my 2 cents

  89. dwd

    bean, I'm sure that someone will find the term "primary" elitist, and maybe in some far future "replica" will have bad connotations for clones or androids or something. But "slave" has clear meanings right now worth avoiding.

  90. Zash

    Mmmm. These things tend to look like bullying to me. If you give in, that gives them power over you.

  91. Kev

    I find the censorship of language not historically racist problematic, but hey ho.

  92. bean

    dwd, the problem is: where do you draw the line? Someone is always gonna find the new words" unfit/racist/etc

  93. Kev

    (The history of ‘master’ is not its meaning in the ‘slave’ context - but master/slave is harder to argue that slave doesn’t have connotations)

  94. dwd

    The most obvious case, for me, is "whitelist/blacklist", which has the intentional meaning that white is universally good and black universally undesirable. "master/slave" I'll go along with happily enough, as I understand how those can be upsetting. "master copy" and "first-class" and things I'm going to have more problems with.

  95. Kev

    When someone starts suggesting that Unis should give out a PSc because MSc is offensise I’m going to start grumbling :)

  96. dwd

    Kev, Right, the "master" in "master/slave" isn't the problem I worry about. The notion that the "slave" is a reduced-capacity entity which explicitly has no free will is undertsandably more problematic.

  97. Zash

    Something something "master" and "apprenticeship"

  98. bean

    I am not a linguist, but it is my opinion that the whole "bad words issue" arise from the fact that certain people love to take words out of context. Whitelist/blacklist makes perfect sense and isn't racist if used in a context where people are not involved

  99. dwd

    bean, Why does it make perfect sense?

  100. MattJ

    The rationale I linked in the PR is good enough for me. I'm not fanatical about these changes, I think they're a small improvement that was worth the relatively small amount of effort.

  101. MattJ

    I understand if others feel the changes weren't necessary, I wouldn't really understand actual opposition to the change if the substitute wording is equivalent

  102. bean

    dwd, for the same reason stop lights are red and green, it makes sense cause it is a color convention

  103. MattJ

    Amazingly English usually has very many ways to say the same thing

  104. dwd

    bean, And note that many of our access control lists (allow and block) are explicitly referencing people.

  105. Kev

    Red/Green for traffic lights is about the worst possible choice that could have been made, of course ;)

  106. dwd

    bean, Ah, so "red" as a signal for stop, danger, etc is not an arbitrary choice, but based on the colour of blood and its corresponding ability to stand out to human eyes. (As Kev says, the choice of green as the "opposite" is somewhat unfortunate).

  107. vanitasvitae

    It'd be a pretty low hanging fruit to change black/whitelist to block-/allowlist though

  108. Kev

    Blacklist’s origin is not race-related, FWIW, and I don’t believe (but haven’t verified) that white-good, black-bad has racial originals. But I can certainly see that if you say “White stuff is good and Black stuff is bad” it would be better to pick other terms.

  109. SamWhited

    Even if bean is right and it's just people taking things out of context (it's not, there's a lot of historical significance here too, but let's just say they are for the point of argument): it still doesn't matter. If some people take words out of context when just reading along and it hurts them or saddens them, and we can make a minor intentional change to our language and it doesn't hurt us to do so, then we should do it. It's that simple. Of course, in rality, historical context and the way these things have been used *does* matter, so all the more reason to make the change.

  110. Zash

    Taking things out of context hurts and saddens me, I demand you stop talking!!!11!111eleventy /s

  111. Kev

    Zash: You’re not the first person to demand that of me.

  112. dwd

    Kev, Yes, indeed. Comes from, I think, ancient greek politics, ultimately. But nevertheless, it carries connotations which align awkwardly with race.

  113. SamWhited

    Like, let's take out of the current context and make it abstract. If in your language there's a word that's a swear word or something that's very shocking and you don't want children to know what it means, and there's a word in english that's spelled almost the same and sounds *just* like it, wouldn't it be worth changing it to a synonym to save a few people the shock of stumbling upon that in a document? That seems like a perfectly sane thing to do, even though it's not offensive in English.

  114. dwd

    Kev, Or possibly light versus darkness, via religious interpretations.

  115. bean

    dwd, I am colorblind, does this makes stop lights discriminatory?

  116. Zash

    Sun, day, light vs night, darkness etc?

  117. dwd

    bean, That's not the analogous question here. If we could trivially switch traffic lights to be Red/Blue, would this be less discriminatory for you?

  118. mdosch

    I always think that you need some sort of racist thinking to see all those 'racism'. In my innocent thinking master, blacklist and whitelist were not racist and it never occurred to me that you could make this a racist thing.

  119. bean

    dwd, maybe it would be better for me, but I am sure it wouldn't be for someone else. My point is: where do we draw the line? Cause changing things because they hurt someone sensibility sets a strong precedent

  120. dwd

    mdosch, Sure. But you might feel differently if your great-grandparents were actual slaves and your parents had to campaign for decades for equal rights just because they happened to be black and not white.

  121. jonas’

    mdosch, replace master/slave with arier/jew

  122. jonas’

    it may be of lesser significance if you’re from, I don’t know who wasn’t hit as much by the holocaust fallout, maybe sudan?, but it surely is significant in europe.

  123. SamWhited

    Yah, if you haven't had something racist shouted across the street at you and been worried for your safety or been refused a seat at a restaurant or what not I'm sure you wouldn't notice that the terms are harmful. Ignorance is only a defense until you've been informed though, then it's on you to do your research and understand why these terms hurt people. After that, we can have a meaningful discussion.

  124. dwd

    bean, OK, so, how is anyone inconvenienced by using "allow list" and "block list"?

  125. mdosch

    > mdosch, replace master/slave with arier/jew I didn't talk about master/slave. I mean renaming master branches were no slave is involved.

  126. bean

    dwd, that doesn't now answer my question. Where do we draw the line? allowlist and blocklist are fine by me, but like I said I am almost 100% sure someone else is not gonna be ok with them

  127. BASSGOD

    > bean, OK, so, how is anyone inconvenienced by using "allow list" and "block list"? why not just follow a standard that people have been using for decades and that was never previously considered "racist" out of the blue?

  128. bean

    dwd, that doesn't answer my question. Where do we draw the line? allowlist and blocklist are fine by me, but like I said I am almost 100% sure someone else is not gonna be ok with them

  129. BASSGOD

    i think bean means the slippery slope fallacy, which makes sense in this case

  130. bean


  131. SamWhited

    What makes you think it was only recently considered racist? Maybe it was only recently that people felt they had enough power and voice to make change and the racist thing was that no one has been listening to them for <since forever>.

  132. dwd

    BASSGOD, "fallacy" - clue's in the name.

  133. BASSGOD

    because if we have to rename this, qre we gonna rename it every so often?

  134. MattJ

    Does it matter?

  135. dwd

    BASSGOD, No, it doesn't follow.

  136. BASSGOD

    sorry, i didn't mean to put fallacy there

  137. Kev

    I don’t think whitelist/blacklist are racist terms. That’s not where they come from. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t think that messages of “White good, Black bad” are at least unfortunate and worth reconsidering.

  138. dwd

    BASSGOD, And yet you accurately did.

  139. stp

    I just don't get why white and black list is also racist now. You could interpret racist meaning into it of course, but I think it doesn't originate from skin colors.

  140. mdosch

    Maybe because I always think of master as 'Meister' which is just job hierarchy/grade.

  141. stp

    Kev: :-) two people thinking the same at the same time.

  142. dwd

    mdosch, Sure. As I said, I understand the problematic term in "master/slave" isn't "master".

  143. mdosch

    stp: > I just don't get why white and black list is also racist now. You could interpret racist meaning into it of course, but I think it doesn't originate from skin colors. That's my point. If you don't think racist you don't put racist meaning into it.

  144. Kev

    Can something not be undesirable without being racist?

  145. SamWhited

    Right, and it may be different for different cultures, languages, etc. but if we refuse to make change just because it doesn't necessarily lead to issues in every single culture then literally nothing will ever change and we'll exclude those groups of people.

  146. MattJ

    I'm fine if some people don't agree with the need for the wording changes, that's ok. But I see no logic behind opposition to such minor modifications. We have better things to do.

  147. dwd

    MattJ, +1

  148. es_bbb

    If you go with allowlist denylist blocklist passlist, and primary, main, secondarz, replica, subordinate, initiator, requestor, target, responder, controller, host, device, worker, proxy, leader, follower, director, performer you are also consitent with the new linux kernel terminology!

  149. mdosch

    FTR: I have no strong feelings about changing terms. I just expressed my irritation about putting racist meanings in some (to me) innocent terms like blacklist/whitelist.

  150. stp

    es_bbb: there's the word "leader" in there ;-)

  151. mdosch

    That's only burned for Germans. 😂

  152. es_bbb


  153. jonas’

    and they should just deal with it (saying that being a german)

  154. jonas’

    we deserve all the s* we can get about that.

  155. stp


  156. moparisthebest

    not very long ago it was cool to despise the "leader" in the USA too

  157. moparisthebest

    I agree with mdosch , people need to grow a spine, not everything is an insult aimed at you, in fact it's better to go through life assuming nothing is

  158. SamWhited

    Anyways, the main take away should be "listen to the people that are affected by your language choices first, then after listening you can have a real conversation, don't just go argue in a room largely full of white men of privilege". If people can't do that first then I don't think we need to continue this conversation and people should just get over it that words, their meanings, and their connotations will change.

  159. moparisthebest

    that said, I certainly don't care about it one way or the other

  160. Daniel

    mdosch, i forgot the proper term for this but there is an effect of being more emotionally distant to words if you are not a native speaker. like swearing in a different (non native) language seems less 'bad' to us

  161. Daniel

    which might be a reason why you don’t associate racist meaning to master/slave terms

  162. BASSGOD

    Daniel: does the same apply to bilinguists?

  163. Daniel


  164. mdosch

    Daniel: True. In english I swear significantly more than in my mother tongue.

  165. BASSGOD

    lol maybe i need to learn a 3rd language to understand

  166. jonas’

    go for finnish

  167. Holger

    Traditionally, the idea of language determining action was a quite German-specific thing. Seems the world is finally convinced.

  168. jonas’

    it’s a nice language and they have their own share of interesting cusswords

  169. mdosch

    Voi vittuu perkele, to approve Daniels point.

  170. BASSGOD

    i waa thinking either German or russian

  171. mdosch


  172. mdosch

    Damn, this is XSF not Schrödingers.

  173. Holger


  174. Zash

    Ei saa peittää.

  175. es_bbb

    besides racist, offensive, English is a very violant language. Like "kill the process", etc. I suggest using a different one :-P

  176. jonas’

    less english than rather the folks who built the original tools I guess

  177. Kev

    I remember one developer told me he wasn’t keen on using git because the idea of having a ‘blame’ command was unhelpful.

  178. jonas’

    I also think that `blame` isn’t quite ideally named

  179. Holger

    That's way older though. At least CVS.

  180. Zash

    `hg annotate`, but noooo, git "won"

  181. SamWhited

    That one always bothered me a bit too

  182. Kev

    I think I simultaneously hold the opinion that “grief, that’s not a reason not to use the tool” and “why would you pick blame in the first place?” (which doesn’t originate with Git).

  183. dwd

    Kev, AFAIK, `git annotate` is a synonym, but that argument started with svn.

  184. SamWhited

    huh, TIL, git annotate

  185. jonas’

    good to know, though I would’ve preferred `trace` or something

  186. Holger


  187. Holger

    I feel like a terribly old grump when reading you guys 🙂