On Inclusive Language In Tech

Blacklists and Denylists

Using blacklist and whitelist have the advantages of piggybacking on "regular" english words. But we're creating technical terms here, so we don't have to use existing words, if a better alternative exist. Using allowlist and denylist have some wonderful advantages. They're self-contained and very explicit. The first time you read about an allowlist, you know exactly what it does.

Masters or Leaders

I particularly like changing the master/slave terminology to something that's more nuanced. Often it seems like every relationship where there's a primary (or master) instance, we describe it as a master/slave relationship. But we can do better than that. If we describe it as primary/standby, we get extra information. There's a primary instance, and the role of the follower instance is to be a standby in case of errors. Changing master/slave means that we get to use much more expressive terminology.

Dummies vs. Placeholders

I think placeholder value is a much better term than dummy value. It's much more explicit.
You might think dummy value is pretty explicit already - but I'd argue it's not. As an international developer, I had no idea that you could "dummy up" something fake. I knew that dummy could mean something that resembled the real thing, but I'd never made the connection between that and dummy value.
It was just one of those terms I used because that's what we call it. Contrast that with placeholder value - which says exactly what it is.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Gustav Wengel

Gustav Wengel

Software Developer at SCADA Minds