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      Can we ban this blog completely? All of the posts are just lazy blogspam summaries of Ruby and Rails features that do little more than restate what the feature is, and the author and invite tree have been banned from lobsters already.

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        Hm, that’s an interesting idea. Right now the consequence of spamming is “you get banned”, there’s still incentive to spam, because you get hits for the time you’re not banned. But if the consequence is “you get banned and nobody can post links to your site ever again”, people might think twice. …Might.

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          There tends to be a half-life to these things - the community remembers previous infractions, and would probably flag subsequent submissions as spam.

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        So, are you saying that technical blog posts about framework features are not welcome on lobsters? Is there something in the submission guidelines being violated here? Or are you calling this spam simply because you are not interested in the content? I don’t think “spam” is a defensible categorization.

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          It is spam because it it’s authors organised a voting/submission ring in order to drive traffic to their company blog; that is, unsolicited content to drive a commercial outcome.

          Whether the content is suitable for the site is actually orthogonal to spamminess, but it’s easy to lose sight of that as so little spam is suitable.

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            Okay, I can understand why over-submission is considered spammy even if the content is fine. I was not aware that there was a coordinated submission scheme happening.

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      I am really angry with the fact that even when the framework uses primary and secondary as their terms, the author refers to it as master/slave.

      Master/Slave NEEDS TO STOP BEING USED.

      “Master-slave is an oppressive metaphor that will and should never become fully detached from history. Aside from being unprofessional and oppressive it stifles participation according to Eglash: ‘If the master-slave metaphor affected these tough-minded engineers who had the gumption to make it through a technical career back in the days when they may have been the only black persons in their classes, what impact might it have on black students who are debating whether or not to enter science and technology careers at all?’” [Eglash].


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        I was a black student (now I’m just black) and this has literally never crossed my mind, and now that it has, the assertion that the terminology would’ve driven me or any of my black friends and family away from studying EE and CS feels backwardly racist.

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          I agree. It’s also weird for their post to imply that slavery is somehow exclusive to the treatment of black people in American history. I didn’t meet my great-grandfather because he died in a Nazi POW camp. Doesn’t that slavery count too? In any case, that particular terminology would never have made any impact on my choice to go into software development. I needed money, and this industry pays.

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          Clearly (post-facto) it did not (hooray!).

          I wouldn’t go nearly as far as mainecoon, but I agree it’s poor terminology:

          • ‘Slave’ wasn’t an accurate term back in ATA2 (neither device0 or device1 had priority over the other).
          • Replica is a better term because it’s far closer to how modern databases operate.
          • It’s hard to argue that ‘slave’ is not a racially-charged term in the USA, with plausible legal risk to companies that use it for internal documentation.
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              I cannot imagine what legal risk a company has for using those terms.

              If you genuinely assume that anything you can’t personally think of doesn’t exist, please stay far away from building anything safety-critical, publicly accessible, or user-facing.

              The most straightforward legal risk would be past employees claiming they were forced out by a hostile work environment, putting forward the use of offensive terms in internal documentation as evidence.

              If they further claim the hostile environment caused anxiety/depression which prevents them working, you could be on the hook for multiple years wages while they don’t work.

              If they convince the court that they complained about the use of those terms and were punished for doing so, damages in the low-several-millions seem completely plausible.

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            I strongly disagree that replica is a better term. Master/slave conveys far more information, the relationship involved, etc.

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              I guess language is one of those things that varies considerably both by region, subgroup, and individual.

              Particularly in the (common in my line of work) case of a replica for the purposes of failover, the idea of calling them ‘master’ and ‘slave’ falls flat; we keep a replica around in case the main one breaks.

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                That too is how I see a replica: a complete clone of a system. At our company we call them clones. But master/slave makes sense when the master and slave machines communicate, one is in charge and the other is not, and the slave may not be a complete replica at all. With a master-slave MySQL configuration there are differences in the slave config to the master config, is that really a replica? The terminology is unclear.

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            Based on your rather odd attempt at an analogy, you appear to be an American.

            Irish/English relations? What?! And if the English had held Irish slaves? I guess we can just ignore that the English held Indian slaves in the 19th century?

            You are “at least superficially white”? What does that mean? Did you cover yourself in paint?

            You (and millions of other US citizens, I suppose) need to stop believing that the US slave trade is somehow a special case and was somehow more egregious than any slavery in the world that came before or indeed after it.

            You also need to consider — at least in terms of optics — that you are a “superficially” white guy telling a black guy that his perspective on race and racism is not applicable to this discussion.

            This is just madness.

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            I live in the UK but am no stranger to North America; My mother is a black American, my family in America are all black Americans, and when I stay near them I’m immersed in black America, which I stay connected to away from the US through social media. When I said black friends and family these were largely the people I was thinking of. I understand growing up there completely as opposed to intermittently will provide a different perspective but nobody I know would’ve or has been kept out of STEM by this terminology, and I suppose I should ask some time, because I now wonder if it’s even crossed their minds before.

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        Whole-heartedly agree.

        It’s also offensive to me as a programmer because if you are going to teach someone an API, use the terms used by that API. Rails specifically uses the terms primary/replica!