Apple removes terms deemed offensive from its development ecosystem


In the wake of initiatives around the movement Black Lives Matter, Apple a undertaken to delete and replace certain terms that are not sufficiently inclusive or considered today as offensive in its documentation, files and development tools. An approach already undertaken by others very recently or in recent years in some cases.

So the terms ” whitelist and blacklist Are no longer employed by Apple, and she advises developers to do the same, preferring terminology from an “approved list or an exclusion list”.

Same thing for the terms ” master and slave »Commonly used in computers or electronics, when there is a dependency of one device vis-à-vis another or between two processes. Apple proposes to use instead the pairs “primary and secondary”, “main and secondary”, “host and client” or “primary and replication”.

If one of these two words is frozen in the code, Apple proposes to keep it but to use the other proposals in the accompanying explanations.

Finally there is the adjective “Black” which Apple recalls that it takes a capital letter when it is used for an ethnic description or to evoke a cultural identity.

These explanations are contained in an update from the Apple Guide Style. It lists the IT terms in the broad sense and the names and brands of the Apple ecosystem that may be used by developers in their interfaces, in their texts of explanations or examples.

Long before this first update for 2020, Apple had addressed in this guide the issue of inclusion. Examples are given in order to favor a neutral gender rather than strictly masculine or feminine.

Or to use names and surnames which express diverse and varied origins: Remember that the people who use Apple products reflect the diversity of the world as a whole. Consciously write to include everyone and avoid cultural prejudice and stereotypes ».

Apple is not the first to adopt new vocabulary rules in the light of events that occurred after the death of George Floyd. GitHub, the source code hosting and sharing service (belonging to Microsoft), has launched the same approach, in particular for delete terminology of master and slave.

In 2018, Vice devoted a article the disappearance of the duo “master and slave” in the Python language and the controversies that had resulted, some judging these initiatives to be derisory in the face of the issues or preferring that a distinction be made according to the context in which this terminology is used ( we also commonly speak “master” for example in music or video).

And long before that again, in 2003, Los Angeles County had decided to prohibit the use and display of these two terms on equipment sold to administrations.

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