[vlc-devel] [PATCH 1/4] clock: rename: s/master/driver, s/slave/client

Rémi Denis-Courmont remi at remlab.net
Thu Mar 11 15:10:57 UTC 2021

Le jeudi 11 mars 2021, 15:28:51 EET Thomas Guillem a écrit :
> On Thu, Mar 11, 2021, at 14:19, Rémi Denis-Courmont wrote:
> > -1 on breaking the CLI and/or vlcrc compatibility as well.
> I think we are allowed to break options that are introduced in VLC 4.0.

In IT, a driver is a piece of software that exposes a piece of hardware to a 
hardware abstraction layer. And client is a notional entity that uses a 
service provided by a notional server entity. These are not what we have here: 
This patch makes things *less* descriptive.

For what it is worth, leader/follower is a more descriptive, yet supposedly 
politically correct, replacement. Though when all is said and done, any 
metaphore for authority will evoke bad things. Indeed, leader is a popular 
designation for autocrats. Meanwhile driver is a straight invocation of 
Godwin's law, but I digress.

In context, I presume you have as much if not more of a problem with the word 
slave than with the word master. And it so happens that the --input-slave 
option was introduced in 0.8.0, not 4.0. It is very widely documented and used 
to say the least. It cannot be "broken" just because people don't like the 

It may be unfortunate that Laurent introduced the option. It is unfortunate 
that IT and CS borrowed the metaphore from engineering, and it is unfortunate 
that engineers came up with that metaphore way back when. But that's all there 
is to it, an somewhat unfortunate choice of terminology. It's not an insult 
and it's clearly not aimed at anybody.

There are no, or at least no well-known, social science studies that would 
justify your assertion that this metaphore makes VLC less inclusive. That 
notion is but a postulate from political correct California, that came back to 
the fore after the racist murder of George Floyd and ensuing events. There are 
no evidence that it actually affects inclusivity of open-source, or on a bigger 
picture level, the (under-)representation of African Americans within the IT 

Renaming those options is a but counter-productive waste of time that will not 
only cause very heated discussions if you press the issue, but will piss users 
off if/when it gets deployed, thus causing more support problems and more 
heated discussions.

Very bad idea. -1.

Rémi Denis-Courmont

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