Slicer to use more inclusive language in code

I propose that on 2022-06-23T04:00:00Z Slicer integrates the following PR to adopt language to improve inclusivity in the code base. It primarily adopts recommendations of Terminology, Power, and Exclusionary Language in Internet-Drafts and RFCs and conforms to GitHub’s effort to adopt the main branch name instead of master. If you are interested in renaming your own branches to use the new preferred name of main you can take a look at this GitHub documentation on renaming.

Today Juneteenth is being observed as a holiday around the United States. Juneteenth’s official date was yesterday (June 19th). Therefore this change in the Slicer code base is also a relevant DEI (Diversity, equity and inclusion) effort. DEI is not about a single day, but about continued action so the Slicer community should continue to host an inclusive environment not just in the forum, but also through how we code.

What this means for you as a developer?
You will need to update your local environment with the reference to the new branch name of main. When you visit GitHub - Slicer/Slicer: Multi-platform, free open source software for visualization and image computing. for the first time after the change you will be shown instructions on how to update your local environment. These commands are also shown below.

git branch -m master main
git fetch origin
git branch -u origin/main main
git remote set-head origin -a

If you have any questions or other comments, feel free to post them here in this thread.


--------------- BEGIN COMMENTS--------------

Technologist should not embark on political drifts.

Github has reduced the meaning of the word ‘master’ to a single context of the past, it’s an obvious error. Perpetuating this means constraining our thinking for centuries.


  • What does the word ‘master’ exclude ?
  • Should we remove the word ‘master’ from the dictionary ?
  • Should we fancy ‘postmaster’, ‘school master’ differently ?
  • Should we remove the letter ‘Z’ from the alphabet, if we continue deviating this way ?
  • Or rename the ‘Z-axis’ ?
  • Is it an egoistic atonement ? For shunning the word ‘master’ does not repair whatever harm has been done.
  • Is it a request from those who have suffered injustice ?
  • Is it the tip of the iceberg, timidly hiding other projects ? Then those who naively defend this are unconscious tools of unknown ‘masters’ of their thoughts.

Slicer, in my view, should stay clear of this.

--------------- END COMMENTS----------------

Thanks everyone for the feedback and support to improve Slicer.

The integration of the relevant pull requests and renaming has been initiated.

All rename and updates have been performed.

Thanks again to @jamesobutler for leading this effort :pray: :100:

To summarize:


@chir.set You raise interesting questions and I admit I don’t know the answers for most of them. For me, making this switch is a small symbolic gesture, which shows that we are open to changing our ways if that makes people feel more welcome.

1 Like

Instructions for developers for switching to the new main branch

Instructions for command-line git users:

git branch -m master main
git fetch origin
git branch -u origin/main main
git remote set-head origin -a

Instructions for TortoiseGit users:

  • Fetch → keep defaults, just click OK (this downloads all the branches from the remote origin repository)
  • Switch/Checkout → select Branch: remotes/origin/main → click OK (creates a main branch locally from the remote origin)

If you had any changes in your local master branch then you can use the cherry-pick function of git to bring them over to the new main branch.