Alternative master/main branch proposal (Re: ANN: renaming of master branch to "main" for core repository and submodules (dictionaries, help, translations))

Luboš Luňák l.lunak at
Thu Mar 18 20:04:38 UTC 2021


 in order to make the discussion somewhat more constructive, I have an 
alternative proposal on how to resolve the problem.

Some pre-requisities:

- There are currently no technical gains to be made from the change. There are 
some costs to doing the change, but they are not blocking.

- We appear to be poorly equiped to evaluate the problem properly. Most of us 
are not even native English speakers, and most of us aren't directly affected 
by the problem (or presumably even know somebody who is). I can count only 
one direct input from somebody directly affected, while the rest of us have 
at best second-hand information (unless I'm missing something).

- The problem appears to be complicated and, as of now, without general 
consensus. The proposal to rename our master mentions [1] that actually only 
discusses 'master/slave' and not 'master' alone, and [2] that says GitHub 
makes the default configurable and changes it to 'main'. The GitHub page 
further links a 9-months-old statement from the git project that said they 
had made the default configurable and were discussing further changes. As of 
now, the git project still uses master as the default and also for their own 
use. There are some projects that have meanwhile switched, and some that have 

- It appears that no matter what we do, we cannot avoid somebody getting 
offended. If we don't do the change, we risk offending people, if we do the 
change, we also risk offending people (see e.g. [3]).

- [3] also casts doubt on whether the change actually really achieves anything 
or how big the demand for the change actually is, especially from people that 
it actually concerns.

- We are not in any special position here, we are just one of the many 
projects using git. Therefore there does not appear to be any need to act on 
our own. Presumably the issue gets discussed also elsewhere, and discussing 
it here adds little to no value to it.

- The git project is the source of the git tool, and appears to be a suitable 
place to discuss and set the trend here.

Therefore, I propose that the decision to rename the master branch is 
postponed for as long as the git project does not take a definitive stance on 
it. That stance may take the form of e.g. the git project making a statement 
on it or changing their default and using it. Our decision can be then based 
on this input and may e.g. take the form of simply taking the technical 
decision to do what git does.


 Luboš Luňák

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