[Mesa-dev] Rename "master" branch to "main"?

Erik Faye-Lund erik.faye-lund at collabora.com
Mon Aug 3 17:41:58 UTC 2020

On Mon, 2020-08-03 at 10:30 -0500, Jason Ekstrand wrote:
> All,
> I'm sure by now you've all seen the articles, LKML mails, and other
> chatter around inclusive language in software.  While mesa doesn't
> provide a whole lot of documentation (hah!), we do have a website, a
> code-base, and a git repo and this is something that we, as a project
> should consider.
> What I'm proposing today is simply re-naming the primary Git branch
> from "master" to "main".  Why "main"?  Because that's what GitHub has
> chosen "main" as their new default branch name and so it sounds to me
> like the most likely new default.
> As far as impact on the project goes, if and when we rename the
> primary branch, the old "master" branch will be locked (no
> pushing/merging allowed) and all MRs will have to be re-targeted
> against the new branch.  Fortunately, that's very easy to do.  You
> just edit the MR and there's a little drop-down box at the top for
> which branch it targets.  I just tested this with one of mine and it
> seems to work ok.
> As far as other bits of language in the code-base, I'm happy to see
> those cleaned up as people have opportunity.  I'm not aware of any
> particularly egregious offenders.  However, changing the name of the
> primary branch is something which will cause a brief hiccup in
> people's development process and so warrants broader discussion.
> Thoughts?

I'm all for renaming it, but I'm a bit worried about doing it in a way
where we don't break all merge-requests...

As far as I know, GitLab doesn't allow changing the target-branch of a
merge-request, so all pending merge-requests would all of a sudden
point to the wrong branch. Unless we have a a plan for somehow making
sure both branches are updated in lock-step in a grace-period or
something like that...

I dunno. Does anyone have any great ideas for avoiding this problem?

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