[VOTE] Switch 'master' to 'main' branch for repositories

Fernando Frediani fhfrediani at gmail.com
Thu Mar 2 10:52:13 PST 2023


Some comments inline

On 02/03/2023 14:01, Paul Spooren wrote:
> - SFC, which we joined some time ago actively “supports and encourages projects to switch to branch names that are meaningful and inclusive”. Since they are somewhat our link society (money, trademark, more) I’d trust them on that matter, too.
> https://sfconservancy.org/news/2020/jun/23/gitbranchname/

Support and encourages doesn't mean they enforce it. While this is not 
mandatory in order to keep the link with them that is just a detail that 
may or may not be followed and if not then nothing else will change.
It could well be that some people suggesting it there were convinced by 
some political correctness line that wishes to spread this way of thinking.

> - Other project we rely on switched away from master branch, too. They seem to be doing just fine so I’m not concerned that the OpenWrt project would handle it differently. Implementation examples (incomplete list):
>    - LLVM abandoned master branch entirely https://github.com/llvm/llvm-project
>    - Git mirrors main/master https://github.com/git/git/branches

I don't see much reasons why they would not keep doing fine, but also 
don't see any (actually zero) benefit from this change.
The fact that there are other projects doing it doesn't mean much unless 
there is a technical merit and in this case I see none. It is not 
because other projects choose to do that many others should feel the 
pushed to do. Each has to analyze the merits according to their own 
reality and of the people who make it happen, not simply according due 
to what other projects have chosen.

> I fully understand that people don’t want to do extra work within open source projects which they don’t find themselves necessary. However, when voting here I’d like people to consider that other people are fine putting in the “work” for using more inclusive language.

I don't think that issue is restricted only to the work that has to be 
done as a result of it, but consider also that some people don't wish to 
move this forward in order to not comply this political view and because 
in the view of some that it may bring zero benefits.
Example is important and when you let a change happen that doesn't have 
enough merit to happen other doors may be opened for other similar and 
unnecessary changes.

> If Felix doesn’t have the time to work on that, I’m happy to jump in and do the step(s) in case this vote passes.
> tl;dr I see valid political reasons reasons to switch and trivial technical issues.

I agree that some political aspects may be able drive the direction of a 
project, but only when they can cause some harm or lack of something to 
it. In this case I see zero harm caused by not changing what is proposed 
and mainly that technical merits should always prevail and in this case 
or at least be strong, as mentioned I am unable to see any.

To finish with I don't believe it is lack of empathy but I fail to see 
cases in the recent years or even decades where developers feel bad with 
using the "master" word in day to day development context.

Best regards

> Sunshine,
> Paul
>> On 27. Feb 2023, at 08:05, Felix Fietkau <nbd at nbd.name> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> More and more projects are switching their repositories to use the 'main' branch instead of the 'master' branch. This also includes many Linux upstream trees as well. Some trees are even removing their 'master' branches already.
>> I think this is becoming more and more mainstream and expected of projects, so we should do the same.
>> I would like to propose the following:
>> 1. Change the git server side to automatically update the 'master' branch, whenever an update is pushed to 'main'.
>> It's important to have a long transition period in order to avoid breaking downstream users' workflows.
>> 2. Change the git server side to refuse a push to 'master' if 'main' exists. This avoid accidental branch divergence
>> 3. Developers simply change their git configs to always push to 'main'
>> Once this change is well established, we can look into removing 'master', but we should definitely take our time with that.
>> - Felix
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