Apple is Making More Inclusive Updates to Coding Terminology

Apple posted a press release in which it explains that they are working to remove and replace non-inclusive language. This decision comes at a time when several others are working towards removing terminology like master/slave and blacklist/whitelist from coding.

At Apple, we’re working to remove and replace non-inclusive language across our developer ecosystem, including with Xcode, platform APIs, documentation, and open source projects. These changes began on June 22 with the beta software and developer documentation released at WWDC20 moving to terms such as allow list and deny list, and main as the default SCM branch in Xcode 12. An updated Apple Style Guide reflects these and other changes.

Developer APIs with exclusionary terms will be deprecated as we introduce replacements across internal codebases, public APIs, and open source projects, such as WebKit and Swift. We encourage you to closely monitor deprecation warnings across your codebases and to proactively move to the latest APIs available in the platform SDKs.

Apple is replacing blacklist/whitelist with alternatives such as list/allow or unapproved/approved. It also will replace master/slave with alternatives like primary/secondary, primary/replica, main/secondary, or host/client.

The changes being made by Apple are happening around the same time that GitHub and Linux Team also started making efforts to remove terms like master/slave that reference slavery.

The recent efforts to replace hurtful terms with more inclusive ones comes in response to the Black Lives Matter protests. People are looking at the world around them a bit differently than before, and many seem interested in updating non-inclusive terminology.

CNET reported that Twitter began a push to drop language with racist connections in January. Google’s Chromium project has discussed making similar changes.