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A MasterSlave paradigm generally describes situations where one system controls one or more other systems. It often refers to situations where there may be a small series of systems, in a specific order. For example of two devices on an IDE device chain, the primary device is called the “master” and the secondary device is called the “slave”.

Recently Jesse Jackson and others have called on the technological industries to devise more appropriate terms for controller-controlee situations. The terms “master” and “slave” evoke images of slavery of the colonial era, and specifically in the “Southern” U.S.

Would anyone who has ever thought that the terminology evokes such images please raise their hands? Cause I’ve never met anyone other than Rev. Jackson who did.

–looks around the room– –OwenAnderson

You are slightly misinformed; the origin of the “debate” (if you can call it that) is detailed here: - you’ll note that the area of concern is Los Angeles, and that yes, someone did take offense at the terminology.

I don’t know the the Rev. is even on record with an opinion, or if his involvement is simply “common knowledge”. The only link I could find on him was this one: (which is a parody). I admit it could have been drowned out in the noise (since he’s the subject of a lot of jokes on the subject), but I am curious to hear what he actually might have said if someone can track it down. In any case, he’s not the origin of this teapot-sized tempest.

Why is the term considered to be more evocative of the southern US slavery than any other slavery, including the slavery that goes on in many parts of the world today?

Because the English words “master” and “slave” don’t have the same meaning in other languages. Usually, they are borrowed as-they-are with their technical meaning only. See example of mine at ObsceneOrCulturallyInappropriateProgrammingTerms. – l0ne aka EmanueleVulcano

Better be careful using this term, it was banned in some county or city (in Calif. i think.), or so was reported on /..

yeah, that’s enforcable…

Well, i think it was that it couldn’t be printed on hard drive labels, so yea it could.