Monica R Ayhens-Madon penned a blog post on the Ubuntu blog this month about Canonical's participation in the Inclusive Naming Initiative and how language in the code and documentation of Ubuntu will be updated to a new set of standards. This is certainly overdue given the tech community's general move towards "less charged" terminology over the last few years, and it's something that I can certainly get behind to a point¹.
With this in mind, does it make sense to edit – or ask an author to edit – posts that use terms that have become frowned upon in recent years? A prime example that has bothered me since the 90s is the term "master" and "slave", when referring to devices or databases.
On other sites, such as the Database Administrators SE, I will edit a post to replace master with "primary", "publisher", or "main" while slave is replaced with "secondary", "subscriber", or "auxiliary". This is wholly dependent on which database engine a person is talking about, of course, as SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MariaDB have differing terminology for these systems roles. Is this something we should be doing on AskUbuntu as well?
The people asking and answering questions are generally pretty good about the language that they use already, given that many of the edits made to posts are to set images to appear inline or to wrap Terminal outputs in code blocks but, if Canonical is aiming to define which language is preferable, should the questions and answers on this site follow the same rulebook? Or is AskUbuntu independent enough to choose what language is acceptable and which language should be "updated" based solely on the general principles contained within the Ubuntu Code of Conduct²?
¹ leaving politics aside, compelled speech in any community is suboptimal. As far as I can tell, Canonical is not doing this, so it's all good.
² the Ubuntu Code of Conduct does have a fuzzy set of paragraphs suggesting we "take responsibility for our words and our actions" (the same thing is mentioned numerous times, but with different words), which I would think any normal human being would do by default, but there is nothing explicitly stating that we should not use specific technical terminology that is considered historically loaded, harmful, or "questionably acceptable" in public discourse.
Note: Apologies for the excessive quotation marks. These are used to group terms and/or ideas, not to act as a passive-aggressive "quote-unquote" sort of thing. I make a lot of edits to posts as they come in, so am aiming to ensure the things I change meet community standards and expectations.