RE: Replacing "master" and "slave" terminology

Subject: RE: Replacing "master" and "slave" terminology
From: "Andrew Warren" <awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com>
To: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>, "Karen Mulholland" <kemulholland -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 13:58:25 -0700

Combs, Richard wrote:

> > Leader Follower
> > Primary Secondary
> > Host Guest
> > Server Client
> > First Second
> > Central Peripheral
> > Major Minor
> > Principal Additional
> > Main Subsidiary
> > Superior Subordinate
> > Husband Wife
> Oops, you seem to have reversed the last pair. ;-)

Mmm... Yeah, you're not the only one to have made that comment.

> That aside, none of these alternatives convey the same meaning or are
> as clear as master-slave. Eschew obfuscation.

Right, but that only matters if "master/slave" exactly describes
the relationship. In Karen's example, I don't think it does.
I think the important characteristic of Karen's devices is that
one impersonates the other, not that one controls the other.

It's easy, I guess, to be lazy and just pick a familiar pair of
terms that's sorta close to what you really want. I've seen
"master/slave" used where the meaning is really server/client,
"server/client" used all over the place for systems that are
nothing of the sort, "host/device" where "source/destination"
would be more accurate, "transmitter/receiver" where "master/slave"
actually would have been the best name, etc.

Maybe this is the same sort of situation.

Of course (as I think has already been said numerous times),
if "master/slave" is her industry's standard terminology for
that pair of objects, she'd be doing her readers a disservice
if she used any other names.


=== Andrew Warren - awarren -at- synaptics -dot- com
=== Synaptics, Inc - Santa Clara, CA

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