Originally posted on the Matador Jobs blog, August 18, 2020
Thanks to the incredible conversations the United States and World are having right now about race and inclusion, it has come to our attention, as software developers, that some of the phrases we use are based on historically racist or classist terms and that our continued use of these terms is insensitive, unwelcoming, and exclusionary.
While insignificant in the giant list of things that need to be changed to bring about true equality and inclusiveness, we at Matador Jobs nevertheless feel we can begin to impact change by stopping our perpetuation of these negative language constructs in our software.
Our changes to exclusionary terms
Based on useful and interesting discussions with other developers around exclusionary language, we found that the items below are the biggest targets for adjustment. In many cases, these changes that can be made are actually more descriptive! Here are the key adjustments we are making in our upcoming releases:
- Changing whitelist/blacklist to “allow list”/”deny list” to explain lists of explicitly allowed or disallowed items
- Replacing master and master/slave to main and primary/secondary to explain relationships where one is an authority or primary source to a backup or secondary source.
- Removing the use of “grandfather”/”grandfathered” to describe backwards compatibility or rights or access given automatically to a legacy user of a feature.
- Instead of “whitespace” use “empty space”, “blank space”, or a more descriptive term to describe areas that are purposely empty, blank, or clear for readability or design, ie: a “line break” could describe space purposely used to improve readability of code or text.
In the case removing of “whitelist,” we needed to engage our partners at Bullhorn, as one of our uses of the term is derived directly from their official API implementation documentation. After very positive discussions with Bullhorn Support, they are prepared to initially fully support our removal of the term from our documentation and code and are exploring how they too can strike it from their own documentation and code.
Most of these changes will be behind-the-scenes and specific to advanced integration a developer may do with Matador. But, since “whitelist” was a key part of the Bullhorn Connection Assistant, the following change will affect all users. The changes are:
- “Whitelist” or “Whitelisted” (used as a verb) will become “Register” or “Registered”
- “[API Redirect] Whitelist” (used as a noun) will become “Allowed API Redirect List”
Our next hotfix release, 3.6.2, of Matador Jobs, will include these changes, with further changes behind-the-scenes in following releases.
Resources we found helpful in considering these issues include: