In light of an industry-wide shift away from racially-insensitive terminology, Apple has announced that it, too, is working to replace non-inclusive language across its developer ecosystem. The changes will be implemented within Xcode, platform APIs, documentation and open source projects, the company said.
“These changes began on June 22 with the beta software and developer documentation released at WWDC20. (We are) moving to terms such as ‘allow list’ and ‘deny list’, and ‘main’ as the default SCM branch in Xcode 12”, the company wrote in a blog post on Thursday. Developer APIs with exclusionary terms will also be removed. The company says it plans to introduce replacements across internal codebases and public APIs. It will also be applicable to open source projects, such as WebKit and Swift.
Apple’s announcement follows a similar decision from fellow Silicon Valley tech behemoth, Google. The search giant, last month, announced plans to drop gender-insensitive and racially-demeaning terms from its codebase. According to the company’s code style guide, it will replace words such as ‘blacklist’ and ‘whitelist’ with ‘blocklist’ and ‘allowlist’.
Meanwhile, Linus Torvalds has also announced his decision to abolish terms like ‘master/slave’ in the Linux kernel. The organization has reportedly formulated a new policy that aims to replace racially insensitive terminologies with neutral alternatives.
The developments come in the wake of widespread protests against racism and police brutality in the US. Ever since the protests against police brutality in the US broke out after the killing of George Floyd, several companies including Google, Twitter, GitHub have taken steps to make the development community more racially-inclusive and gender-neutral.