Could inclusive naming be used on freepbx please?

Hi folks,

  • Freepbx is a great product; thanks everyone involved
  • Is it possible freepbx could be made even better by embracing inclusive naming?
  • The obvious example is replacing the terms blacklist and whitelist with allowlist and denylist
  • There may well be more
  • The Inclusive Naming Initiative has a website that includes suggested wording

I hope this reads in the intended polite tone. Thanks for any help.

Regards,
Steve

1 Like

The term blacklist has nothing to do with people with dark skin. Indeed it was created in reference to a bunch of Englishmen in a play “The Unnatural Combat”. Please don’t try to claim something as racist that has absolutely nothing to do with race. Believe it or not, everything isn’t about race and doesn’t need to be cancelled.

Hi Steve

There has already been a request specifically for the Blacklist module:
[FREEPBX-21674] Blacklist module needs to be renamed - Sangoma Issue Tracker
This would be the type of thing that would be a welcome contribution from the community.

And the recently created Allow List module, the name reflects this philosophy already.

There almost certainly a handful of fields in various obscure places in the GUI that may also fall under this umbrella, but to my knowledge nobody has yet summarized them in a ticket.

To the substance of the request, there is lots to do and not a lot of resources to do it, so it may be some time before engineering addresses these. Also whenever a text string is changed anywhere in the GUI, unless steps are taken to preserve them, it will break the language translations. So English speaking inclusivity is gained with the cost to non-English speakers in the immediate term.

edit - to Jerry’s point, nobody here is explicitly claiming that these naming conventions are racist, nor are they clamoring to cancel anything. The request is reflective of the growing awareness that words do matter. Sometimes there are better choices than what has been used conventionally. I was unaware of the play, “The Unnatural Combat” until now. I wonder how strongly a citation from a theatrical work from an era of widespread slavery supports the premise.

[this post and the two that follow were merged to the original thread - mod]

  • I previously made a post on this subject (I would include the link, but this website is preventing me doing so as a new poster):
  • Since that thread has autoclosed, I hope it’s OK to post this reponse to a new thread

a) This response was made by @ [cdsJerryw]

“The term blacklist has nothing to do with people with dark skin. Indeed it was created in reference to a bunch of Englishmen in a play “The Unnatural Combat”. Please don’t try to claim something as racist that has absolutely nothing to do with race. Believe it or not, everything isn’t about race and doesn’t need to be cancelled.”

Hi Jerry,

i) There are numerous sources on the internet making different claims as to the origin of the phrase, ‘blacklist’. The only place I’ve read the origin that you claim is in your post. I quote the following from the inclusivenaming website:

"The underlying assumption of the whitelist/blacklist metaphor is that white = good and black = bad. Because colors in and of themselves have no predetermined meaning, any meaning we assign to them is cultural: for example, the color red in many Southeast Asian countries is lucky, and is often associated with events like marriages, whereas the color white carries the same connotations in many European countries. In the case of whitelist/blacklist, the terms originate in the publishing industry – one dominated by the USA and England, two countries which participated in slavery and which grapple with their racist legacies to this day.

From a technical communication perspective, using whitelist/blacklist as a naming convention applies metaphor (and, in turn, unintended meaning) when it isn’t needed. More directly descriptive words like allowlist/denylist enhances understanding. Allowlist/denylist, or simply using allowed/denied as an entity prefix has the added benefit of being easily translatable to other human languages."

Hence why the inclusive naming initiative on their website list ‘blacklist’ as, “Tier 1: Replace Immediately”. (I would include the link, but this website is preventing me from doing so as a new poster).

miken32 previoiusly posted on a separate thread on this forum (I would tag Mike, but this website is limiting me to tagging 2 people since I am a new poster. Also, I again am restricted from including weblinks), containing this:

" I think it would be a good idea for Sangoma and FreePBX to follow the lead of many other projects and make the simple one-letter change to Blocklist.

Yes, it’s a symbolic gesture. No, it won’t change anything. I know the term was never intended to refer to skin colour; and it is not “racist” in and of itself. Regardless, it is a subtle everyday reinforcement of the notion that dark is bad and light is good. Doubtless there are people out there more qualified and more articulate than myself that can explain this, if any further explanation is needed."

This is the key content in Mike’s post:

“it is a subtle everyday reinforcement of the notion that dark is bad and light is good.”

I make the suggestion in response though that there is nothing ‘subtle’ about it.

ii) “Believe it or not, everything isn’t about race and doesn’t need to be cancelled.”

I’d be interested to know where I’ve remarked that everything is about race. In this case though we are talking about racism. I’ve no doubt you are intelligent, likely highly educated. It seems though you and I have different value systems. Hence, I don’t imagine you and I will agree on this subject.

b) Hi @lgaetz

Thanks for the previous reply you made:

"There has already been a request specifically for the Blacklist module:
This would be the type of thing that would be a welcome contribution from the community.

And the recently created Allow List module, [the name reflects this philosophy] already.

There almost certainly a handful of fields in various obscure places in the GUI that may also fall under this umbrella, but to my knowledge nobody has yet summarized them in a ticket.

To the substance of the request, there is lots to do and not a lot of resources to do it, so it may be some time before engineering addresses these. Also whenever a text string is changed anywhere in the GUI, unless steps are taken to preserve them, it will break the language translations. So English speaking inclusivity is gained with the cost to non-English speakers in the immediate term.

edit - to Jerry’s point, nobody here is explicitly claiming that these naming conventions are racist, nor are they clamoring to cancel anything. The request is reflective of the growing awareness that words do matter. Sometimes there are better choices than what has been used conventionally. I was unaware of the play, “The Unnatural Combat” until now. I wonder how strongly a citation from a theatrical work from an era of widespread slavery supports the premise."

Please see above for my reponse to @cdsJerryw 's comment. Thanks for the links and supportive info you have posted re taking this improvement forward. Re your comment:

“whenever a text string is changed anywhere in the GUI, unless steps are taken to preserve them, it will break the language translations. So English speaking inclusivity is gained with the cost to non-English speakers in the immediate term.”

I acknowledge there is considerable work in this. The work though should be made easier by the fact that the change is cosmetic rather than functional.

Thanks to the various other people in the links who are working on taking this forward. My apols again that I am unable to tag and link to make this post easier to follow.

Regards,
Steve

In the future, instead of creating a new topic, please flag the original topic and ask a mod to unlock it.

1 Like

@Steve1 the best way to get the ball rolling with this would be to start submitting some pull requests. People work on what interests them or what makes them money. You may be able to generate more interest from people by getting the effort started and others will casually pitch in. Please get more involved in our community here. The community tends to have more of a sharing culture where people both contribute and make requests.

I my caffeine deprived state this morning, I attempted to merge these two threads and briefly messed everything up. Corrected now, apologies for any confusion.

2 Likes

I mean I did a thing a few years ago but it didn’t go anywhere

¯_(ツ)_/¯

Thanks Lorne for this constructive action you’ve taken.

Regards,
Steve

Hi James,

Do you mean that you did some work on this in freepbx, GitHub or somewhere else?

Regards,
Steve

Hi Bill,

Do you mean as in the same existing separate thread highlighted by @lgaetz above, that was started by @miken32 ?

Regards,
Steve