On broken horses & master branches

I explain why I chose to rename the master branch in my Git repos to trunk.

Every time I start learning to ride I get disillusioned and give up due to two things; the cost, and the terminology. Referring to a horse as broken1 is still common, and it troubles me.

My own field has its own problematic terminology. I've been uncomfortable using master as the default branch in my Git repositories for a while. Yet, I've continued to use it in part due to inertia, and part analysis paralysis regarding what to use instead. Recent events made me think, however.

If a word used to describe training horses makes me so uncomfortable that it puts me off learning to ride, why am I still using the branch name master in my repos? No more: this summer I changed the default branch from master to trunk2 across all my repos.

I don't want to deflect from tackling important systemic injustices. In the wider context renaming the default branch in my project repos is small potatoes, for sure. But it is one I can do, as an individual, on my free time.


1

Using the term trained is thankfully becoming more common, including on wikipedia.

2

Why choose trunk, when it looks like main is gaining traction as a more popular alternative? I'm used to speaking of trunk-based development, and I'm old enough that I remember using trunk with previous VCSs. And trunk plays into the branch metaphor of Git much better than main does, in my opinion.

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