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From "Alexander Shorin (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (COUCHDB-2248) Replace "master" and "slave" terminology
Date Tue, 27 May 2014 18:52:03 GMT


Alexander Shorin commented on COUCHDB-2248:

> To Alex's point about "backup", I believe that is the intended functionality of a slave
database in a master/slave setup, it serves as a backup of the master. One "fails over" to
the backup if the master fails.

The "slave" may not being backup of master by simple reasons: filtered replication, availability
of custom data and validate functions on the "slave" side which leads that it can contains
only some part of master's data. 

"Primary/secondary" falls into confusion with fail-over terminology. For instance, when you
configure DNS you can setup primary and secondary servers (note, these terms are native) which
means that any request will first being sent to primary server and if it'll fail - repeated
to secondary one and so on. 

> "replica" does not mean "slave", and, as previously mentioned, and just now mentioned
again, "master replica" and "slave replica" are valid (if redundant) ways to express these

You're right and LDAP replication terminology explicitly defines first "Replica" and then
"Master Replica" and "Slave Replica". "Replica" by itself isn't good "Slave" replacement,
I agree with that. However, we could completely avoid this replacement. As for replication
to define "master" and "slave" we have own well known and perfect terms: "source" and "target"
which explicitly defines the direction. So both "Source" and "Target" are "Replica" in common
term, "Master Replica" in specific one, "Replication" is "Multi-Master". No need to operate
with "master/slave", "primary/secondary", "Slave" or just "Replica". How do you feel with

> Replace "master" and "slave" terminology
> ----------------------------------------
>                 Key: COUCHDB-2248
>                 URL:
>             Project: CouchDB
>          Issue Type: Bug
>      Security Level: public(Regular issues) 
>          Components: Documentation
>            Reporter: Noah Slater
>            Priority: Trivial
> Inspired by the comments on this PR:
> Summary is: `master` and `slave` are racially charged terms, and it would be good to
avoid them. Django have gone for `primary` and `replica`. But we also have to deal with what
we now call multi-master setups. I propose "peer to peer" as a replacement, or just "peer"
if you're describing one node.
> As far as I can tell, the primary work here is the docs. The wiki and any supporting
material can be updated after.

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