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Inclusive Naming Initiative Announces New Community Resources for A More Inclusive Future

Inclusive Naming Initiative Announces New Community Resources for A More Inclusive Future
New Language Recommendations and Training Courses Propel Organizations Forward in Mission to Replace Harmful Language in Code

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2021 — The Inclusive Naming Initiative (INI), a community aiming to remove harmful language from code and software documentation, announced the availability of a new practical training course on creating diverse communities, expanded language recommendations and a new framework for managing, updating and replacing terms across software communities, as well as several new members to the growing movement.

Since its launch at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America – Virtual 2020, the group has defined a set of language recommendations, which identifies the most commonly used harmful terms in software and provides industry-standard replacement terms for each. The first set of Tier 1 terms, which should be replaced immediately and includes terms like whitelist, blacklist, master, and slave, represent an industry consensus compiled from work done among the INI members. The language recommendations have already been successfully adopted in IBM’s TakeTwo tool, a natural language processing tool for detecting and eliminating racial bias in writing.


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“As social justice movements topped the headlines, we saw many open source project maintainers moved and excited to make changes to keep the community diverse, inclusive, and welcoming to all,” said Priyanka Sharma, general manager of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. “The Inclusive Naming Initiative emerged to empower those doing the work to do so without creating gaps or breaking code dependencies. With the launch of these new resources, we are continuing on our mission to provide critical documentation, training, and support needed to keep pace with the growing and accelerating demand for code today.”

The new course created with the Linux Foundation, Inclusive Strategies for Open Source (LFC103), is designed to provide specific strategies for creating inclusive open source communities and codebases and advice on executing those in communities. The open source ecosystem is growing rapidly, and leaders must be equipped with the tools and strategies to promote inclusivity. A survey focused on diversity, conducted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, found that more than three-quarters of community members believe open source communities would be more resilient and innovative with increased diversity of contributors.

LFC103 is designed specifically for open source community managers, open source maintainers, and other business and community leaders in the technology industry, however, the course content can be of use to those working in any area of technology. It is available for immediate enrollment at no cost here.

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“No one should be surprised that diversity remains a major issue in the open source and broader technology communities,” said Clyde Seepersad, SVP, and general manager of training & certification at The Linux Foundation. “It is to all of our benefit to find ways to improve this situation. For starters, when over 90% of hiring managers report difficulty hiring technical talent, any action to grow new talent pools is a no-brainer. It is also clear that more diverse communities with a broader range of experiences and perspectives move faster and are more innovative. While this one course will not solve the myriad issues of diversity and inclusion in technology, we do hope that efforts like this continue to move the needle in the right direction.”

The group has also released a Language Evaluation Framework to help those looking to make language changes, including principles for evaluating language and an Implementation Path, which suggests a methodical approach for changing terms without breaking dependencies. The Initiative has also streamlined processes for adding new terminology.

The Inclusive Naming Initiative was formed in late 2020 to coalesce industry efforts for replacing harmful and exclusionary language in information technology. INI member organizations now include Akamai, BMC Software, and Intel, who join existing members Cisco, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), IBM, The Linux Foundation, Red Hat, Software Developer Diversity and Inclusion (SSDI), Splunk, and VMware.

Join the Inclusive Naming Initiative open meeting during KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North  America  2021 on Friday, October 15. The group will provide an update on its progress, additional deliverables and language recommendations, and how you can get involved.

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