GitLab is changing the default branch name from “master” to “main” and providing users with the ability to change the name of the default branch name of their own repositories.
According to the blog post announcing the change, “Git maintainers are actively working toward a permanent change for the default name from master to main.” More details are available in that post and from the Git mailing list.
This change to more inclusive, less offensive language follows the example of other communities and organizations, including the Linux kernel project, GitHub, Ansible, and Atlassian. As Adrian Bridgwater stated last year, “inclusivity matters, obviously, in every single aspect of life — and the internal mechanics of the software application development industry are in no way excluded from this core truism.”
And, as we noted previously, we hope these semantic corrections will help raise awareness of widespread exclusionary practices and spur meaningful change.