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SubjectRe: [Ksummit-discuss] [PATCH] CodingStyle: Inclusive Terminology
On Mon, Jul 06, 2020 at 09:29:46AM -0700, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> Is most contexts where 'whitelist' or 'blacklist' might be used, a
> descriptive phrase could be used instead. For example, a seccomp
> filter could have a 'list of allowed syscalls' or a 'list of
> disallowed syscalls', and just lists could be the 'allowed' or
> 'accepted' lists and the 'disallowed', 'rejected', or 'blocked' lists.
> If a single word replacement for 'whitelist' or 'blacklist' is needed,
> 'allowlist', 'blocklist', or 'denylist' could be used.

Yup. See:
specifically the terminology for seccomp is already "allow-list" and
"deny-list": (last year) (last month)

> Second, I realize that I grew up thinking that 'whitelist' and
> 'blacklist' are the common terms for lists of things to be accepted
> and rejected and that this biases my perception of what sounds good,
> but writing a seccomp "denylist" or "blocklist" doesn't seem to roll
> off the tongue. Perhaps this language would be better:

I have struggled with this as well. The parts of speech change, and my
grammar senses go weird. whitelist = adjective noun. allow-list = verb
noun. verbing the adj/noun combo feels okay, but verbing a verb/noun is

And just using "allowed" and "denied" doesn't impart whether it refers
to a _single_ instance or a _list_ of instances.

But that's all fine. The change is easy to do and is more descriptive
even if I can't find terms that don't collide with my internal grammar
checker. ;)

Kees Cook

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