In October, the Linux kernel project adopted a new Code of Conduct with the aim of enforcing more inclusive language; while it did have plenty of supporters, it also had detractors who were not keen on the idea at all. Today, Jarkko Sakkinen from Intel began putting the Code of Conduct into practice against several code comments, replacing the F-word with 'hug'.
Following the change, several contributors responded to the alterations calling them insane, one wondered if Sakkinen was just trying to make a joke, and another called it censorship and said he’d refuse to apply any sort of patches like this to the code he's in charge of. Another contributor said they didn’t mind the change but that some of the sentences were now difficult to understand, this was echoed by a Dutch contributor who said the replacements were confusing for non-native English speakers.
Some of the post-change comments read “Some Athlon laptops have really hugged PST tables”, “If you don’t see why, please stay the hug away from my code”, and “Only Sun can take such nice parts and hug up the programming interface”.
While these changes may not seem quite as dystopian as some imagined, it’s not very good practice to make the comments confusing. Anyone who has taken a lesson in programming can tell you that it’s very important to leave enough understandable comments throughout the code so that contributors in future can understand what the code does before they make changes.