Writing style guide

Unbiased language

Overview
At Citrix, we care about and take responsibility for our language. We understand the power and consequence of words. That’s why we’re taking active steps to provide specific guidance for terms that are biased, harmful, insensitive, or even unnecessarily violent in tone.
Institutionalized bias does not align with our values, and we are aware that language can support bias in the most subtle of contexts. We are committed to promoting the ethics of diversity and inclusion. We’re starting with this list of offensive terms and providing preferred language.
It’s always best practice to use terms that:  
  • Are clear 
  • Are understood by global audiences without need of special or local cultural knowledge 
  • Are not biased racially or reflective of historical racial bias 
  • Avoid offense or a violent tone  
  • Avoid the presumption of color-coding dichotomies for good and bad with terms like white and black 
  • Avoid references that carry forward the master and slave paradigm. Even the use of master as a term alone is loaded with connection to offensive historical norms of dominance or enslavement and should be avoided.
Black box testing, white box testing
Description

Refers to methods of software testing. In black box testing, the internal structure, program, or code is hidden from the tester. Black box testing focuses on the behavior of the software. In white box testing, the tester has knowledge about or can view the internal structure, code, or program they are testing. White box testing checks a system’s internal operation or functionality. 

Usage

Instead of this

Black box testing

Use this

Behavioral testing

Invisible box testing

Unaided testing

Testing hidden structure

Hidden structure testing

Instead of this

White box testing

Use this

Transparent box testing

Visible box testing 

Aided testing

Testing observable structure

Observable structure testing

Example

The testing teams divided themselves into two groups to perform 1) behavioral testing, in which they run tests by using input commands and verifying expected outcomes, and 2) transparent box testing, where the internal design is known, to check the quality of the code. 

Black hat, gray hat, white hat
Description

Hackers who use their skills to harm or damage computer systems are called black hat hackers. White hat hackers, on the other hand, use their skills to perform valuable testing. Ethical hacking can identify vulnerabilities in a computer system and is often incentivized by companies wanting to strengthen their security postures. Gray hat hackers are not malicious but neither have they gotten explicit permission from companies to break into their systems.

Usage

Instead of this

Black hat

Gray hat 

Use this

Malicious actor

Bad actor 

Instead of this

White hat

Use this

Vulnerability tester

Security tester 

Example

Artificial intelligence is gaining ground in cybersecurity battles between malicious actors and the security forces trying to keep up.

Blacklist, whitelist
Description

In computing, a blacklist is a list of entities that are denied access to a site, computer, network, or server for security purposes. In contrast, a whitelist is a list of items that are allowed access.

Usage

Instead of this

Blacklist

Use this

Block list (two words; use as a noun, not a verb)

Instead of this

Whitelist

Use this

Allow list (two words; use as a noun, not a verb)

Example

The administrator creates an allow list and a block list of client IP addresses in the security policy section of the management console.

Bulletproof
Description

Referring to automation technologies or algorithms being resistant to failure (because of error handling or self-healing) and/or protected against threats.

Usage

Instead of this

Bulletproof

Use this

Self-healing

Resilient

Failure-resistant

Secure 

Example

Companies are tapping artificial intelligence to automate the care of their operations and information-technology infrastructure, finding that AI can identify and fix problems more quickly than humans. Called “self-healing” or “self-driving” IT, the innovation has been made possible by advanced algorithms, more data about networks and IT infrastructure, and increased computing power. Wall Street Journal, July 2019

Execute
Description

Referring to the initiation or running of a process, macro, query, or program. 

Usage

Instead of this

Execute

Use this

Run

Example

Commands are run in the order in which they’re listed in the file.

Grandfathered
Description

Referring to being exempt from new policies or regulations. It’s based on a “grandfather clause” adopted by seven Southern states in the U.S. during the Reconstruction Era, which was used to exclude African Americans from voting by requiring literacy tests and other barrier criteria from which whites were exempt. 

Usage

Instead of this

Grandfathered

Use this

Exempt

Example

Current investors will be exempt from the new policy so that the previous (old) rules will continue to apply to their accounts. The new policy will apply only to new customer accounts.

Hang, hung
Description

Used to describe what happens when an application or operating system stops responding. 

Usage

Instead of this

Hang

Hung

Use this

Stop

Stop responding

Freeze 

Example

If your computer stops responding, you may have to restart it.

Kill
Description

Referring to stopping a running process or system. 

Usage

Instead of this

Kill

Use this

Stop

Example

The administrator uses a script file to stop several processes before applying this type of update. 

Master, slave
Description

An electronic interaction in which one device acts as the controller and initiates commands to which other devices respond or depend.

Usage

Instead of this

Master

Use this

Primary

Main

Instead of this

Slave

Use this

Secondary

Subordinate

Example

In computer science, the primary/secondary architecture initially started in the context of database replication. One instance of the data is assigned the role of primary. Secondary data instances are replicas for the purposes of managing sync activities.  

Master table

Description

A sales term used to describe a complete list of all dedicated accounts in our territory.

Instead of this
Master table

Use this
Primary table

White-labeling
Description

When a product has branding removed, typically in order to allow another brand, seller, or client to add their own branding, or simply to hide the original brand.   

Usage

Instead of this

White-labeling

Use this

Brand removal

Brand replacement

Example

The reseller was allowed brand-removal rights in the license so that their clients would not know the origin of the technology. 

Whitespace account
Description

An un-targeted account that hasn’t purchased anything from Citrix in five years.

Instead of this

Whitespace account

Use this

Greenfield account

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