The Ruby community has some diversity challenges. I don’t think the Ruby community is any more biased than other tech communities; if anything, I think Rubyists are more apt to make a big deal over offensive content which would be considered business-as-usual in much of the traditionally white-male-dominated tech industry. Which, ironically, may make us seem like a hotbed of scandal.
As a community we also like our colorful gem names. A little while back someone wrote a blog post about some of the more questionable naming choices. Which got me thinking about one of my own gems.
The gem in question is HookR. It’s a library I wrote a few years ago for adding event hooks to arbitrary classes and objects.
The name amused me at the time. Actually, let’s be honest, the name still amuses me. But I’m also concerned it could be offensive. Not in an overt, groping-bottoms-at-a-conference kind of way, but in that insidious way that monocultures tend to be subtly threatening to outsiders without even realizing it.
As I personally read it, it is not gender-offensive since “hooker” is a gender-neutral term. However, it is potentially offensive to sex workers. And anyway, as I’ve noted before, ultimately I’m not the one who gets to decide which of my statements are offensive.
So my question for you: is HookR an offensive name? I realize it’s an unconventional, non-enterprisey name; that much I’m OK with. But is it offensive? Is it amusing, or is it off-putting?
And if you do find it problematic: can you suggest a better name?