Bro file extension offensive, changed to Br instead - gHacks Tech News

Bro file extension offensive, changed to Br instead

Google announced Brotli, a new compression algorithm for the Internet in September.

The compression algorithm promises between 20% to 26% higher compression ratios over Zopfli, a compression algorithm that Google introduced in 2013, and came out first in compression tests that Google ran against commonly used compression algorithms on the Internet.

The initial file extension for files compressed with Brotli was Bro but discussion on Mozilla's bug tracking site suggested that the abbreviation "has a gender problem".

bro br brotli

Mozilla's Patrick McManus was the first to mention this on Bugzilla.

"bro" has a gender problem, even though the dual meaning is unintentional. It comes of misogynistic and unprofessional due to the world it lives in. I received a series of 'bro' jokes in response to my posting about this new feature.

Best to avoid it rather than spending time defending an arbitrary nickname.

My interest is only in content-encoding interop.

Not all Mozilla engineers agreed with Patrick's stance on the issue but Patrick's stance prevailed and Google engineer Jyrki Alakuijala suggested to use br instead for the file extension after consulting a "feminist friend from North-American culture-sphere" about it.

I have asked a feminist friend from the North American culture-sphere, and she advised against bro. We have found a compromise that satisfies us, so we don't need to discuss this further. Even if we don't understand why people are upset from our cultural standpoint, they would be (unnecessarily) upset and this is enough reason not to use it.

Jyrki added on the project's homepage on Github that the project needed to find a name immediately, and that br carried less risk of backfiring than bro.

While 'bro' seems like a good abbreviation from my Nordic/Central European viewpoint, several people from North America expressed concerns. We needed a name now, and 'br' carries less risk to backfire at IANA registration. 'br' is also one less byte than 'bro', and clients need to upload these bytes to the server even when brotli is not supported by the server.

Closing Words

If you ask me, I don't think that this should have been brought up as an issue. While it does not really matter in the end if the extension is called bro or br or something else, bro should not be offensive to anyone especially since barely anyone will ever come into contact with it in first place. People who are offended by a file extension, or think others might be offended by it, should get their priorities straight as there are bigger fish to fry.

Now You: What's your take on the issue?

Summary
Bro file extension offensive, changed to Br instead
Article Name
Bro file extension offensive, changed to Br instead
Description
Google changed the Brotli file extension from bro to br because some people could see it as being offensive.
Author




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    Comments

    1. Mário Rui said on October 11, 2015 at 8:53 am
      Reply

      Br extension is a fitting outcome to such a bromidic discussion.

    2. Nebulus said on October 11, 2015 at 9:39 am
      Reply

      This is one of the most ridiculous arguments I’ve heard. First, what the hell does a file extension have to do with “gender”? And second, do people realize that English is not the only language on this planet?

    3. buffer said on October 11, 2015 at 10:06 am
      Reply

      This is like the North Americans having a negative connotation for the word “black list” contrary to it’s etymology, because of the above-said North American culture, which we are so desperately trying not to offend.

    4. Delta said on October 11, 2015 at 10:43 am
      Reply

      And besides…take a look at these in use extensions from http://filext.com/

      BR Bridge Script
      BR Omnis7 Data (Omnis Software)
      BR The Playa File

      BRO Embroidery File
      BRO BR-532 Digital Studio
      BRO Tree Professional Broadleaf Creator File
      BRO Creatacard Booklet/Brochure Project (Broderbund)

    5. Norbert Lars said on October 11, 2015 at 10:47 am
      Reply

      this way trying not to offend people is going a little too much

      1. Jeff said on October 11, 2015 at 2:46 pm
        Reply

        Welcome to American political correctness overkill.

    6. Dwight Stegall said on October 11, 2015 at 10:58 am
      Reply

      always some loser looking for something to whine about

      1. tomp said on October 12, 2015 at 2:04 am
        Reply

        Pardon me but it looks like, judging from the comments here, that a lot of people enjoy whining about this small issue. Like you just did for example.

        “Br” is shorter than “bro”. Wfficiency wins. Be happy, move on.

        1. Chains The Bounty Hunter said on October 12, 2015 at 9:04 am
          Reply

          Seems directly opposite to anything efficient.

        2. ACow said on October 12, 2015 at 11:34 am
          Reply

          It wasn’t an issue until some whiny twat turned it into one. We’re only discussing this now because someone perceived a file extension as misogynistic. Glad I could clarify this for you.

          File extensions aside, I regretfully admit that I tend to jokingly refer to my friend as a “bro”. Does that make me a woman hater? If someone from the “North American culture-sphere” would be so kind as to help me discover the correlation between the usage of the term “bro” and misogyny, I’d be delighted.

          Thanks.

    7. Paul(us) said on October 11, 2015 at 11:09 am
      Reply

      You Bro, Main suggestion: Tack a big step backwards and then take a long hard look and then they will see there is light at the end of the tunnel. :-)

    8. Dan82 said on October 11, 2015 at 11:11 am
      Reply

      It’s a perfect example of the exaggerated political correctness that has long invaded the US public. As a European this is nonsensical to me, but in the interest of keeping peace I don’t mind the change. It’s funny though to recognize what people of another culture can get worked up about ;)

    9. Yuliya said on October 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm
      Reply

      Typical US political correctness b/s. The same people who were arguing not too long ago that the golden-coloured emoticons were racist. Nothing to see here, move along..

    10. Pants said on October 11, 2015 at 1:51 pm
      Reply

      Sheesh Louise (or Louie, but then that wouldn’t rhyme) .. how about some of these

      .VAG : playstation compressed sound file (queue all the help desk jokes on how to open a vag)
      .NUT (google it)
      .TIT : Train Simulator Track Interactives Table
      .SIS (google it)
      and my favorite
      .HAIRYMIDGET .. just kiddin’

    11. msc said on October 11, 2015 at 4:36 pm
      Reply

      Feminist idiocy.

    12. Rick said on October 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm
      Reply

      To be fair, maybe they could check the username of the computer, and if it appears to be female, change the .bro to .bra?

    13. dan said on October 11, 2015 at 6:41 pm
      Reply

      Ha! And shouldn’t they also change the domain name to gfemale.com?

    14. insanelyapple said on October 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm
      Reply

      Imaginary problems of group of idiots are more important than the way how piece of code is called – this is pure bullshit.

      And seems that gender is an dangerous ideology after all. It causes retardedness.

    15. sirpaul2 said on October 11, 2015 at 7:52 pm
      Reply

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Mozilla actually has a list of unacceptable extensions by now (or, at least has a bro working on it).
      They really need to hold a news conference – and announce a name change to ‘Vanilla’!

    16. Earl said on October 11, 2015 at 9:20 pm
      Reply

      Only a dumbass (aka “someone always looking for things to be offended by”) would see the ‘bro’ extension as offensive. I’m offended by the change and the individuals who forced it.

    17. Elizabeth said on October 11, 2015 at 9:47 pm
      Reply

      As a female in Canada, I can’t for the life of me see what is offensive in Bro. In my opinion some people get offended about silly little things while ignore the major problems in many parts of the world.

      1. Lance said on October 12, 2015 at 8:04 am
        Reply

        You have to be a sick,mentally ill liberal to find offence in that.Sadly these days those in positions of power are sick,mentally ill liberals.
        Yes,the sickos at Mozilla that hounded out & lynched Bernard Eich because he had the temerity,yes the temerity, to oppose poopdick marriage.

        1. Earl said on October 12, 2015 at 12:38 pm
          Reply

          @Lance: That’s what happens when persecuted people group together and decide that they now have the “right” to persecute those who don’t embrace them. Apparently, those who don’t embrace them have no right to even live their own lives. “LBGT” = hypocrites (or was it “LGBT”? “GBLT”? whatever. Aren’t “L” and “G” the same thing? Does “T” really even come into it… at all?)

          The WORM always turns.

    18. tecn0tarded said on October 11, 2015 at 10:31 pm
      Reply

      .manzere was too long?

      1. webfork said on October 13, 2015 at 11:54 pm
        Reply

        Well done. This is the only comment that should have been posted to this thread.

    19. bruno said on October 11, 2015 at 11:26 pm
      Reply

      They could’ve at least make the extension tasty by naming it BLT :)

    20. Ignoreland said on October 11, 2015 at 11:28 pm
      Reply

      .CNT File
      File extension: CNT
      File type: Help File Contents

      As an American, we really need another country to step up and slap US in the face and say “cut that shit out”.

      1. Earl said on October 12, 2015 at 12:29 pm
        Reply

        Well, you won’t find that country in Euro-land. They’ve already forgotten how to be rational–because that’s their right. People are stupid… everywhere. (Said another way, stupid people are everywhere. Stupidity knows no borders.)

    21. Jud said on October 12, 2015 at 12:00 am
      Reply

      I’m glad they changed it and had the sensitivity to consider alternatives. I’m amazed at the mostly men who pile on whenever people try to practice inclusivity in all areas of life, including language.

      1. Earl said on October 12, 2015 at 12:41 pm
        Reply

        Bros for ‘hos. (Translation: people see what they want to see [and screw anyone who doesn’t agree])

      2. Corky said on October 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm
        Reply

        Sorry but how is changing a file extension because of a perceived male bias being inclusive, Isn’t the very fact of not wanting it to reflect that perceived male bias excluding men?

        I’m all for treating everyone equally but you don’t do that by excluding one group or attacking them.

    22. Dr. Beeching said on October 12, 2015 at 2:08 am
      Reply

      As a trainspotter I find .br a highly offensive insult against British Rail and I demand the extension be re-renamed NOW.

    23. waht a joke said on October 12, 2015 at 3:35 am
      Reply

      So to avoid upsetting a couple of mentally unstable idiots they changed the extension to the Brazil TLD? Mozilla is dead. Why even respond to feminist “comments”, simply ignore them…

    24. J Smith said on October 12, 2015 at 4:19 am
      Reply

      Since bro is obviously male name the next file ext .sis and the next Mr and the next Mrs and so on. What bullshit!

      1. Antonio said on October 12, 2015 at 12:10 pm
        Reply

        Ah, now I have understood! I remember a question on Quora, asking if chess is a racist game because the first move if for white and not for black.
        politically correct = idiot

    25. Antonio said on October 12, 2015 at 7:15 am
      Reply

      Can anyone explain me which is the “gender” meaning of bro? Because really, I don’t know it. Thank you.

      1. Chains The Bounty Hunter said on October 12, 2015 at 9:18 am
        Reply

        There’s so many different ways to interpret it (in both negative and somewhat positive lights), the general “gender” reference is typically attached to a male/

    26. B.W said on October 12, 2015 at 8:10 am
      Reply

      Seriously…some people have way to much of “i have nothing better to do with my life”….in this day and age there is always something that will upset someone. I’m convinced that some people are only on the internet to find something to be upset about.

    27. Terrine said on October 12, 2015 at 9:47 am
      Reply

      I for one am deeply offended by the offended.

    28. Wayfarer said on October 12, 2015 at 1:44 pm
      Reply

      Sounds as though Mr McManus is in urgent need of a real life…

      There are none so easily offended as those who spend their lives seeking to be offended. It’s an endless and pointless effort trying to pander to them.

    29. Corky said on October 12, 2015 at 2:24 pm
      Reply

      So many people blaming Mozilla, goes to show some people don’t even read the article they comment on.

    30. not_black said on October 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm
      Reply

      Daily reminder that Mozilla is run by homosexual SJW cucks.

    31. Rocky said on October 12, 2015 at 3:15 pm
      Reply

      Unfortunately it is not just in America that political correctness reigns supreme. Here in Ireland too perception and image seem to be more important than reality. Nobody wants cause gratuitous offence but if you do not agree with the politically correct view of things then somehow you are a misogynist/racist/ultra-conservative.

      Quis custodiet custodiens ?

    32. exdtx said on October 12, 2015 at 5:30 pm
      Reply

      If a file extension name is an inconsequential no-big-deal, then why are so many commenter’s here so butt hurt over this? Heed your own advice and don’t be so easily offended.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 12, 2015 at 6:34 pm
        Reply

        Because it is not about the file extension but about the changing of the name and the reason behind it.

        1. exdtx said on October 14, 2015 at 1:18 am
          Reply

          This Reddit comment sums up the issue nicely,

          “Google software engineer decided to change an arbitrary string in a project. This was based on advice that he sought out from a feminist friend, whose opinion he trusted with regards to being sensitive towards these issues.

          Changing this string, to potentially stop somebody becoming offended by the gender connotations in future, managed to trigger a metric shit tonne of overly sensitive [people] somehow. Like, trigger them so fucking hard”

          As well as this one from Slashdot:

          ‘The rational thing is to change the extension to something neutral. It’s just a technical detail and does not matter that much, so it’s sensible to just be polite to those idi… humans who feel there is a problem.

          Of course once you’re polite, you get a bunch of other idi… humans saying they find the change of the extension without a technical reason offensive, and would like it changed back, failing to understand that they want it changed back for an equally non-technical “feel-good” reason.

          Oh the irony.

          Obviously it would be different if there was a good technical reason to demand just that one particular extension, but there isn’t. It’d also be different if the new extension (instead of the act of changing it) was potentially as offensive.’

          Furthermore, to quote the article,

          ‘”bro” has a gender problem, even though the dual meaning is unintentional. It comes of [sic] misogynistic and unprofessional due to the world it lives in […]’

          What world you ask? This world,

          not_black October 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm #
          Daily reminder that Mozilla is run by homosexual SJW cucks.

      2. Finvana said on October 12, 2015 at 6:59 pm
        Reply

        This is nothing about being butt hurt but how stupid “political correctness” is. We are talking about a file extension, one of the most genderless things you’ll ever find.

      3. basement dad said on October 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm
        Reply

        Because it is a change for the wrong reasons. Changing “technical” (quotes since naming is not so much, strictly speaking a technical thing) details for political reasons is bullshit and really rustles my jimmies. This is one reason why I for one am butthurt, as you so figuratively put it.
        Changing things for the right reason (technical problems/whatever) is ok and even encouraged, but changing it for bullshit reason is just stupid.

    33. Kasey said on October 14, 2015 at 7:36 pm
      Reply

      I agree with this:
      “If you ask me, I don’t think that this should have been brought up as an issue. While it does not really matter in the end if the extension is called bro or br or something else, bro should not be offensive to anyone especially since barely anyone will ever come into contact with it in first place. People who are offended by a file extension, or think others might be offended by it, should get their priorities straight as there are bigger fish to fry.”

      The fact that this is even an issue speaks volumes about the nonsense ongoing in the USA right now.

    34. Dr. D said on October 15, 2015 at 7:09 pm
      Reply

      Cool story, bro.

    35. Ouch said on October 16, 2015 at 9:50 pm
      Reply

      .b(alls) r(emoved)

    36. Bean said on October 27, 2015 at 8:37 pm
      Reply

      So, hmm. They are comparing it to lmza and such.. is this something we can use for any data file? Could I use it to zip up files on my system for better compression? Or do we have to wait for it to be utilized through an existing program like 7-Zip?

    37. Tim Collins said on October 30, 2015 at 10:45 pm
      Reply

      BR?

    38. Emile said on November 5, 2015 at 1:05 pm
      Reply

      You missed one, numb-nuts… http://www.file-extension.com/files/SIS/

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