ASCII Art Goes Over Board

C-Level priorities at Grakn Labs.

Michelangelo Bucci
Sep 29, 2017 · 3 min read
Image courtesy of Flickr, Thunderhammer3000

We at Grakn Labs are a tech startup.

And being a tech startup means that features constantly get added and taken away from our development branch. Tested, tried, rejected, approved, re-rejected, re-approved, and sometimes forgotten.

We are a very smart and opinionated bunch, so our design discussions tend to be quite… heated.

Sometimes mistakes matter, but a week or so ago Ganesh, the latest developer to join our team, crossed a line he should not have crossed.

He removed the ASCII art from the Graql Shell.

This would not go down well with the rest of the team.

DISCLAIMER: I honestly think it is obvious, but every word you read in this post should not be taken seriously.

After an immediate mutiny and online petition to bring the ASCII art back, this morning a message appeared in our slack channel:

All was good and everybody was happy, but something was amiss.

Something was wrong.

Luckily the CEO decided to step in and take the matter into his own hands.


You can tell we all love our CEO :D

Our CEO happens to be a bit of a perfectionist, you know. So he decided to make some changes.

“This is going to twitter” said our Chief Meme Officer

Now it was finally perfect.

Or was it.


Totally. Like, really.

Nobody could say anything to this, right?


Swearing ensued, but luckily our CEO is not someone to pass on a serious challenge.

You need to dream big when you fund a startup…

Unfortunately, you don’t just step onto another engineer’s work without retaliation.





Ok. The K is fixed.

What about the R, though?

Who could argue with that beautiful R?

Who indeed.

Fine. We had fun. Time to take a decision.

Looks nice to me

And to put the ASCII art back into the code.

Cheers, applause and scene. The thing is settled.

Just joking.

Hilarity, more swearing and more changes followed, but finally the ASCII art is back.

This time for real.

It does look cool, though :)

So how could I top a 40 minutes discussion about the ASCII art? By writing a blog post about it, of course :D

Stay tuned for more wackiness,



Creators of TypeDB and TypeQL

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