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Photo by Jeremy Thomas

How it all started

We started Graffino about 10 years ago. The web was young back then. We were too. A bunch of dreamers who worked well together and wanted to change the world.

We were going through various names and designs until I stumbled onto “Graffino” due to a misheard name on a call with Marius.

Late 2009, after a lot of debates, sleepless nights and tinkering we went online:

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October 2009 — WayBackMachine (The Internet Archive)

This is how our story started. And here we are … this is our “there and back again”.

What defines us

Last year, we decided to revisit our identity and website, as it was high time for a change. We went though a rebranding roughly every five years. Yes, that’s twice in our lifetime, with a little “dark age” in the middle. …


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Mama, tata și Felix.

Acum că s-au mai liniștit apele, am să scriu și eu despre tata. E cam lung și se poate să vă plictisesc. E OK, cred că scriu mai mult pentru mine.

Nu știu cu ce să încep …

Tata a fost “măritat cu spitalul” cum spunea mama. El a fost dedicat total meseriei lui. Din cauza asta eu n-am fost niciodată apropiat de tata. Era un om dificil cu opinii puternice, și care cu greu accepta o altă părere. Pe lângă asta din cauza pasiunii lui, a ratat multe momente din viața mea. Cred că mult timp am încercat ca orice copil să obțin, aprobare și recunoaștere prin fărâmele de atenție disponibile în zilele când ajungea acasă. Asta se întâmpla de de 3–4 ori pe săptămâna, seara. Cred ca în felul lui ne-a iubit, dar n-a știut niciodată să o arate. …


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Broken Chrome

TL;DR: I’ve been through hell trying to get my extension back to the Chrome Web Store after a takedown for trademark infringement. You can read the whole story in my previous post: “How Google obliterated my 4 year old Chrome extension featuring 24k+ users”.

I’m permanently removing my extensions from the Chrome store and closing my developer account.

When I first started writing my post, I didn’t imagine more than 200–300 people would be reading it. I wrote it as a statement to my Chrome Web Store experience and as an advice for developers who would consider developing for Chrome.

Things started to get out of hand when someone shared it on Hacker News and it all went uphill from there. Digg took over the next day and things exploded. It reached over 124k views, 1.3k …


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Google Chrome

After 3 months of trying everything I could think of, I give up. I don’t think I will ever develop anything for the Google ecosystem again. I’m not angry, I’m not doing this out of spite. I just don’t think it is worth it to invest any amount of effort to build something on a platform that turned out to be so unreliable.

Please scroll down to read the latest update.

I started developing my first extension back in 2010, when Apple finally decided to implement proper extension support in Safari. Exciting times. I spent a weekend writing my first Safari Extension, an ad blocker called “Cleaner Facebook”. …


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“Auschwitz — Birkenau”, by Zeno Popovici

While planning my vacation in Poland last year, out of pure curiosity, I decided to go to Auschwitz.

I didn’t give it much thought back then. I knew the basics from the history lessons in high school and out of the documentaries and movies I’ve watched along the years. In fact, I was more exited to see a close friend who was living in Warsaw at that time.

I hopped off the bus and found myself standing next to a huge gate with train tracks running trough it. A rusty metal sign announced unceremoniously “Auschwitz — Birkenau”. There were three camps called Auschwitz (Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II — Birkenau and Auschwitz III — Monowitz). …


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“Sad Safari” by Tudor Popa

Safari has always been my browser of choice. I love the integrated “Reading List”, the “Reader View” that makes reading articles to much more enjoyable, the silky smooth interface, the speed, but most of all the power management features that keep me going for a long time before I have to plug-in.

I remember being filled with excitement, thinking this would change everything.

I started developing browser extensions back in 2010. When Apple announced Safari 5 with HTML extension support, I remember being filled with excitement, thinking this would change everything.

I spent that weekend writing my first Safari Extension, an ad blocker for Facebook. Generating all the needed icons and graphics needed for the gallery was the hardest part. I’m not a designer, and I must confess it was ugly. But it did the job, in fact, there’s a healthy user base still using it today. …


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“Playing with Atom” by Zeno Popovici

This is a story about things we learned on our journey through the past few years, how we managed to become better at what we love. It’s a long read and there’s no TL;DR.

Thing is, there’s a lot of good and bad advice out there that newcomers take for granted.

We’ve been reading a lot of articles revolving around front-end development lately. Some of them are great, others are outright ridiculous.

Thing is, there’s a lot of good and bad advice out there that newcomers take for granted. Last month I recollect reading an article that recommended PNG sprites. Who uses PNG sprites anymore, except for fallback? Yes, there are edge cases and SVG can have a big performance impact if used improperly. …


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“Riding” by Tudor Popa

Well this is awkward. We opened our doors for business seven years ago, but never found the time to do stuff for ourselves. Always busy with the next adventure, the next big thing, our next client, we forgot that we also must find time for ourselves.

Us

The name Graffino was born out of a coincidence. My partner called me one day, sounding excited, asking: “What do you think about Grafzino?”. I misheard it as Graffino. That was it.

It takes time for us to accept new people in. We only work with the best and we don’t settle for good enough. In the past years, we grew to a six people team and another half a dozen collaborators. …


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“Sunset” by Zeno Popovici

I told myself I would always remember that day. I mean, how could I ever forget? It was my birthday, also the day one of my best friends died.

Birthdays aren’t usually a big thing for me, no huge parties, no raving music, no huge quantities of alcohol, just time I share with friends. Whats so special about them is that during this time we’re the real version of ourselves, having no expectations, passing no judgements.

We were all gathered around a big table in my parent’s living room, sharing stories when Bebe came in and discretely asked me to step out for a bit. …


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“Don’t be Evil” by dAKirby309

No, I’m not going to use the new Google Photos (1) app. Why? Because it’s creepy. With every step it takes, Google gets a hold on more and more bits of our lives. For a long time they were the pioneers, the visionaries, a company I looked up to. Thing is, they still do cool stuff, I just don’t trust them anymore.

The “Don’t be evil” mantra

This used to be Google’s core belief. Google is a publicly traded business, that ultimately must create sustainable value for its stakeholders. Simply put, Google’s main purpose is to make money.

Right now “Don’t be evil” has become a footnote. They have effectively redefined what “evil” means. Evil it is whatever Google thinks it means. …

About

Zeno Popovici

I'm a front-end developer. @Graffino is my design and web development company. Find out more about me: http://zeno.is.

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