Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Early Eid Present (IslamiCode is on Google Play)

Alhamdulillah, after almost a month worth of work and hours of obfuscations, signing packages and rebuilding apks for release, WE HAVE FINALLY GOT PUBLISHED: 

Please download, review and share the app with family and friends. 

JazakAllah Khayran :)

Well, today has been a loooooooooooooooooong day but Alhamdulillah all good... I have been feeling under the weather for the last couple of days, then I spent many hours between last night and this morning/afternoon finalizing the app and alhamdulilah after five or six tries, it was accepted by the Google marketplace... I am still working on getting it accepted by other market places and ad apks... Again, this is the first release and expect much more in the next updates inshAllah :)

I had to also spend a good couple of hours reviewing offers on my house and Alhamdulillah all went well and I have accepted an offer that's actually pretty good  :)

Then you know, bowling night... I had an amazing time as usual and a couple of great games even though my team had to literally snatch our SINGLE point for the night on the last game... Pressure was on and I delivered, Alhamdulillah...

Anyway, next on the list is to clean up these blog entries and inshAllah start working on the next thing or if I got enough feedback, maybe tweak the existing features... I won't say I am 100% satisfied with the two games but they're definitely about 80% and can use a lot more tweaking but I figured I will try to get it in before Eid and Alhamdulillah I was able to do just that :)

Don't forget to download, review and share the app with family and friends :) :) :) :)   

Monday, October 22, 2012

Almost bug free...

Yep, it's that time of the day (or night if you're picky)... Of course, during a work day I can't make much progress but Alhamdulillah so far so good... I have fixed a bunch of bugs, cleaned up the memory game, implemented menu items and most importantly got them Islamic images I have promised you to instead of the random icons from yesterday.... Well, before I get into details of code modifications from today, I wanna break up some good news to you guys... Alhamdulillah as of today, I had a little over 1000 hits (1002 to be exact) on my blog... Only advertising I have done so far was via facebook posts on my wall and the MSA @ U.C. Davis page... So far everyone is asking when can they download the app and good reviews on the UI... I am still waiting for some negative output, c'mon guys, I know it can't be that perfect... lol... Also, surprisingly 30% of the viewers used an apple device (iphone, ipad, ipod, etc...)... and I got one hit from Germany, Malaysia and some other country I can't remember its name without looking (sorry)... I got a couple from UAE and Lebanon and nothing from Canada or Mexico yet... lol... Believe it or not google chrome has more users than both FireFox and IE combined... I don't know about y'all but I am a loyal FireFox fan... Anyway, here is the really shocking one... Someone actually viewed my blog from a Linux box, that I didn't expect to see in this life time... hahaha....

let's get back to the new tweaks in the application UI, I promise I won't say much because we all got to go to work tomorrow morning, or at least the lucky ones get to go to work:

Main Application (Renamed and Re-arranged some of the buttons)

New Memory Game (made it more user friendly and yessss I added an ad. banner)

Made the setting more user friendly

New memory game screen

I clicked on images and got two different images (menbar and hilal)

I clicked on two different images (kabaa)

One last click, I promise (madina and sibha)

More tweaking to the Rules page (Believe it or not this screen has been a pain in the backside, I am finally satisfied with its layout)

Added two new menu items (One to Report Problems if/when you encounter any bugs and the second is to Rate your favorite Application on demand)

You get to pick what email client you'd like to Report the issue/ticket with (see I am nice)

I am nice enough to fill in most of the important information too... Your email, my email, Subject and Email body, HIs and BYEs... See i am not too bad ;)

And I saved the best for the end, Rating your favorite application in the world with three different options. Don't worry I will remind you to do it every once in a while and if you've already did simply click on No, Thanks and you will never see this window again!!! 

I did try to mess some more with the facebook API and I didn't see any features that I'd like to see on this revision... I have also messed some with YouTube and got it to work but I am not sure I am ready to push any Muslim YouTube advertisements yet... We'll see how it all goes after the first release :) I won't be checking in tomorrow because of bowling league but I will try to get some more work done between work and the league (not that much time but who cares, any thing counts at this point)... I forgot to mention, I am not very impressed with the quality of the images I am using for the Islamic memory game but inshAllah we will all together work on making more and more resources available for our Muslim Ummah... So far there isn't really much available for anyone to use and I will try my best to change that with you guys's support :) Finally, I would love to release the app on Eid day; however, I am not sure it's the smartest thing to do even though y'all's reviews make it sound like it's ready for production... I will think on it tonight and tomorrow and get back to you with a decision comes Wednesday inshAllah... I haven't done much marketing or created marketing materials but it looks like you guys are doing a great job, so keep whatever it is you're doing and I will try to get on the obfuscation and marketing material to get this baby out before Friday inshAllah...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Memory Game (check)

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

I have to admit this extremely busy life style must've taken a toll on me since I started to feel pretty sick this afternoon... Not sure whether to blame it on my extended nights of hard work, online chit chatting with one of my best friends who had the flu (you know you can totally catch viruses that way too... get it? I know I am such a nerd lol), talking to Realtors and their buyers about selling my house (I am actually reviewing offers before the end of the week so pray for me inshAllah, plan is to buy a bigger house with a pool and build a half court basketball court on it too!?) or it could be the fact that tomorrow is Monday AND I just hate Mondays (I know astghfarAllah but really, who doesn't!?! Don't get me wrong, I love my job but there is something about Mondays that gives me goosebumps) 

Anyway, enough BS'ing and let's get back to business... I did get the memory game in place (Hooray, I am actually impressed by how fast I got it done and so far my experience programming for the android platform has almost been a breeze. Not sure whether to attribute it all to Google's great designs and APIs (well, some actually suck such as the Google checkout, I'd soooooooo rather use the paypal SDK but I read on multiple threads that Google is removing apps from their market for doing that, after all they've spent some big bucks on it and wanna get paid just like everyone else) had made it easy or all of these years of experience in programming. I mean I am sure I don't make the BIG bucks because I have a pretty smile opposed to the popular belief...  Anyway back to my amazingly amazing app but before that I would like to mention that my writing sucks even more when I am not feeling all that well... Yeah, and you thought it can't get any worse than that... I am sure at some point in the future, I am going to clean up all of these blogs and make them reader friendly but for the time being I assure you this is the last thing on my priority list... 

I have got some new screenshot for y'all, ENJOY:

Yep, I made a couple of changes to the main screen to accommodate the new game and I probably still have to do some more work on it... 

Here is the settings page for the new game, it still needs some tweaking but very functional and ready for you to mess with... (Can you see the full blown Allah's icon now?)

Above you can see the different settings/grids a user can choose from... Of course, they all work perfectly fine but require some layout tweaking :)

Here is what a new 4x4 new memory game screen look like... I know ugly but I really didn't spend much time on the looks and feel or as some call it the skin of the game...

I know what you're all thinking... BUG... nope, it works, I have used it over a million times already... WAllahi, I've just got lucky this one time... you know stuff happens!!!

 I know what you be thinking, cupcake!?!?! What is he thinking... Again, I pulled the images off the net and they are to test out the logic only... I can't wait to show you how cool it'll all look tomorrow night... plus, I will try to add my twist to the game tomorrow inshAllah... if not then Wednesday... And yeah, I know I skipped Tuesday... Tuesdays are for my bowling league... I bowl in the Genentech league in Vacaville, sister got the hookups even though she doesn't come bowl with us any more... lol... I did put on a clinic last Tuesday night when I started my second game with five strikes in a row (my best streak ever)... We still lost all three games and four points last week... Kinda unfair if you ask me, the other team had a pretty high handicap so unless I broke 250 every game, there was no way for us to beat'em that night... ANYWAY...... gotta get ready for tomorrow morning so take care and salams................

  عليكم السلام و رحمة الله و بركاته

Saturday, October 20, 2012

IslamiCode app sneak peek

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

I hope having over ten years of experience in software development and database administration for high profile agencies has paid off, please don't hesitate to let me know what you think especially if you can think of any user interface enhancements (no matter how minor they seem to you). Below you may find the main application's screen, enjoy:

1) Sorry boys not trying to be sexist here but sisters get the cover page for the English version of the app. Ever heard of ladies first ;)
2) Did I forget to mention over twenty years of experience playing video games, hence, the magical artistic touch!?! Shhhhhhhh, you can't tell on me, you know how Arab parents do (e.g. anyone felt the flying shoe defying all physics laws) and NO it doesn't matter that I am almost thirty.
3) As promised very few ads. (so far I only have'em on three screens)

1) Not sure I dig not having the app full-screen; however, majority of the friends I asked said they'd rather have access to their clock and notification area (e.g. important text messages and facebook notifications) SMH, surrrrrrrreeeeeee
2) Don't let this question fool ya, I set the questions to easy this time... I am trying to make it accessible to kids and new Muslims too... So far I have over 500 questions, some I still don't know the answer to... lol 
3) Clock is ticking, are you gonna hit next or what???? BTW, I still can't digest having the clock at the bottom of the screen, your input is more than welcomed ;)

1) Timer changes color, you dig?
2) Say what now??? so you do know the answer to this question, don't ya? 
3) Is there a point of telling the user what question number they're on? Should I allow the user to set the number of questions they are asked before they can call it a game? I default it to ten questions now...

 1) O O h I think you really don't know the answer to this one (Timer is in the red). I have the timer set to a maximum of 25, should I make it more or less? Of course, pressing next takes user to the next question/screen...
2) Currently, there is no way for the user to escape answering all questions... Meaning there is no going back, literally... Whatchy'all think? Should we allow them to quit? 

1) You get five different pictures and messages depending on your score... This is what I got for scoring a total 3/10...
2) For those of you who are really trying to gain the knowledge, don't worry, I got your back... Questions and Answers on your hands by simply clicking on the Answers button...
3) Now, for those of us who who are just into playing games, well, I got our back too... All you have to do is click on "Menu" button then "Play" and you're up for another challenge... You can do that as many times as you feel like it as long as you are not missing your prayers or losing any sleep over it... tsk tsk

1) You can share my app or results with about anyone using just about any application you can think of...
2) I once had a Muslim kid tell me: "Why don't you come to myspace so that I can twitter all over your facebook", is it just me or this has BAD written all over it!?! Well, I got four words for you: Get on IslamiCode ASAP.... I know, I know, ASAP is not a word ;)
3) Conclusion: if the next big social thing is Instgram... I still got your back, just get on the app... Do I really have to beg you to? lol

Of course, I had to add special Facebook and Twitter buttons for the lazy ones. I also had to install the facebook app on my Samsung Galaxy III to test updating my status from my app this morning... 

 Nope, I don't have a twitter account, never had one and hopefully won't have to change that any time soon... I am not even active on Facebook but apparently it's a must these day.... lol

 As promised, Ads. are only in non-game screens... Please when you do download the app, don't forget to click on them ads. so that I can keep the development and all of the new cool features coming inshAllah

1) Don't let my background distract you... I am African after being Muslim and no we don't pet lions or use'em for protection just in case that thought had crossed your mind ;)
2) No, FIFA2012 is not the icon to my app, YOU WISH... And yes, I will kick your behind in FIFA any day of the week, just saying... 
 3) The icon to IslamiCode is Allah, just in case you're couldn't figure it out... It's actually pretty sick and almost looks like a gold crown, yet again, graphic designing was never my strength...

 1) Seeing that cool icon made me wanna play one more last time... It sucks to have to work full-time then work nights and weekends too but inshAllah it's all for improving our Umma.... I did feel very sad looking at the existing Islamic apps, yeah there were about 5 if even that professionally looking ones... There were over 10,000 apps according to Google marketplace of which half are not even related to Islam or spreading wrong knowledge... It kind of hit me hard knowing what I know and how easy it was for me to change that...
2) FYI, I have been working on this app for a little less than three weeks and this is definitely my first time developing an app for the android platform, yet again, I do have many years of experience developing in Java, administering databases and OF COURSE playing lots of video games (FIFA or Halo, anyone?)... hahaha

1) Again, yet another beautiful background this time for getting 7/10 answers right... I am telling you, I was totally trying hard to get 10 out of 10 too...
2) I am still looking for assistance populating these databases, I got all the technical experience to actually upload the data but I do need y'all to squeeze your brains and help me add more data... Email me if you want to help and push this project forward ;) You don't have to be over 18 or a scholar... All you need is access to a computer and a text editor and I will get you all up and running to add questions to the database in no time...
3) Inspired by private messages, text messages, emails and poll results so far... Instead of trying to perfect the app, I started working on a memory game this afternoon and I am adding a little twist to it, I can't wait to share it with you guys and gals ;)

Just in case you didn't know, you can NOT sue me for my bad writing/grammar/spelling/app/code or for any other reason you may think of, JUST SAYING... Why???? Because I said so in my crappy disclaimer above this line... AND no, I am not a stand-up comedian, even though, I do mess with people a lot and tell them that's what I do for a living when they first meet me... I can't tell you how many people fall for it too... YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE... I have actually graduated from U.C. Davis back in 06 with a B.S. degree in computational physics and a minor in computer science... So yeah, I do know how to write properly and I have written so many published technical documents, again, for high-profile agencies BUT I am doing this for fun and to find fun ways to help this Umma back on track inshAllah...

Well, well, well... you know the drill...I will do my best to check in with y'all tomorrow, until then, I amma get back to work and you better get back to making some extra special dua' for me, my family and the rest of the Muslim Ummah inshAllah :-)

  عليكم السلام و رحمة الله و بركاته

Friday, October 19, 2012

Preparing for my 1st android app release

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

My IslamiCode android application is almost here, and it's going to be a BIG hit inshAllah! I will try to get into details of why android and what made me decide to devote the last couple of weeks to developing an Islamic android app in my future posts; however, in the next couple of weeks I will focus all my blogging efforts on giving updates and prepare the community for this one in all Islamic application. Unfortunately my first release will only consist of an "Islamic Quiz" smaller version of the app to help me get some feedback and give me extra time to work on new features. I promise much more content in future releases along with guaranteed satisfaction inshAllah.

I am currently finalizing a couple of bugs, obfuscation issues and working on the marketing side of things so stay tuned and don't forget to let your family and friends know, of course, after you download and review the app on the Google play market. I will also try my best to keep this app free with minimal ads for better user experience assuming I get enough support from our beloved over one billion community. Again, It all depends on how things go and it is kind of too early to make such promises.

I can definitely use any help I can get populating and compiling various Islamic databases with valuable and authenticated Islamic knowledge so feel free to shoot me an email (rami.gasim@gmail.com) if you feel like making extra....hmmm... good deeds for your hereafter inshAllah (gotchya, and you thought I was talking Benjamins... hahaha).

I will try my best to check in once a day to keep y'all posted, until then, I amma get back to work and you better get back to making some extra special dua' for me, my family and the rest of the Muslim Ummah inshAllah :-)

  عليكم السلام و رحمة الله و بركاته