intellij structural replace

intellij’s structural search and replace is an amazing feature that can save a lot of time. the value of this feature first hit home in the excellent Android Studio for Experts talk during Android Dev Summit 2015 (excellent video if you haven’t already seen it, btw!)

today, i was trying to replace my usages of android.util.Log.* with Timber. to use Timber, we’d need to manually replace Log.d(TAG, "message"); with Timber.d("message");, and the same for Log.e, Log.w, and so on. there’s also a version of Log.* that takes in an exception as a paramter that we have to keep in mind as well.

sounds like a perfect job for structural search - we bring it up by using ⌘ + shift + A to search for actions. type Structurally, and choose Replace Structurally.

we’ll get a dialog that we’ll fill out like this:

so to do this, set the search template to:

android.util.Log.$something$($tag$, $params$);

set the replacement template to:


note that the fully qualified domain name in the replacement ensures that the import is handled for you, as long as shorten fully qualified names is checked.

finally, choose Edit variables, choose params on the left, and click the unlimited box by maximum count. this is so that we match both Log.d(TAG, "message"); and Log.d(TAG, "message", exception);.

some notes about the options:

  • shorten fully qualified names replaces things like android.util.Log.d with Log.d.
  • reformat according to style will fix the indentation if it’s wrong.
  • use static import if possible will prefer import static - i’ve unchecked this because i’ve found that it did this for many things that i didn’t want it done for.

and there you have it. as always, source control is your friend, so make sure to do this on a branch where you can validate the changes and easily roll back if things aren’t quite right.

quran android no longer open source

update - as of 12/31/2015, i’ve re-open sourced the app after the discussion here.

today is a very sad day for me, since i have finally decided to close quran android’s source code once and for all. throughout the past few years, i’ve come across several examples of people republishing the app with the intention of making money (placing ads on the index page, or, worse yet, on the top and bottom of each quran page while reading). recently, someone brought to my attention an example of someone repackaging the apk and shipping it with malware.

for example, fabric shows me this crash:

this issue is happening on the current version in the play store, which was pushed on 5/31/2015. looking at the graph, you can see that until mid July, there were no crashes (because this sdk doesn’t exist in our app). after mid-July, someone pushed this (modified) apk somewhere, people started downloading it, and it started reporting crashes to me.

a similar thing happened some time back, but with the person pushing their own version:

a few years ago, i closed the source to quran android for similar reasons, only to end up bringing it back after a few months, figuring the benefit of it being open outweighs the harm. unfortunately, this time, the decision is not meant to be reversed insha’Allah.

i’ve come to the difficult realization that apps are not meant to be open sourced, because, when you open source it, there will always be people who try to profit off of your work (or destroy its credibility, etc).

quran will, insha’Allah, continue to be developed, but it won’t be open source anymore. the existing github project will be used to track issues. while i understand that removing the code will not completely stop these things from happening (apks are very easy to reverse engineer, and people with a will to do something will find a way), at the very least, i can stop making it super easy for people.

update - this seems to be a trojan that affects multiple apps downloaded from unofficial app stores.

migrating to hugo from hexo

i haven’t written in a long time. it’s not that i have nothing to write about (i actually have a set of post ideas written somewhere), but more of just not having the time for writing.

just yesterday, after seeing a fellow developer’s new blog based on jekyll, i decided to search for a nicer theme for this blog. in the process, i came across hugo, a blogging engine written using go. the two things that interested me the most about it was the fact that it was supposed to be super fast (whereas regenerating files for hexo still took a bit of time), that it was written in go (which i hope to learn one day), and that i found a theme i liked for it. the fact that chrome on the latest el capitan beta doesn’t load my site at all was yet another reason to push me to go for it.

the process didn’t end up being too bad, and i’ll document some interesting tidbits i found here in case someone else goes through the migration in the future.

fixing the metadata.

there are a few important pieces required to fix the metadata - first, ensuring all lines start with ---. for me, any files i generated on hexo didn’t have --- on the top of them. secondly, fixing the dates. hexo dates were in a different format than the iso8601 format dates. furthermore, some of the entries i had wrapped their dates with single quotes.

i found something here to do this, and modified it to fix the single quote issue as well:

# ensure dates don't start with single quotes
for file in *; do awk '{
if ($1 == "date:") {
  gsub("\047", "", $0); print;
} else {
  print $0;
}' "$file" > && mv $file ; done

# fix the dates and add the three dashes as the first line
for file in *; do awk '{
  if (NR == 1) { print "---"; }
  if ($1 == "date:") {
    printf("%s %sT%s-05:00\n", $1, $2, $3);
  } else {
    print $0;
}' "$file" > && mv $file ; done

# wrap dates with quotes that aren't wrapped in quotes
for file in *; do awk '{
  if ($1 == "date:") {
    if ($2 ~ /^"/) {
      print $0;
    } else {
      printf("%s \"%s\"\n", $1, $2);
  } else { print $0; }
}' "$file" > && mv $file; done

one last thing was that some of the entries i had were missing the seconds field, and hugo complained about being unable to parse their times. since they were only a handfull of entries, i went ahead and fixed them manually.

fixing code highlighting

i used something like this to convert the codeblock style to the pygments driven code highlighting:

for file in *.md; do awk '{
if ($2 == "codeblock") { gsub("lang:", "", $(NF-1));
  printf("%s< highlight %s >}}\n", "{{", $(NF-1));
} else if ($2 == "endcodeblock") {
  printf("%s< /highlight >}}\n", "{{");
} else { print $0; }
}' "$file" > && mv $file ; done

as a recommendation, if trying to use the hyde theme, set pygmentsUseClasses to true in the configuration file.

after doing this, i realized that i wanted to use hyde-x, which by default uses highlight.js. i made this work (after running the above) by running:

find . -exec sed -i '.bak' 's/{{< highlight \(.*\) >}}/```\1/' {} \;
find . -exec sed -i '.bak' 's/{{< \/highlight >}}/```/' {} \;

fixing images

hugo supports shortcodes as a means for extending markdown. using a combination of the migrate to hugo from jekyll article, the shortcodes documentation, and migrating to hugo from octopress, i came up with a similar approach for fixing images that had a width and height in them.

find . -exec sed -i '.bak' 's/{% img \([^ ]*\) \([^ ]*\) \([^ ]*\) %}/{{< img src="\1" width="\2" height="\3" >}}/' {} \;

this was combined with adding an img shortcode, which looked like this:

<img src="{{ .Get "src" }}"
{{ if .Get "width" }} width="{{.Get "width" }}" {{ end }}
{{ if .Get "height" }} height="{{.Get "height" }}" {{ end }} >

in addition, i modified the css to remove display:block from poole.css under images to allow having two images side by side.

one other minor thing i found was that layout: post, which was either an artifact of hexo or octopress, was breaking disqus rendering. i fixed this by doing this:

for file in *.md; do
   grep -v "layout: post" $file >
   mv $file

a little bit of extra tweaking to the settings and layouts and i was good to go! hopefully, this will push me to write posts a little bit more frequently :)

mouse scrolling with RecyclerView

i’ve recently began using RecyclerView in some of my projects, and one thing that stood out as being broken was that mouse scrolling no longer worked. while this is perhaps only a theoretical issue, it is fairly vexing when developing on an emulator, especially while dealing with long lists of data. i’ve opened a bug about it.

this is solved by using onGenericMotionEvent. as per the documentation, “Generic motion events describe joystick movements, mouse hovers, track pad touches, scroll wheel movements and other input events.” for our RecyclerView, we basically have two options - one is to use setOnGenericMotionListener, and the other is to have our own subclass of RecyclerView to handle this.

below, you will see the subclass solution (which can be easily adopted for use with setOnGenericMotionListener as well). the code here is adopted from AbsListView.

public class CustomRecyclerView extends RecyclerView {
  private Context mContext;
  private float mVerticalScrollFactor;

  // constructors omitted for brevity

  private float getVerticalScrollFactor() {
    if (mVerticalScrollFactor == 0) {
      TypedValue outValue = new TypedValue();
      if (!mContext.getTheme().resolveAttribute(
          R.attr.listPreferredItemHeight, outValue, true)) {
        throw new IllegalStateException(
            "Expected theme to define listPreferredItemHeight.");
      mVerticalScrollFactor = outValue.getDimension(
    return mVerticalScrollFactor;

  public boolean onGenericMotionEvent(MotionEvent event) {
    if ((event.getSource() & InputDevice.SOURCE_CLASS_POINTER) != 0) {
      if (event.getAction() == MotionEvent.ACTION_SCROLL &&
          getScrollState() == SCROLL_STATE_IDLE) {
        final float vscroll = event.getAxisValue(MotionEvent.AXIS_VSCROLL);
        if (vscroll != 0) {
          final int delta = -1 * (int) (vscroll * getVerticalScrollFactor());
          if (ViewCompat.canScrollVertically(this, delta > 0 ? 1 : -1)) {
            scrollBy(0, delta);
            return true;
    return super.onGenericMotionEvent(event);

haramain for android

one of my favorite sites on the web is haramain recordings. haramain recordings posts the latest prayers from masjid al haram and masjid al nabawi on a daily basis (every fajr, maghrib, and isha salah, along with jum3a khutbas, salat al tarawee7, and more).

because i found myself visiting haramain recordings very frequently, i started thinking, “it would be really great if i could access this on my phone…” and so, al7amdulillah, haramain for android was built.

haramain is an unofficial client for haramain recordings. it lets you stream the latest prayers from both masajid, and even lets you filter by sheikh. it was designed in accordance to material design, so it should look great on android L insha’Allah. it’s also free with no ads.

it’s quite light weight at the moment, and there are a lot of things that are missing, but insha’Allah as time goes on, we hope to keep updating it and make it more useful to people.

the app’s account is on Twitter at @haramainapp, and you can download it from google play.

ripples with probe

today, i was having a discussion with Mostafa Gazar about android animations and his Widgets library, and Lucas Rocha’s probe project came to mind.

i decided to experiment and see if i could use probe to automatically add a ripple effect to a set of views without having to touch existing code. turns out it’s fairly easy to do! i did two separate implementations.

the first image is using Markus Hi’s android-ui library. the second image is using Mostafa’s Widgets.

the code using Mostafa’s Widgets is a lot simpler (due to RippleView doing most of the heavy lifting) - you can see it here. the code for wrapping android-ui is a bit more complicated (and mimics what Mostafa does in RippleView) and can be found here.

the general idea for both probe implementations is the same - we take any given view, and replace it with a FrameLayout containing the view, and an underlying “ripple view.”

now to apply either of these methods, we can do something like this:

public class RippleActivity extends Activity {

  protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    Probe.deploy(this, new RevealInterceptor(this),
        new Filter.ParentId(;
    // can also use RippleInterceptor instead
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<FrameLayout xmlns:android=""

    <View android:id="@+id/button"
        android:layout_gravity="center" />

    <View android:layout_gravity="bottom"
        android:background="#aaff" />


one interesting point - if you remove the filter and just let probe work on any view (both interceptors enforce non-ViewGroups only), the ripple effect ends up working on all views, including views in the ActionBar as well (which is really neat!)

saudi matches 1.0.1

not too long back, i posted about euro matches. earlier this year, we also pushed saudi matches. it includes a new ui, new features, and so on. saudi matches was done in conjunction with Khalid Sudairy, Bandar Raffah, and Taylor Ling.

you can download it here.

quran plugin for alfred and launchbar

several months ago, i posted a plugin for searching the quran with alfred. i was playing with launchbar 6 recently, and while trying to figure out whether i want to use alfred or launchbar, i decided to write a plugin for searching the quran, with suggestions, for launchbar.

download the launchbar plugin

i also decided to update the plugin for alfred (to have autocomplete). note that the current search api supports in:en (in english), in:tl (in transliteration), etc.

download the alfred plugin.

migrating from octopress to hexo

it’s been a long time since my last blog post, but i am hoping to become better about blogging. anyhow, the other day, i found nikola, a python blogging engine. i played with it and thought, “it would be cool to migrate my blog to it.” someone had written a migration script from octopress, and so i played with a migrated version locally.

unfortunately, some things (like pagination) would break the existing model that i’ve been using on this site in the past. so after much searching, i found hexo.

hexo is “a fast, simple & powerful blog framework, powered by Node.js.” it’s also a static blogging engine.

migrating from octopress was extremely simple - just a matter of copying pieces of my source directory to hexo’s source directory. then it was just a matter of tweaking some settings, finding a theme, and so on.

why migrate? first, it seems that octopress development has slowed down (at least relative to some of these other engines). secondly, some things, like tags, were only supported via a third party script. third, i am hoping it helps me blog more.

there you have it. enjoy! web update for ios7

since ios7 brings such a huge change to the ui of ios, i’ve updated the web interface for for the iphone. here are the before/after pictures:

this was made a lot easier thanks to ios7 templates. i realize that there is no support for android at the moment, but insha’Allah will hopefully get to this eventually since it is important to do (and nice to have).