Archive for May, 2005

Scorched 3D Game

Posted on the May 31st, 2005 under Uncategorized by

One of the addictive dos game I enjoyed back in the days was Scorched Earth or simply Scorched, the tank shooting game, where you had to control the direction and velocity, etc. Well, you can imagine my excitement when I game across a 3D version of the game. it’s even more addictive!!

Best of all, its free, cross-platform, and supports network/internet play. Download it from the website

EcmaScript vs JavaScript

Posted on the May 31st, 2005 under Uncategorized by

Is there a difference, and a difference so big its worth having sleepless nights about? This many would consider a stupid argument to have, but one that had to ‘entertain’ yesterday.

Technically, there is a difference and if you want further details, visit Wikipedia:

The argument goes:

W3C mention JavaScript, VBScript, and TCL in passing, but ECMA Script is
the only scripting language that they reference.

>From my understanding, ECMA Script is the common subset of Javascript
that W3C recommends and *should* be supported.

>From this we can deduce that IF you absolutely cannot find an
alternative for a piece of functionality, then use ECMA Scripting as
opposed to JavaScript.

Exactly what is the point here. I fully support cross-browser, accessible, degradable scripting. But does this mean JavaScript is a thing of the past? It’s not going to be supported by browsers anymore? Your page won’t get a W3C validation? This is pure nonsense!

I’ve never seen anyone use: script language=”ecmascript” Has anyone?

We all appreciate efforts to standardize the web, but this argument of ecmascript vs javascript is a total waste of time. If there is browser-specific javascript, lets avoid – that’s best practice. If it’s Web Standards,

I’m reminded that this is the same person who said that JOIN was deprecated from MySQL implying with that LEFT JOIN, RIGHT JOIN and INNER JOIN. Well, he was/is totally wrong. Is he proving himself again?

Save Al-Aqsa March a huge success

Posted on the May 25th, 2005 under Uncategorized by

Today the Save Al-Aqsa march took place in Cape Town and was a huge success. More than 20,000 people attended the march and showed that for the ‘common’ Muslim, al-Aqsa is very close to their hearts.

Added to this, practically all the major Muslim organisations in South Africa were represented. Ulama (Muslim scholars) from the rest of the country flew down to Cape Town specifically to attend the march.

The response from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBOD) was pathetic. Firstly, they refused to accept the memorandum saying it contains lies ( The question is asked: How could they come to this conclusion and decide beforehand that the memorandum is based on lies. This is the typical Zionist response of dismissing and overlooking facts.

Secondly, to state that no serious attempts has been made to attack Masjidul Aqsa in recent weeks is a blatant lie. Can they vouch to support Jersualem’s status as a World Heritage Site. Is the idea of the re-construction of Solomon’s Temple a myth? Are they opposed to the destruction of Masjidul Aqsa?

SQL is just as important as PHP

Posted on the May 21st, 2005 under Uncategorized by

PHP is the fifth most popular programming language following C, Java, C++ and Perl. Think PHP and you’d automatically think MySQL.

Nonetheless, it is *CRUCIAL* to remember the uniqueness of both PHP and MySQL (or SQL for that matter). Being good in PHP does not mean you are good in SQL and vice-versa. If you good in PHP, but your SQL is restricted to SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, then your SQL is in need of improvement. If you require multiple SQL statements instead of using JOINs, then your SQL is in need of improvement. PHP looping SQL statements is just dead evil.

Perhaps in some ways, SQL is the victim of of PHP. We are taught how to retrieve data from a database, but not good database design. So it all works well, except that our database structure design is atrocious. Worst of all, is the belief that our data integrity, whether referential or not, exists. Sadly, we learn about this only in a worst case scenario.

I’m always one to stress the importance of content and data above aesthetics and code. My classical example is: What’s the use of a newspaper printed full-colour on glossy paper and it has no content?

From this perspective, it is essential, in my opinion, that we plan our database structure properly. And we need to think in terms of user interaction, SWOT of the database structure. The database is independent of the code, and can always be manipulated without PHP. Will the database itself be able to keep its data integrity in tact? If it relies on code, then we are looking for trouble!

Why is UNESCO so quiet on Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa?

Posted on the May 18th, 2005 under Uncategorized by

Zionist attempts to destroy Masjidul Aqsa or at least lay the foundation for their temple are a test on how Muslims and the world would respond to this desecration of this holy and heritage land. 2005, it is said, is crucial to the Zionists to meet their deadline, hence recent attempts.

For the two attempts made thus far, Palestinians have physically rose to the challenge. Here in South Africa, the awakening is also happening. There have been more Palestinian and Masjidul Aqsa interest and awareness now than ever before.

On Wednesday 25th May, here’ll be a march to parliament and SAJBOD (South African Jewish Board of Deputies), here in Cape Town, organised by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC).

The Old City of Jerusalem, like Robben Island, is a World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO, and it is also there responsibility to preserve it –

UNESCO needed an extraordinary session to discuss this entry. The proposal to put Jerusalem on the list was made by Jordan (Israel was no member at the time), and the accompanying letter claimed that Jordan is not using this Committee or your deliberations as a vehicle for political claims. Jordan wanted Jerusalem on the list for the value that Jerusalem represents for the three religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Old quarters and city walls is a general description for 226 monuments from all 3 major religions. Most important monument for the Jews is the Western Wall, for the Christians it is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and for the Muslims the (Masjidul Aqsa and) Dome of the Rock.

In 1982, the site was put on the List of World Heritages in Danger. Besides political and religious violence, the site is also threatened by the rapid urbanization of its surroundings and the daily visits of masses of tourists.

Muslims will preserve the masjids out of religious duty, but questions need to be asked to UNESCO and governments about their responsibility.

  • What is UNESCO’s position on the Zionist attempts to destroy the Old City of Jerusalem?
  • What actions has UNESCO taken, and prepared to take, to prevent desceration to these places?
  • Why has UNESCO not taken action to prevent tunnelling under Masjidul Aqsa, even though the Old City of Jersualem is on the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger, not just the list of World Heritage Sites?
  • What steps is the South African government taking as a member of UNESCO to highlight this issue?

Awesome CSS Tricks

Posted on the May 10th, 2005 under Uncategorized by

There are many ‘cool’ things that can be done with web scripting (client side) but there are somethings that are just totally awesome. And awesome has to meet a few criteria:

  • Firstly, it has to be cross-browser
  • Secondly degrades well in older browsers
  • Thirdly, accessible

This past weekend I found a few such things that are worth sharing and using!

A CSS Table Layout

Often it is difficult to do a table-perfect css layout. Here’s a script that allows you to write your divs, and then use javascript to display as a table layout. Visually a table, but the order can be set to be accessible. Awesome!! People who hate fixing css layouts are gonna love this.

Tab Widget – Tabtastic

Tabtastic is a basic tab widget using pure CSS and JavaScript. Switching between tabs is done via anchors (#internalLinks). Its a bit irritating that this causes the page to jump, but nonetheless awesome that an accessible and standards compliant widget has been created.

Enhanced Form Widgets

Say goodbye to the old/ugly form elements and replace them with your own. Now it is possible to style radio buttons and check boxes as you want, and still have them degrade well. A must see – totally awesome.

Examples of this:

A CSS Cheatsheet

Lastly, I found a good cheat sheet for CSS amongst others. Apart from being a good reference, the section of selectors is really informative. In case you don’t know: you haven’t tasted CSS till you’ve tasted CSS selectors. This is where the real power of CSS lies.

Also check other cheatsheets at:

Hajj has begun in Cape Town

Posted on the May 6th, 2005 under Uncategorized by

Last night we had a family dhikr, followed by an announcement many had some feeling of anticipation about, yet came as a surprise. My uncle Fareed and (fav) aunt Wasiela have made their intention to perform Hajj this year, Insha-Allah.

It is difficult to fully capture the moment into words. And ironically, prior to that, everyone was sporting their camera phones. But perhaps, the moment was too good to capture. Everyone, including the camera phone people were in awe. And in the end, a video wouldn’t have done justice to the Nur (spiritual light) that permeated the lounge.

Hajj in Cape Town is unique, and by Hajj I mean the theme and culture, not the practise which can, of course, only be performed in Makkah al-Mukarramah.

It must have been an intimate moment with their Creator when they took the decision together. Following that they inform the family. In Cape tradition, there’ll be a visit to the graves of the Saints who brought Islam to the Cape, and preserved it through the period of slavery.

The custom in Cape Town is to greet family and friends personally, request their forgiveness for any wrong that may have been committed, and request duah (prayers) for their well-being on this sacred journey. Not to forget, a kaartjie (invitation card) must be sent to the Muslim radio stations so that they can also announce it on-air for people who know them, but may have moved, or haven’t been in touch for years, school mates, etc.

In the weeks preceding their departure, family and friends come to the house to wish them well, share experiences on Hajj (and Sahuc and the agents… [hopefully not this year]). Distant family members see each other after time, so there’s catching up to do.

As for the family, they play a major part, unrequested, but true to the hospital nature of Muslims in Cape Town. Thinking ahead, there has to be a decision on who is going to look after the house (and kids), who is available and when to drive the couple around as they greet people. And of course, ladies start taking out their baking/cooking books to offer whatever they can. And youngsters – what techniques can they use to justifying getting that delicious cake… (only joking, and please, no references to my stomach!)

Hajj lasts for a few days, but in reality, takes a lifetime to prepare for. In Cape Town, with all its beautiful practices, Hajj has begun! Insha Allah, I hope to capture it in more details, including photos.

Lastly to Uncle Fareed and Aunty Wasiela – we are proud of you!! It resonates in me that Hajj is not about economics as people make it out to be. It is about will power. Allah has invited you. If you take small steps to Allah, Allah comes with bigger steps to you.

Maulana Imran Nazar Hosein’s Website

Posted on the May 4th, 2005 under Internet,Islam and Muslims by

Further to my recent posting on Blogging as a Sadaqatul Jaariyah, I was glad to hear that Maulana Imran Nazar Hosein now has a website at Maulana Imran was a student of the famous Maulana Fazul-Rahman Ansari of Pakistan.

On Maulana Imran’s last tour to South Africa, he clearly highlighted the problem of Riba (usury), and what could be done to overcome this starting at a micro level. Some of his proposals are being implemented in places such as Indonesia and Australia. Hopefully the website can be instrumental in this part.

Already the website covers some topical issues, such as the debate on Terri Schiavo, so the website is worth a visit (and bookmark).