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A story of Kotiinpaluurituaali

It was year 2006, I had been talking with colleagues and friends who used background music for massage, relaxation or meditation. There are a lot of ambient nature sound CDs especially made for that kind of use. But personally I found many of those having a bit too polished or even artificial feeling to them, and some of my friends agreed. We felt a need for something with an atmosphere of a moss covered Finnish forest, raw and primitive in a sense, yet soft and comfortable. Something to help to connect with our ancient roots. I also mentioned this idea to Sami, who said we could make one. So we had a recording session for a long, continuous, ritual-like music session, complete with a fire cracking in a fireplace. That produced a track called 'Kotiinpaluurituaali' (A home-coming ritual). It had a physical release on CD, and soon all the copies were sold.

Years later I got interested in web development. I wanted to see how complicated it would be to make a small, automated on-line store selling digital content. With a kind support of an active member of UnReal World community we launched the Enormous Elk site, and I got busy with site building. There was a lot to learn, and I was constantly struggling with a sense of limited time, balancing with my main work and other schedules. It took some googling, copy&pasting pieces of source code, a lot of trial and error, but eventually we had a simple system handling paypal payments, providing a download link after a completed payment. Kotiinpaluurituaali was the first and only item we had for sale.

Well, then my neighbour's company and the local buckwheat farmers' co-operative needed some web automation. They said they'd like to pay for me to do it, and it was a deal. So having learned basic web development skills led to new work opportunities for me. And in the process of developing and maintaining their site I also learnt more. My son joined the team, setting up a local web server for the neighbour's company, and developing a browser-based software suite for them. So I found myself learning coding from my own son =) As his work experience period was over, the software suite further development was left for me, and in the beginning I had to often ask my son to explain some of the stuff he had used in his code.

While I was busy with coding for customers, some routine software updates on Enormous Elk site broke the old on-line store system. As I had learnt more about the framework used to power the site, I felt like re-writing the whole on-line store system. The new version is easier to maintain - especially adding new items is now a lot easier than it was in the earlier version. But I didn't have enough time to re-write the actual paypal integration stuff, so that was left in the notorious state of 'to-be-fixed-sometime-later-on-can't-say-when'.

Earlier this summer, as I concentrated on getting the Tarupaja published, there was an email; a paypal receipt of someone buying the Kotiinpaluurituaali -track. That made me scratch my head - I thought I had disabled the old on-line store, and the new system didn't have a paypal button to press. So how was this payment initiated? I contacted the person, who kindly sent me a link he had used to navigate to a page with an option to purchase Kotiinpaluurituaali. A-ha! Silly me, I had only disconnected the old system from Enormous Elk site menu - yet the old system was still there for anyone who still had the old address bookmarked, or found by a search engine. So I took a day off from Tarupaja development, and re-wrote the system handling download links. I sent a download link to the poor person who had tried to buy Kotiinpaluurituaali on the old, disconnected and dysfunctional page. I thought to myself that now I only need to re-write the system processing paypal payments, and the on-line store system will be back to fully functional. 'I will do that some other day', I said to myself.

Well, that 'some other day' was last Friday. After some re-writing, testing and bug-fixing we have an option to buy the Kotiinpaluurituaali for 3.00 €. After a payment is processed, the buyer gets a download link for the track. For anonymous users the download link can only be used a few times (although, at the moment I've temporarily raised the cap, to allow more retry attempts in case of problems.) For a logged in user the system remembers the purchase, so next time the user navigates to the Kotiinpaluurituaali -page, it won't display the paypal button but the download link instead. So, basically, we are finally back to one of the original reasons which made me to start developing this site.

Now, the system is tested and proven to work. But in case any of you feels like spending 3.00€ on downloading the Kotiinpaluurituaali-track, could you please post some feedback in the comment section below. Did you encounter any problems, or was it all fine? Do you have any suggestions for improving the system?

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Comments

No problems. :)

Track is awesome.

Great, thanks! Glad to hear that you liked the track.

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