To really make the page work, I wanted to include a running total of donations. I figured this would have been something provided by stripe - but no - I would have to log every transaction manually.
I thought about logging them to a CSV file, but the problem is - what happens when two people donate at the same time? Data corruption is no fun.
So that meant installing a PostgreSQL database.
PostgreSQL, actually, wasn't that difficult once I was able to access it via the terminal with psql. I didn't need to do all that much. Create a table, and just gather e-mails and donations (mostly to write thank-you notes and keep track of unique donors.)
I can pretty much write whatever I'd like to get the data out of the database, but the trick was passing the information out of the Ruby-based backend program into PostgreSQL. And since I didn't know Line One of Ruby, I needed expert guidance.
Jhass over in #ruby on freenode had the patience of a saint, and we pretty much pair-coded (well, okay, it was mostly his ideas) and got the thing working, finally. Now, running totals and progress-bars are possible. YAY!