Ho ho ho! The month’s Ruby Ireland meetup sprag right out of the traps with early adopters showing up at 6pm in the lobby area of the Trinity Capital Hotel, Wed Dec 16th. Easing into the evening with a 4 euro pint and talk of Android phones - seemingly the top item of everyone’s Christmas shopping list - the latest crop of gems in the Ruby world was in hot debate, gemcutter in particular.

A couple of folks had been playing around with RubyGame for visualising data as it changes on the fly - showing that this framework is for more than just gaming. The XML/HTML parser Nokogiri was also mentioned a few of times in passing, with the particularly eye-catching quote “XML is like violence - if it doesn’t solve your problems, you are not using enough of it” adorning the home page of its website. And the cracking little tool tig was also brought up, which has a dinky little ncurses interface into git repositories. Pretty cool; not least because it makes it easier for newbies to avoid being bitten when they start git’tin.

The downstairs lobby in the hotel worked out great for people to meet up and relax, with most people turning up at the scheduled 7 o clock for kick off. From there we took over the, what has to be said, pretty classy meeting room complete with old style couches and some Joan Miró paintings. Just in tune with the creative buzz we had going on. There wasn’t too much talk of Ruby for a while as most people were in stunned admiration of the room. Then the food platter arrived. Impressively, this is when everyone showed off their good manners by looking shyly at the platter for a few minutes, with that kind of “You first, sir” glint in their eye, before taking the plunge and sinking into the pakoras and wedges! Pretty much undoing any good work in the gym from earlier in the day!

One of the funnier moments of the night was when someone went to check the tweets against the (now settled upon) #rubyireland hashtag. Only to find lost rubyists tweeting from the hotel lobby as to where the meetup was on. After a quick runaround the lobby to herd anyone wielding a Macbook into the meeting room, the evening was back on track. We split up into a few smaller groups, with the main walk-through being on the qtonrails - a Rails plugin to simply developing applications on Linux and other platforms using Nokia’s Qt framework atop Rails.

To finish off we had a bit of improv comedy from everyone at different closing stages of the evening; in particular Paul O’Malley with his faithful rendition of an emotion beekeeper. And yes now we’re straying off topic so it’s probably time to go. We’ll leave you with Paul’s write up of last night’s shenanigans :-)

Thanks to everyone who showed. Have a great Christmas and catch ye all in Jan 2010 - surely destined to be the decade of Ruby domination!

Ciao, Dec