Requires Ruby and GTK2 and libglade bindings for it. Get them:
Debian: apt-get install libglade2-ruby You also need 'libpty-ruby' as debian splits up the ruby stdlib and 'ruby1.8-dev' for scw
Gentoo: emerge ruby-libglade2
Ratchet uses the Scw::View for displaying all chats. This widget, being designed specifically for this purpose functions much better then the Textview and requires no hacks to make it behave. [http://iki.fi/zuh/scw/ Scw homepage]
Follow the instructions and download and install scw and the ruby-bindings.
Then checkout the code:
svn checkout svn://rubyforge.org//var/svn/ratchet/trunk ratchet
To run ratchet, cd to the folder you checked out into, and
./ratchet.rb OR ruby ratchet.rb
A connection dialog window should appear with the ability to select a connection method and settings for that method.
Ratchet's 'local' method will connect using the icecapd binary on the current machine, the 'SSH' method allows you to connect to irssi2 on a remote machine and inetd lets you connect to icecap over *inetd, all methods will start icecapd if there is no instance running.
Configure the connection as you wish and hit connect.
You can now use the presence manager to create/edit/delete networks/gateways/presences and connect to a presence. The presence manager will pop up automatically if you have no connected presences.
Joining a channel is fairly obvious:
For a list of other commands there is an inbuilt /help command.