So as a more serious task with which to plumb the depths of Ruby, I'm attempting to write a BEEP implementation ("beepcore-ruby" anyone?) along the lines of the available Java and Tcl beepcore code. Assuming all goes well, I'll then start adding things on, like prototype apps using APEX, IMXP, SEP, Beepster (nee HSTP), etc.
I quite like the design of BEEP, although Justin Chapweske seems to think it's in the same boat as JXTA: crap, particularly the sort of crap that uses multiplexing in a messaging protocol. I disagree on that and a number of his other points, but I reserve the right to change my opinion once I start actually having to dive into the RFCs, etc.