I agree strongly with the importance of having clean,
readable code.  It's more pleasant to work with and
also wastes less of the programmer's time in trying
to understand what's going on.

The Perl community has two interesting developments
in this direction.  First, there's Damian Conway's
book, "Perl Best Practices" (O'Reilly).  I don't
agree with EVERYTHING Damian says, but his reasoning
is worth reading, in any case, and I think his book
will be quite influential.

Following his lead, Jeffrey Thalhammer has written

  Perl::Critic
  http://search.cpan.org/~thaljef/Perl-Critic-0.19/lib/Perl/Critic.pm

This Perl module/program applies a customizable set
of tests to a set of code, reporting discrepancies.

Unfortunately, Ruby has neither the book nor the tool
at this point, but it certainly could have...

-r
-- 
http://www.cfcl.com/rdm            Rich Morin
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http://www.cfcl.com/rdm/weblog     +1 650-873-7841

Technical editing and writing, programming, and web development