*shudder* Where does that horrid "cleverness" mentality come from, anyway?!? What happened to professionalism; the KISS principle; clean, obvious code that doesn't require wasted thought or effort to maintain?
The original poster talked about idiomatic and tersely compact code which is quite a bit different than "clever" code. To me, idiomatic perl is clean and obvious. "Clever" code is typically non-idiomatic and often obfuscated in some fashion. When the comments say something like "we rely on the undocument return value of this function to index into the array", the code is clearly too clever for it's own good.
Judging from the rest of your post I'd say that you have a very different idea of what "idioms" are than I do. Just as you don't code C as if it were Fortran once you learn C well enough, you don't code Perl as if it were something else (unless that's explicitly your goal) once you learn Perl well enough. I certainly don't "dumb down" my perl code for the sake of those who don't know perl well enough to understand it. Rather I encourage them to learn perl better.
"Cute, clever, and tricky" is quite often the opposite of "simple, obvious, and correct", at least in my experience.
I could not agree more. I just think you and I perhaps have differing ideas of what's "simple, obvious, and correct"