If Perl::Critic were not customizable, I wouldn't use it. I wouldn't recommend it.
Well yes, it's customisable but only before the fact. Not during.
One of those 10 commandants is "thou shalt not kill". A pretty good rule for the most part, but we can all think of times and places, people and circumstances in which even this rule must be ignorable. Take your pick from military, to policeman; to a parent defending her children; self-defense; capital punishment. Some each of us can agree with. Some we may not.
That's why we have courts and judges and juries to decide on a case by case basis. Because no matter how complex and complete the legistlatures attempt to cover all the bases, there are always exceptions and exceptional circumstances.
Even just opinion influences what was illegal yesterday is legal to day and may be illegal again tomorrow.
"Yeah but that's just an futile, extreme analogy that doesn't hold up for the case of coding standards techniques and constructs."
But...the problem with Perl::Critic is that it attempts to take the human out of the decision making process.
Yes, it can be configured. But that still requires a pre-judgement that must be applied to all cases henceforth. As in--this is the configuration that we will use for this company/dept/team coding standards and all code shall be run against and anomolies resolved.
But on what basis do you decide the configuration?
- Imposed from on high (minority rule)
You (if your the boss) decide what you thinkis right and everyone follows.
- Majority concensus
What about the opinions of those that don't agree?
Analogy: American Indians/black 200 or 100 years ago.
Or those that join the group later?
Analogy: Americanised Japanese 1941
The saving argument is that Perl::Critic used correctly, will draw human attention to just those areas of the decision making process requires concensus. That when the programmer choses to ignore a "standardised" configured ruling and a warning is produced, s/he should have to justify their decision to do so to "management".
The reduction of the art of programming to the step by step application of a set of rules and procedures. Big brother is watching you.
Paranoia you cry. But I now live in a society that has the greatest concentration of CCTV cameras per head of population in the entire world.
For the most part they do not figure in my life at all, but 23 years ago and even 10 years ago, the idea that this could happen was laughable and unthinkable.
Imagine 11 months ago when I said "Imagine a world where human beings where unable to apply their reason and discrimination to rules and guide lines." that that could ever become true.
Taking the human out of the decision making process; and even sitting on the programmers shoulder and making his decisions or making him justify every decision; and taking away his voice and influence over the work he does.
I've worked on a production line in a car factory where you sit for 2 minutes and 13 seconds and then stand and do your 7 alloted tasks for 3 minutes and 2 seconds for 6 hours and 42 minutes each day. You don't want to go there, and this is the start.