Oh I agree completely. I actually originally put a line like "and in perl you have even better options with the modifiers that are available" but it didnt quite fit so I took it out. Perl modifiers and control flow keywords are an excellent way to minimize excessive indentation and containment problems.
Nevertheless I do think that "the smaller part of a conditional should go first" is a correct rule of thumb. If you have a 4 line block and a 40 block then the 4 liner should go first. This means the maintainer can see all of one and part of the other on one page, whereas with the long block first the maintainer can only see part of one block, and may not even notice the presence of the smaller one.
Yves / DeMerphq
When to use Prototypes?