Would Reek be useful in training a ruby noob in good practices or does it require an experienced ruby eye to use and interpret?
I have mumble-muble years or programing experience but mostly in C variants. I've used Ruby lightly for the last few years as a utility scripting language but my ruby code is obviously largely just transliterated C. Now I wish to use it as a serious tool and I want to learn the "ruby way."
I've planned to use TDD/BDD from the start to provide the necessary training feedback and it looks like perhaps Reek might be useful in providing feedback about non-standard forms and uses. However, by long experience, I know that such tools can be two-edged swords that require prior experience to use and in hands of novice cause more problems than they solve.
Does anyone have experience in using reek (or a similar tool) in this way?
If it matters, I will be focusing initially on writing stand-alone applications for MacOS X i.e. no rails, server-stuff, etc.
No, Reek is not intended to be a Ruby style checker. If you want such a thing, I'd suggest Roodi -- or, better yet, pairing with someone who can show you good Ruby style.
I wrote Reek as a little research project, and frankly it isn't as useful as simpler tools such as flay, flog and rcov. Learn to be a better coder by eliminating duplication and complexity, and by TDDing your code.