I believe the word you are looking for is refactoring.
Also may I point out that good code probably does not read as a good book, although it probably is readable.
Take the example of Knuth's Literate programming. He thought that there are two sides to every code: the story of the program and the program itself. This is why he made a meta-language to describe both at the same time, and two programs to extract either one from the meta-description. The story of the program reads like a book. The program itself reads like a program. As they are obviously different, the program itself does not read like a book. Good code is readable but in a different way.
-- filmil 2004-07-14 22:08 UTC
Yes... you have a good point. Though I was replying to something (which I can't recall now) I think that I did draw the similarity between a book and code a little too closely. Maybe I could say that code should read like a good outline?
-- awwaiid 2004-07-15 01:08 UTC
I guess good code reads as — ah, well — good code, so think about a new readability type.
Btw, a recent good read is Celestia. It's amazing to see how such a convoluted thing can be read so easily. Thumbs up for the authors.
-- filmil 2004-07-15 19:14 UTC