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Re: [XP] Re: refactoring

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  • Walter Prins
    Ron, ... I agree. To me, it is useful to know the precise formal definition of the word refactoring , that is as a behaviour-preserving transformation. But
    Message 1 of 129 , Oct 1, 2005
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      Ron,

      > Now, frankly, I think that none of this matters in real life.
      > Refactoring is a toolbox of code transformations which we choose,
      > using our intelligence, to accomplish goals which we also choose.
      > Its formal definition is perhaps quite useful to a few, but its
      > practical application as part of software development is, to me,
      > more valuable.

      I agree. To me, it is useful to know the precise formal definition of the
      word "refactoring", that is as a behaviour-preserving transformation. But
      this definition is for me *today* in isolation just too simplistic and out
      of touch with common usage. Today, it seems to me, the term is almost always
      used within the context of design-improvment of some sort, so I don't find
      it objectionable to acknowledge this in the general definition of the
      meaning of the term. Also, if I were to inist stubbornly on only accepting
      the definition of the word "refactoring" as a behaviour-transforming
      transformation, this would leave me with some difficult to resolve problems
      which would be directly related to my stubborness (hence my reluctance to go
      there): What exactly am I to do (for example) with Fowler's book (or indeed
      any other recent workd) that defines or uses it "wrongly" as a result of my
      narrow point of view? Am I to ignore them or what? Have the attitude that
      "ah well, I know better"? What if I am explaining or discussing modern
      material which uses the term is this "extended" way with someone else for
      example? I think it would seem rather arrogant of me to tell such a person
      that that because the _original_ use of a term had a cetain meaning that
      this meaning is the only reasonable use of the term _today_. The pragmatic
      view would be (IMHO) one which states and acknowledges the origins/original
      formal definition of the term, but *also* acknowledges the variants of use
      today (all of which is in any case "superset" definitions, if you will, of
      the original) in explaining the material to such a person. At the end, my
      argument is not *against* a formal "spartan" definition of a term such as
      "refactoring", it is that one cannot reasonably insist on this is the *only*
      reasonable definition of the term.

      Walter Prins
    • aacockburn
      ... Thanks - I was typing fast and my mind went blank. Alistair
      Message 129 of 129 , Mar 6, 2008
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        --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Tim Ottinger <linux_tim@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > "... of Illinois" (at Urbana/Champaign)
        >

        Thanks - I was typing fast and my mind went blank. Alistair
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