Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Michael Feathers on refactoring and continuous integration

From the author of "Working effectively with legacy code", Michael Feathers, a blog post on "Refactoring needs more than tests". Interesting point of view: sometimes unit tests are not enough when it comes to refactoring.

M.F. disusses the situation of a project with a large code base, where several teams work on different releases/branches of the code at the same time. How do you refactor with confidence in this case? Another scenario discussed in the post is a project with dependencies on 3rd party code. How do you refactor with confidence, when you know that the 3rd party code keeps changing and needs to be patched everytime it gets updated?

Michael's answer is: integrate frequently. I say: buildbot to the rescue! :-)

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