Bad words: “Refactoring”

December 21, 2014 at 3:10 PMMichele Mottini

Also “Code refactoring”. A verb used in programming, the official meaning is

the process of restructuring existing computer code without changing its external behavior

the actual meaning is

the process of restructuring existing computer code hopefully without changing its external behavior

I think the original meaning was quite specific, referring to thorough changes in the internal structure of code, but now it is used for any and all internal changes that are not meant to change functionality. For example, under ‘refactoring’ Microsoft Visual Studio lists trivial changes like renaming or reordering parameters:image

So when someone says ‘I refactored such and such’ it might mean more or less anything, including just changing some method names.

Posted in: Opinion | Programming

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