Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

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As the application of object technology--particularly the Java programming language--has become commonplace, a new problem has emerged to confront the software development community. Significant numbers of poorly designed programs have been created by less-experienced developers, resulting in applications that are inefficient and hard to maintain and extend. Increasingly, software system professionals are discovering just how difficult it is to work with these inherited, "non-optimal" applications. For several years, expert-level object programmers have employed a growing collection of techniques to improve the structural integrity and performance of such existing software programs. Referred to as "refactoring," these practices have remained in the domain of experts because no attempt has been made to transcribe the lore into a form that all developers could use. . .until now. In Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, renowned object technology mentor Martin Fowler breaks new ground, demystifying these master practices and demonstrating how software practitioners can realize the significant benefits of this new process.

With proper training a skilled system designer can take a bad design and rework it into well-designed, robust code. In this book, Martin Fowler shows you where opportunities for refactoring typically can be found, and how to go about reworking a bad design into a good one. Each refactoring step is simple--seemingly too simple to be worth doing. Refactoring may involve moving a field from one class to another, or pulling some code out of a method to turn it into its own method, or even pushing some code up or down a hierarchy. While these individual steps may seem elementary, the cumulative effect of such small changes can radically improve the design. Refactoring is a proven way to prevent software decay.

In addition to discussing the various techniques of refactoring, the author provides a detailed catalog of more than seventy proven refactorings with helpful pointers that teach you when to apply them; step-by-step instructions for applying each refactoring; and an example illustrating how the refactoring works. The illustrative examples are written in Java, but the ideas are applicable to any object-oriented programming language.

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About the author

Martin Fowler is the Chief Scientist of ThoughtWorks, an enterprise-application development and delivery company. He's been applying object-oriented techniques to enterprise software development for over a decade. He is notorious for his work on patterns, the UML, refactoring, and agile methods. Martin lives in Melrose, Massachusetts, with his wife, Cindy, and a very strange cat. His homepage is

Kent Beck consistently challenges software engineering dogma, promoting ideas like patterns, test-driven development, and Extreme Programming. Currently affiliated with Three Rivers Institute and Agitar Software, he is the author of many Addison-Wesley titles.

John Brant and Don Roberts are the authors of the Refactoring Browser for Smalltalk, which is found at They are also consultants who have studied both the practical and theoretical aspects of refactoring for six years.

William Opdyke's doctoral research on refactoring object-oriented frameworks at the University of Illinois led to the first major publication on this topic. He is currently a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Lucent Technologies/Bell Laboratories.

John Brant and Don Roberts are the authors of the Refactoring Browser for Smalltalk, which is found at They are also consultants who have studied both the practical and theoretical aspects of refactoring for six years.

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Additional Information

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Published on
Mar 9, 2012
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Computers / Programming / Object Oriented
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The practice of enterprise application development has benefited from the emergence of many new enabling technologies. Multi-tiered object-oriented platforms, such as Java and .NET, have become commonplace. These new tools and technologies are capable of building powerful applications, but they are not easily implemented. Common failures in enterprise applications often occur because their developers do not understand the architectural lessons that experienced object developers have learned.

Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture is written in direct response to the stiff challenges that face enterprise application developers. The author, noted object-oriented designer Martin Fowler, noticed that despite changes in technology--from Smalltalk to CORBA to Java to .NET--the same basic design ideas can be adapted and applied to solve common problems. With the help of an expert group of contributors, Martin distills over forty recurring solutions into patterns. The result is an indispensable handbook of solutions that are applicable to any enterprise application platform.

This book is actually two books in one. The first section is a short tutorial on developing enterprise applications, which you can read from start to finish to understand the scope of the book's lessons. The next section, the bulk of the book, is a detailed reference to the patterns themselves. Each pattern provides usage and implementation information, as well as detailed code examples in Java or C#. The entire book is also richly illustrated with UML diagrams to further explain the concepts.

Armed with this book, you will have the knowledge necessary to make important architectural decisions about building an enterprise application and the proven patterns for use when building them.

The topics covered include

· Dividing an enterprise application into layers

· The major approaches to organizing business logic

· An in-depth treatment of mapping between objects and relational databases

· Using Model-View-Controller to organize a Web presentation

· Handling concurrency for data that spans multiple transactions

· Designing distributed object interfaces

Most programming languages contain good and bad parts, but JavaScript has more than its share of the bad, having been developed and released in a hurry before it could be refined. This authoritative book scrapes away these bad features to reveal a subset of JavaScript that's more reliable, readable, and maintainable than the language as a whole—a subset you can use to create truly extensible and efficient code.

Considered the JavaScript expert by many people in the development community, author Douglas Crockford identifies the abundance of good ideas that make JavaScript an outstanding object-oriented programming language-ideas such as functions, loose typing, dynamic objects, and an expressive object literal notation. Unfortunately, these good ideas are mixed in with bad and downright awful ideas, like a programming model based on global variables.

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The real beauty? As you move ahead with the subset of JavaScript that this book presents, you'll also sidestep the need to unlearn all the bad parts. Of course, if you want to find out more about the bad parts and how to use them badly, simply consult any other JavaScript book.

With JavaScript: The Good Parts, you'll discover a beautiful, elegant, lightweight and highly expressive language that lets you create effective code, whether you're managing object libraries or just trying to get Ajax to run fast. If you develop sites or applications for the Web, this book is an absolute must.

In 1994, Design Patterns changed the landscape of object-oriented development by introducing classic solutions to recurring design problems. In 1999, Refactoring revolutionized design by introducing an effective process for improving code. With the highly anticipated Refactoring to Patterns , Joshua Kerievsky has changed our approach to design by forever uniting patterns with the evolutionary process of refactoring.

This book introduces the theory and practice of pattern-directed refactorings: sequences of low-level refactorings that allow designers to safely move designs to, towards, or away from pattern implementations. Using code from real-world projects, Kerievsky documents the thinking and steps underlying over two dozen pattern-based design transformations. Along the way he offers insights into pattern differences and how to implement patterns in the simplest possible ways.

Coverage includes:

A catalog of twenty-seven pattern-directed refactorings, featuring real-world code examples Descriptions of twelve design smells that indicate the need for this book’s refactorings General information and new insights about patterns and refactoring Detailed implementation mechanics: how low-level refactorings are combined to implement high-level patterns Multiple ways to implement the same pattern–and when to use each Practical ways to get started even if you have little experience with patterns or refactoring

Refactoring to Patterns reflects three years of refinement and the insights of more than sixty software engineering thought leaders in the global patterns, refactoring, and agile development communities. Whether you’re focused on legacy or “greenfield” development, this book will make you a better software designer by helping you learn how to make important design changes safely and effectively.

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