Chapter 1. Refactoring

Refactoring. What is it? Why do it?

In brief, refactoring is the gradual improvement of a code base by making small changes that don’t modify a program’s behavior, usually with the help of some kind of automated tool. The goal of refactoring is to remove the accumulated cruft of years of legacy code and produce cleaner code that is easier to maintain, easier to debug, and easier to add new features to.

Technically, refactoring never actually fixes a bug or adds a feature. However, in practice, when refactoring I almost always uncover bugs that need to be fixed and spot opportunities for new features. Often, refactoring changes difficult problems into tractable and even easy ones. Reorganizing code is the first step in improving ...

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