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on 16 March 2017
The book is a bit outdated, but I find the concepts to be just as relevant today as they were upon release. The first four chapters and the final chapters are easy and interesting to read. the rest is more of a look-up tool. This provides a good introduction to the subject, and you have the actual techniques readily available to look up whenever you need them. If you are interested in developing more readable code or have inherited messy code from someone else, I recommend this book.
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on 21 July 2017
Fully satisfied. Highly recommended seller!
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on 15 August 2002
I'm probably not alone in finding that, upon opening up source code (even my own), I have an uncontrollable urge to remove duplication, simplify, reduce and generally "improve" things before I can start to see how changes can be made. Then I read this book and discovered that I was refactoring.
Even better, I started to understand that there were a set of well-designed methods to apply, some of which I'd informally discovered for myself (so I wasn't alone after all) and many more that I hadn't thought of. It doesn't hurt that the book is well, and often entertainingly written.
Although some of the content is explicitly targeted at code built in full-blown object-oriented languages (the language used throughout is Java), it doesn't prove to be a hindrance to VB programmers like myself.
This book may fall slightly behind "Code Complete" in my list. Which would only make it the second best development book I've ever read (but it's the first one I felt like posting a review on).
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on 12 October 2001
Like the GoF book, this book makes new ground by describing each refactoring in baby-step format and *naming* each of the refactorings. It has also led to more refactoring tools (which I hope will become a mandatory IDE requirement). So, instead of having to refactor your code manually, you can simply goto the menu and select "Extract Method", "Replace Temp with Query" etc. I highly recommend people check out the new IntelliJ IDEA (called Pandora). As Kent Beck notes, a refactoring tool completely changes the way you think about coding.
10 thumbs up for this book and the effect it will have on the industry.
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on 21 December 2000
This book is simply great !! It's definately the most useful book I've read since "Design Patterns".

It has an easily read and also sometimes quite amusing text, UML diagrams when necessary, and of course, VERY GOOD CONTENT !!! In short Refactoring is about turning badly designed and written code into well designed and written code, without breaking the program. If you liked read "Design Patterns" (Gamma et al.) you love this one as well. It's structured in much the same way.

The content covers

* WHY + WHEN to refactor
* HOW + WHAT to refactor
* A very good chapter on unit testing with JUnit (Open Source, by Eric Gamma (Design Patterns) and Kent Beck (Extreme Programming) )
* A thorough catalogue of different refactorings you can do to improve the design and readability of your code.
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on 8 December 2009
Great ideas in software are often met with the "if you've been around as long as me, then you know this stuff already" line. WHO CARES?!! Often in fields involving know-how, the most "obvious" things (techniques, principles) *need* to be revisited, re-stated (out loud, as it were), just to plant our feet back on the ground, to reacquaint us with the foundations. I approached this book with scepticism but after reading a chapter and skimming through the rest, I was already re-enthused on a software project I had become disillusioned with. The results are an order of magnitude better: lean, clear, crisp, efficient. It'll make you proud to show your code to others!
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on 13 December 2008
When I first read this book it described a whole lot of practices that I'd been following for years, I just hadn't call it refactoring. I'd find some piece of code that didn't feel right and then I'd tinker with it to improve it. I'd rename variables and methods and rearrange stuff and so on until I felt it was right. I just didn't have a vocabulary to describe what I was doing.
As with other classics the situations and methods that are described here are now considered obvious and simple by many, but that wasn't always the case. This book defined the terms that are now in common use, the code smells, the refactorings, even the word itself. It has provided modern software development with a knowledge and understanding that code isn't developed perfect the first time around, that it is ok to improve it and that it can be done in a safe and controlled manner.
Every developer should read this book at least once. Personally it is one the books that I always keep with me when working.
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on 14 November 1999
I found this book superb. It reinforces a number of techniques I had been using and introduces a load more. It takes away that 'guilt' feeling you often have when doing a re-design of existing code and gives you the tools to improve the code greatly. It is well written and each method has a small description, a small example and cross references to other methods which makes it perfect as a reference.
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on 13 July 2009
As someone from a procedural background, i've read books on OOP and tried to embrase it into my work but never really saw the point. This book has caused me to change my view of OOP entirely. At the time of reading this book i found myself needing to edit some old code i'd written, as is often the case the old code had grown uglier and uglier the more bits that got added to it, with lots of nested conditionals and a huge switch statement. With the help of what i learnt from this book, i converted the old code to a class heirarchy and reduced the amount of code by 500%, making it far easier to understand, and then add new features too.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who want's to write cleaner code that's easier to maintain. Although the examples are in Java, it's easy to grasp the principles and apply them to PHP.
I just wish i'd read this years ago, as i now want to rewrite everything i've ever done.
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on 18 May 2017
Lot of references to the future parts of the book that make it un-readable.
Is it time for the publisher to hire a couple of editors perhaps?
Even a couple of student assistants would help.
How it's possible to go out on the market with such a poorly organized book, and ask 38£ for it.

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