Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pain of C++ Refactoring, 2004

A year ago I wrote:

Why are Java people so lucky (have you ever saw how easily they do their refactoring in Eclipse or IntellJ?). And we, C++ developers, are doomed to spend such huge efforts for simple changes like "rename class", that we experience great deal of resistance for doing it at all. And finally we either give up and leave stinky code as it is, or, without good tool support, try and fail, resulting the code to rot and stink even more.

Michael Feathers, author of "Working Effectively with Legacy Code" and developer of a famous CppUnit, asked exactly this question: Aren't C++ Programmers People Too?

I wondered is the situation so desperate indeed, and found just two refactoring tools around:

Ref++ tool (integrates with Visual Studio.NET)

XRefactoring (that's actually for EMax user)

In 2004, none of the tools didn't come any close to what I needed. What had changed to the better since then? Will share with you in Part II.

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