QaFoo Blog: Basic Refactoring Techniques: Extract Method
On the QaFoo blog theres a tutorial posted to their blog sharing one of their basic refactoring techniques: the "extract" method:
Refactoring is the process of restructuring code without changing its behaviour and the technique “Extract Method“ is one of the most important building blocks of refactoring.
With extract method you move a fragment of code from an existing method into a new method with a name that explains what it is doing. Therefore this technique can be used to reduce complexity and improve readability of code.
In this post I want to explain the mechanics of extract method using an example so that you have a checklist of steps when performing this refactoring. Extract method is a technique that you can use even without tests, because the potential risks of breaking are manageable when you follow the steps.
While things like PHPStorm provide their own "extract" functionality to help with refactoring, they want you to understand the manual steps involved. They start with a sample method that mixes controller logic with low level query logic. They break the process down into a few steps:
- Identify code fragment to extract
- Create empty method and copy code
- Identify undeclared variables that must be arguments
- Identify variables that are still used in old method
- Call new method from original method
They also include a "risky" checklist with a few questions to ask about the refactor to see what extra steps might need to be considered.