image by Hans-Peter Gauster
Extract conditionals into well-named methods
One of the simplest (and most effective) ways to refactor is to extract a method. The naming of an extracted method is a great tool for communicating the thinking behind the code.
…using slightly complex statements in your conditionals.
class BrightonCoffeeShop def initialize(name) @name = name end def good? if @name == 'Starbucks' || @name == 'Costa' || @name == 'Barry’s Caff' false elsif @name == 'Coffee@33' || @name == 'Small Batch' true else false end end end
This implementation explicitly returns
false if the
name is unknown. The only way to guarantee a decent coffee shop experience is to rule out places you’ve never heard of. Right? :-)
…the Extract Method refactoring to move the logic into a
private method, giving that method a name that clearly explains the concept of the code.
class BrightonCoffeeShop def initialize(name) @name = name end def good? clean? && local? && excellent_coffee? end private def clean? !filthy? end def excellent_coffee? ['Coffee@33', 'Small Batch'].include?(@name) end def filthy? @name == 'Barry’s Caff' end def local? !national_chain? end def national_chain? ['Starbucks', 'Costa'].include?(@name) end end
By extracting a method you, by definition, name it. Our
#good? method states the specific criteria for a good coffee shop. The new private methods act as documentation for the class.
Before, all we really had was a list of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ coffee shops. We had no knowledge of how those lists were developed.
A naive refactoring of this class might have just stuffed all the good and bad names in arrays named
BAD and checked the coffee shop
name against them. We would have lost the reasoning behind why the places were good or bad. And the why is the most important part.
In this case I’ve extracted the negative concepts of
#national_chain? as well as the positive concepts like
#local?. This avoids using the negative versions of the private methods in the
#good? method, making that method more readable. You could consider this overkill in some cases, but here it adds useful context as this class is heavily geared towards the positive qualities of a decent coffee shop.
Before any refactoring it is important to ensure good test coverage of the initial implementation to prevent accidental changes in functionality.
In a simpler example, I might not even bother with this kind of refactoring, but here it serves as a nice documentation technique and clarifies the logic in the conditional.
In a more complex case, where a coffee shop has much more functionality (more than just being good or not) you might further refactor each of the different coffee shops into subclasses.
Last updated on January 21st, 2018 by @andycroll
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