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NetTuts.com:
Refactoring Legacy Code - Part 11 The End?
October 27, 2014 @ 13:36:14

NetTuts.com has completed their series on refactoring with the posting of part eleven today: "The End?" This post finishes off a series where they've moved from the most basic level of testing out to a complex set of tests that can ensure your code's quality and functionality even after making their recommended refactoring changes.

In our previous lesson we've learned a new way to understand and make code better by extracting till we drop. While that tutorial was a good way to learn the techniques, it was hardly the ideal example to understand the benefits of it. In this lesson we will extract till we drop on all of our trivia game related code and we will analyze the final result.

They start off by "attacking the longest method" (wasCorrectlyAnswered) by starting the testing process. They make some simple checks to ensure the output is correct for various circumstances and values. With these tests in place, they safely refactor the method, splitting it up into functional pieces and completely dropping the method in favor of more targeted handling. They finish off the post with a look at some final results and comparing the refactored code with the original on things like lines of code, complexity, dependencies and structure (using this tool).

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refactor legacy code part11 series end correctly answered

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/refactoring-legacy-code-part-11-the-end--cms-22476

NetTuts.com:
Refactoring Legacy Code - Part 10 Dissecting Long Methods with Extractions
September 19, 2014 @ 09:41:54

NetTuts.com is back with the latest part of their "Refactoring Legacy Code" series for PHP. In this latest article (part 10) they work on pulling apart longer methods into smaller, more manageable chunks.

In the sixth part of our series we talked about attacking long methods by leveraging on pair programming and viewing code from different levels. We continuously zoomed in and out, and observed both small things like naming as well as form and indentation. Today, we will take another approach: We will assume we are alone, no colleague or pair to help us. We will use a technique called "Extract till you drop" that breaks code in very small pieces. We will make all the efforts we can to make these pieces as easy to understand as possible so the future us, or any other programmer will be able to easily understand them.

This "extract 'till you drop" mentality (from Robert Martin) has you look at a piece of code and find the logic and lines that can be split out and isolated without removing functionality and interaction. They include some random code from a Stack Overflow post (checking if a number is a prime) and show how to split it out, making the logic and structure less complex and more understandable. They start with a unit test to ensure the result is the same post-refactor and fixing a few bugs along the way. They split it out into two different methods and move it from a more linear approach to something recursive.

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tutorial refactor legacy code part10 series extract method

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/refactoring-legacy-code-part-10-dissecting-long-methods-with-extractions--cms-22182

SitePoint PHP Blog:
APIfy Your Legacy App with Toro
August 19, 2014 @ 12:09:39

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post that wants to help you API-ify your legacy application with ToroPHP, a router that's "designed for minimalists" to make routing and handling RESTful requests easier.

For the Google Summer of Code 2014, I was selected for a project to create a REST API for ATutor. ATutor has hundreds of thousands of lines of code, yet is written in core PHP. Introducing a PHP router class for the API was necessary, but we needed something unintrusive.

The result was the ToroPHP library. He introduces the library with some background about why it was created and some of the goals it was trying to achieve. Next he shows you how to create a simple "Hello World" endpoint that just defines the endpoint and echoes back the string. He shows how to separate out the logic from the route handling via the "urls.php" definition file. He also shows the handling of URL prefixes and mentions user authentication, making a "backbone" for the API and reuse of classes for similar objects.

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tutorial legacy application torophp library api rest

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/apify-legacy-app-toro/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Legacy Code is a Cancer
August 04, 2014 @ 11:08:45

In the latest post to the SitePoint PHP blog Bruno Skvorc proposes the idea that "legacy code is a cancer" that can influence decisions and technology choices that shy away from the new and possibly more functional alternatives.

This might come out controversial, but I firmly believe there is no room for legacy code in modern systems. Allow me to elaborate before you sharpen your pitchfork and light your torch. What I mean by that is: there should be absolutely zero reason to keep implementing the functions you're adding to the new version retroactively into the old version, just because some people are still using it, even if the people using it are a vast majority.

He talks about the "support everything for as long as we can" ideal and how it can come back to bite you in the end. He suggests that, at some point, the v1 users have to "be discarded" and dropped for the upgraded version of the application. He talks about failure potentially brining around success and compares applications versus libraries and components and the upgrade path for each. He ends the post with a suggested upgrade path to move the system itself away from legacy support and into the new, latest version.

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legacy code cancer maintenance upgrade support users

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/legacy-code-cancer/

NetTuts.com:
Refactoring Legacy Code Part 9 - Analyzing Concerns
July 24, 2014 @ 11:27:56

The NetTuts.com site has posted part nine in their series sharing helpful hints and methods for refactoring legacy code. In this new post they continue on with their example application and look at where methods should be moved to/created and mocking in their tests.

In this tutorial, we will continue to focus on our business logic. We will evaluate if RunnerFunctions.php belongs to a class and if so, to which class? We will think about concerns and where methods belong. Finally, we will learn a little bit more about the concept of mocking.

They show how to move some of the "Runner" functions from procedural to OOP, integrating them with some of the classes and methods that already exist. Tests are also included showing how it all links together. From there they get into concerns about the placement of functionality and how that relates to the work at hand. They also use Mockery to mock out some of the needed objects in their tests for the new structure.

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refactor legacy code series part6 concerns functionality mock unittest

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/refactoring-legacy-code-part-9-analyzing-concerns--cms-21760

NetTuts.com:
Refactoring Legacy Code Part 8 - Inverting Dependencies for a Clean Architecture
July 10, 2014 @ 11:04:13

NetTuts.com has posted part eight in their series looking at refactoring legacy code - Inverting Dependencies for a Clean Architecture. In this latest post they move away from just refactoring the code and start to look more at fixing the architecture of the application.

Old code. Ugly code. Complicated code. Spaghetti code. Gibberish nonsense. In two words, Legacy Code. This is a series that will help you work and deal with it. It's now time to talk about architecture and how we organize our newly found layers of code. It's time to take our application and try to map it to theoretical architectural design.

They look at the current structure of the code (well, of their refactored version) and how to apply the Dependency Inversion Principle (part of the SOLID methodology) via interfaces. The code is included for the refactor as well as tests to add to their "Golden Master" test suite to ensure continued correct functionality.

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refactor legacy code series part8 inverting dependencies

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/refactoring-legacy-code-part-8-inverting-dependencies-for-a-clean-architecture--cms-21659

NetTuts.com:
Refactoring Legacy Code Part 7 - Identifying the Presentation Layer
July 03, 2014 @ 12:57:39

NetTuts.com has posted part seven in their "Refactoring Legacy Code" series today, continuing on with the refactor of their example application to improve maintainability and testability. In this latest article they focus in on the presentation layer.

In this seventh chapter of our refactoring tutorials, we will do a different type of refactoring. We observed in the past lessons that there is presentation related code scattered all over our legacy code. We will try to identify all the presentation related code that we can and we will then take the necessary steps to separate it from business logic.

The tutorial starts with a look at the Single Responsibility Principle (part of the SOLID design principles) and how it relates to the idea of clean architecture. They continue down the path of separating out the business logic and isolating it from the presentation layer (the display* handling). They create an "Extract" class that combines the logic and presentation though combination functionality. They walk you through the code, showing the changes you'll need to make and the tests to match.

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refactor legacy code series part7 presentation layer isolating

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/refactoring-legacy-code-part-7-identifying-the-presentation-layer--cms-21593

NetTuts.com:
Refactoring Legacy Code Part 5 - Game's Testable Methods
May 27, 2014 @ 09:29:33

NetTuts.com continues on with their next part of their refactoring series today in this new post focusing on (unit) testing more of the application. This includes both the code for the tests and the before/after of the refactored code.

Old code. Ugly code. Complicated code. Spaghetti code. Gibberish nonsense. In two words, Legacy Code. This is a series that will help you work and deal with it. In our previous tutorial, we tested our Runner functions. In this lesson, it is time to continue where we left off by testing our Game class. [...] It is much better to start testing it by its short, testable methods. This is what we'll do in this lesson: find and test those methods.

They start with creating a new "Game" object and finding the first testable method in the class. The tutorial works through this and other related methods to build up a set of "Game" tests and eventually doing some refactoring on the tests themselves. With one method down and tested, they move on to finding and creating the tests for the next few testable methods, looking for something "controllable" that makes for easy testing.

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refactor legacy code series part5 unittest game method

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/refactoring-legacy-code-part-5-games-testable-methods--cms-21213

NetTuts.com:
Refactoring Legacy Code Part 4 - Our First Unit Tests
May 19, 2014 @ 13:57:41

NetTuts.com has posted the fourth part of their series guiding you through some recommended steps for refactoring legacy code. In this new post they build on the previous steps and focus more on the first steps into unit testing.

One of the key moments of refactoring a totally legacy code is when we start extracting small pieces from it and we start writing targeted unit tests for those small pieces. But this can be quite difficult, especially when you have code that is written so that it would be hard to compile or run if pieces of it are missing. We can't safely do large surgeries on a code we still barely understand and only a golden master test keeps us breaking it totally. Fortunately there are some techniques that can help us.

There's a brief introduction to unit testing and how it can be useful in a refactoring situation. They help you locate some isolated methods to start with and include a sample test (using PHPUnit). They talk about handling dependency injection, refactoring the tests themselves and working with dependencies across environments. Hints on isolating parts of the code that can be and how to refactor the tests to match are also included.

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refactor legacy code series part4 unittest phpunit

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/refactoring-legacy-code-part-4-our-first-unit-tests--cms-21146

NetTuts.com:
Refactoring Legacy Code Part 3 - Complex Conditionals
May 05, 2014 @ 10:43:20

The NetTuts.com site has posted the third part of their series sharing some tips for refactoring the code in a legacy application. In part one they looked at the "Golden Master" and in part two about moving away from magic strings and constants.

Old code. Ugly code. Complicated code. Spaghetti code. Gibberish nonsense. In two words, Legacy Code. This is a series that will help you work and deal with it. I like to think about code just as I think about prose. Long, nested, composed sentences with exotic words are hard to understand. From time to time you need one, but most of the time, you can just use plain simple words in short sentences. This is very true for source code also.

Continuing on with this "prose" theme, he gives an example of simplification and reducing the amount of validation needed before completing the task. He compares this to complex conditionals and shares something called the "extract method" to help simplify them. He also looks at directory and file structure and suggests cleanup there as well. The tutorial finishes with a few other suggestions, things like cleaning up "runner functions" reworking negative conditionals.

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refactor legacy code series part3 conditionals complex

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/refactoring-legacy-code-part-3-complex-conditionals-long-methods--cms-20944


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