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Challenges in refactoring

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Fabien Petitcolas.

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Abstract: Refactorings are behaviour-preserving program transformations, typically for improving the structure of existing code and preparing the introduction of new functionality. A few of these refactorings have been mechanised in development environments, but many more have been proposed, and it would be desirable for programmers to script their own transformations. Correctly implementing such source-to-source transformations, however, is quite complex. In this talk, I will illustrate some common pitfalls in automating refactorings, show how to address them and how to facilitate the implementation of refactorings in general.

Biography: Mathieu Verbaere started to work on refactoring during his MSc in computer science at Oxford University. After a year in Paris working further on code analysis in industry, he returned to Oxford for a PhD on a scripting language for refactoring. He now works at Semmle where he leads the design of the novel object-oriented query language .QL, and products built with it related to software analysis.

This talk is part of the Microsoft Research Summer School series.

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