Preview Changes for Refactorings


In a comment, Robert Watkins proposes a preview mode for refactorings.


Funny how things work out.  The original implementation of Whidbey Refactorings included an optional preview window that was 100% annoying.  Every time it came up, I would kick myself for forgetting to uncheck the option.  It was that bad.


I trust our refactoring features to do the right thing, so the idea of reviewing the results in some dedicated UI seems like a waste of time.  I know it works, I just want to move on.


We saw in usability studies that people wanted to check out what a Refactoring really did, at least the first couple times they used it.  But, they were comfortable using existing features (like Find in Files) to understand the result.  So, I argued that we should cut the preview changes window alltogether.


No one agreed with me, so we wrote a new preview changes dialog.  It’s a lot better.  It’s so much better, that when it appears, I don’t mind.  In fact, I find myself reading through the results to understand the changes. 


Weird.

Comments (5)

  1. Chad Humphries says:

    After using IntelliJ IDEA for some Java development I can’t wait until Visual Studio has even a part of that power.

  2. Chad Humphries says:

    Refactoring power, that is.

  3. Anonymous Coward says:

    As long as it docks and remembers to dock, I’ll be happy.

  4. If you kick yourself for forgetting to uncheck the option, put a "Don’t show this again" checkbox in the preview window…