Reconciling manual and automatic refactoring
Although useful and widely available, refactoring tools are underused. One cause of this underuse is that a developer sometimes fails to recognize that she is going to refactor before she begins manually refactoring. To address this issue, we conducted a formative study of developers' manual refactoring process, suggesting that developers' reliance on “chasing error messages” when manually refactoring is an error-prone manual refactoring strategy. Additionally, our study distilled a set of manual refactoring workflow patterns. Using these patterns, we designed a novel refactoring tool called BeneFactor. BeneFactor detects a developer's manual refactoring, reminds her that automatic refactoring is available, and can complete her refactoring automatically. By alleviating the burden of recognizing manual refactoring, BeneFactor is designed to help solve the refactoring tool underuse problem.