Refactoring or Adapting or … Both!

Refactoring is an inevitable location that all programmers reach eventually. Working on any project there is bound to be changes and new ideas or concepts on how to structure the code. With constant updates and inventions coming about everyday for the software world it simply is something we will all have to deal with. We create a program and find that we need to pass different parameter types to achieve a different outcome well now we have thirty plus methods to go back and change one by one. Now while that may be a necessary actions there is another concept to consider, that is adaptation! A good analogy of the Adapter Design Pattern is to consider a program is a cable you use to plug in an electronic device. Imagine that you travel to another country with your device and cable and now you run into the issue of a different wall socket. Your plug won’t fit even though it works just fine back home. Do you go out and buy a whole new wire to make it work with the new power source. No! Simply buy a wall adapter and your cable will work just fine(Of course you should check the voltage in real life, but the idea is the same). Perhaps there is nothing wrong with the structure of you code, you just need it to execute with different data types. By writing an adaptation class you could save a lot of frustration and time refactoring your original code. The adapter and adaptee could function by both implementing an interface and therefore the adaptee would only need to have an “implements … ” statement. In doing this you now have the ability to create any number of adapter methods instead of changing your original code. 

A nice simplistic example I found from an online article is that of the Rectangle class. Suppose you write a display() method to display the parameters of the rectangle to the user and the method expects the parameters x, y, w, h. However, the user wants to pass x1, y1, x2, y2 but this will cause an error in the display() method. If an interface is created that hold the display() method then if can be adapted in many ways and fix this issue.

My question to you is; do you think that adaptation is in fact refactoring. According to google the meaning of refactoring is “Refactoring is the process of changing a software system in such a way that it does not alter the external behavior of the code yet improves its internal structure”. Think about this, although I’m sure there is a clearcut textbook answer.

Design Patterns and Refactoring. (n.d.). Retrieved from


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