Book review: Refactoring with Visual Studio 2010

refactoring-with-microsoft-visual-studio-2010Yet again, Packt Publishing has sent me a book for review. For once, one without the typical orange/black cover but instead a classy white/black cover: Refactoring with Visual Studio 2010 by Peter Ritchie.

Since my book shelf is quite heavy on the Packt side (really, almost have their complete collection I guess, they keep sending me books), I was a bit in doubt if I should write yet another review for one of their books as I think I’m starting to sound like a Packt marketing guy. After reading it though, I thought that this book deserves some credit!

I’m going to skip the official wording on what the book is all about: the title suggest refactoring with Visual Studio 2010, but that title covers only 5% of the book’s contents. This is also reflected in the book: it describes a refactoring, in 8 out of 10 cases followed by a sentence “that this refactoring is not supported in Visual Studio 2010”. However, all refactorings are clearly explained with practical, easy to grasp sample code.

So this book is partially about refactoring and a little bit about Visual Studio 2010. However, the main content that makes this book valuable to me is that it covers a lot of design patterns, software design principles and object-oriented concepts. As an example, check the sample 'Chapter 6 "Improving Class Quality'. It talks about the single responsibility principle and starts refactoring an ugly, tight coupled class into a nice, easy to maintain class with lots of practical tips and sample code.

My recommendation for anyone: must read! Not for the VS2010 refactoring part, but for the design patterns & object-oriented principles clearly explained in the book.

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2 responses

  1. Avatar for Mike Scott
    Mike Scott September 10th, 2010

    Following your advice, I had a quick read through the sample chapter 6. Whilst the content in general is good, it has many rough edges which your review didn't mention:

    Explanations are often cumbersome, wordy and repetitive. For example, "Our Invoice class is implementing two distinct tasks: managing invoice state and generating a readable invoice. The data required to generate a readable invoice (over and above the data shown on an invoice) isn't used by Invoice when not generating a readable invoice. Our Invoice class can be said to have multiple responsibilities: the responsibility of managing state and the responsibility of generating a readable invoice."

    So while he advocates SRP, he obviously ignores DRY... joking ;-))

    My quick cursory reading noted several typos.

    The example of using an event to reduce coupling (p180) uses a whacky non-standard event implementation.

    I mention these issues because they're a sign of inadequate proof-reading and weak technical editing. More work required! Perhaps they'll sort it out for the 2nd edition?

  2. Avatar for maartenba
    maartenba September 10th, 2010

    Let's hope. Still: fan of the book :-)