As a build manager I have often looked on at my developer peers with a little envy. It’s a niche position, which might explain why tools seem to lag behind sometimes.. There’s plenty of editors out there that one can edit build files with; some you’d even want to use. But refactoring is something I miss. And that’s not just because I wrote an article on refactoring build files: it’s a genuinely useful technique that would make me more effective.
Anyhow, I feel a little better that there’s one authentic build refactoring available in the EAP version of ReSharper 4: Introduce variable. On Friday I did actually introduce some variables (well, properties) in a Nant build file that I was looking at. Resharper did tend to throw exceptions, but I suppressed them and it soldiered on. I had a look at the latest IDEA and Eclipse releases yesterday and could find no build refactorings. Still, it’s a start.