Friday, June 18, 2010


RefactoringNG is a flexible and powerful Java refactoring tool, implemented as NetBeans module. Refactoring rules are described as transformations of source abstract syntax trees to destination abstract syntax trees. For example, the rule that rewrites x = x + 1 to x++ is as follows:

 // x = x + 1 -> x++
 Assignment {
    Identifier [name: "x"],
    Binary [kind: PLUS] {
       Identifier [name: "x"],
       Literal [kind: INT_LITERAL, value: 1]
 } ->
 Unary [kind: POSTFIX_INCREMENT] {
    Identifier [name: "x"]
The names and structure of abstract syntax trees are the same as in Sun Java compiler. The tool uses Compiler Tree API (com.sun.*), the formal language model in the JDK API (javax.language.model.*), and NetBeans infrastructure. For example, if you have ever needed to replace the constructor call with a factory method or add an argument to each method call, you may appreciate how easily such tasks can be done with RefactoringNG:

Factory method

 // new Position(<args>) -> Position.create(<args>)
 NewClass {
    Identifier [name: "Position"],
    List<Expression> [id: args],
 } ->
 MethodInvocation {
    List<Tree> { },
    MemberSelect [identifier: "create"] {
       Identifier [name: "Position"]
    List<Expression> [ref: args]

Another argument

 // plus (<expr1>, <expr2>) -> plus (<expr1>, <expr2>, 5)
 MethodInvocation {
    List [size: 0],
    Identifier [name: "plus"],
    List<Expression> [id: args, size: 2]
 } ->
 MethodInvocation {
    List<Tree> [size: 0],
    Identifier [name: "plus"],
    List<Expression> {
       ListItems [ref: args],
       Literal [kind: INT_LITERAL, value: 5]
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Luc Duponcheel said...

looks like an interesting project to me Zdenek

it also looks somewhat similar to the jackpot project (I do not know if Oracle Labs is still supporting on it)


I've looked at your parser code.
I am convinced that you would appreciate the power and elegance of Scala for writing parser code
(Scala has a powerful and elegant parser combinator library)

keep on doing the good work


Zdeněk Troníček said...

Hi Luc, good comment. It is similar to Jackpot and I hope it is superior.
As for the parser, I certainly will have a look at Scala way.

Enjoy your stay in Prague!

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